Big week for Kent Cricket
Big week for Kent Cricket

Joe Denly and Darren Steven scored hundreds as Kent dominated their 2017 first-class curtain raiser against Leeds Bradford MCCU in Canterbury this week.

The hosts amassed 370 for six after electing to bat first in the three-day game, with Stevens hitting a top-score of 115. It was the 40-year-old’s 32nd first-class century and, during his three-hour stay he also passed the 14,000-run career milestone in first-class cricket. Denly chipped in with a 181-ball ton, the 19th of his career, before Kent declared overnight.

On day two, Kent skittled the students for 204 to secure a 166-run lead – with Mitch Claydon and Adam Ball bagging two wickets apiece – but Kent’s acting skipper Will Gidman decided against enforcing the follow-on in favour of further early-season batting practice on the game’s final day.

Off the field, horse racing enthusiast and the county’s former honorary treasurer, Simon Philip, has been elected chairman of the county club.

Mr Philip, 54, succeeds George Kennedy CBE, who stepped down after nine years in the role. Hailing from Canterbury, Mr

Philip played for the town’s St Lawrence and Highland Court Cricket Club in an era when they played home matches at Kent’s St Lawrence headquarters.

During his seven-year stint as treasurer Mr Philip served as a member of the steering group that oversaw the £10 million redevelopment of the ground. His tenure also led to a dramatic improvement in the club’s finances, with profitability considerably increased and borrowings reduced.

“I’m delighted to be appointed chairman at such an exciting time for the club,” said the former partner at Deloitte. “I have gained a close working knowledge of the club’s operations and look forward to building on George’s legacy.

“The focus has been heavily on the financial stability of the club but now we can place more emphasis on our core work: winning. To that end, the committee will work closely with the club’s staff to run a healthy, sustainable business to support that aim.”

Kent committee member, former board member of Halifax Building Society PLC and director of Oldham Athletic Football Club, Derek Taylor, takes up the role as honorary treasurer, while former Kent, Glamorgan and Beckenham Cricket Club all-rounder, Charles Rowe, becomes the club’s president for 2017-18.

Outgoing chairman Mr Kennedy and outgoing president Lady Kingsdown OBE were awarded honorary life memberships in recognition of their services.

Kent’s stalwart off-spinner James Tredwell plans to use his 2017 Testimonial Year as a chance to thank all those who have supported him during his career.

The Ashford-born bowler said: “Playing cricket was always my dream, to be given that opportunity by Kent is a huge honour and even more so to be awarded this fund-raising year.

“Other than a blip at the start of my career, I can honestly say that I have always given my all to the game I love. I have taken the rough with the smooth, but looking back, I don’t think I could have given much more.”

The former England Test and ODI spinner also plans to raise awareness and bolster the coffers of two good causes; the Professional Cricketers’ Association benevolent fund and Crohn’s and Colitis UK, a cause close to his heart. Tredwell’s wife, Beth, was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2012 and James wanted to help Beth and all those suffering the debilitating physical and emotional effects of these diseases.

His fund-raisers, include the obligatory golf days, dinners and quizzes, are already well underway and for details on upcoming dates visit

Meanwhile, more than 70 cricket clubs across Kent will benefit from this year’s NatWest CricketForce events planned for this weekend.

A voluntary initiative aimed at rejuvenating cricket facilities throughout the country, NatWest CricketForce encourages Kent’s professional players, cricket supporters, friends and families to give back to their local clubs by undertaking renovation work in pavilions and grounds, typically over the weekend before the season’s start.