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Essex consider move for Matt Coles

Matt Coles in action for Kent Getty Images

Essex are considering strengthening their Championship-winning squad with the recruitment of Matt Coles.

While Essex were runaway winners of the 2017 Championship - they won by 72 points - the club are still interested in adding depth to the squad and improving in limited-overs cricket.

While Coles has something of a chequered reputation - he and Ben Stokes were sent home from a Lions tour in early 2013 after one too many late nights - he is a good all-round cricketer who finished the 2017 season as Kent's top List A wicket-taker and their second-highest in the Championship.

He averages more than 20 with the bat and less than 30 with the ball in first-class cricket and, aged 27, could still have the best years of his career ahead of him.

He did briefly leave Kent once before. At the end of 2013 he joined Hampshire on loan and subsequently signed with them. But despite a decent 2014 season, he struggled to settle away from home and returned to Kent.

While he has continued to flirt with notoriety - he was left out of Kent's Championship fixture against Derbyshire in June 2016 following a drink-related incident and was suspended by the ECB for two further Championship matches after being found guilty of throwing the ball in a dangerous manner during their victory against Glamorgan in May - he is a well-respected player who performed well enough to earn selection for the first series of North-South matches at the start of the year.