Groenewald keen to get going
Groenewald keen to get going

Kent’s new signing Tim Groenewald is looking forward to getting to work with new team when the Bob Willis Trophy gets underway today.

Groenewald, 36, signed from Somerset ahead of the 2020 season, and, according to the man himself, has settled in well.

“I’ve known Walkes [Matt Walker, head coach] for quite a while” said the seamer.

“I played against Simon Cook [bowling coach] back in his playing days but I have not had anything to do with him coaching wise, so I didn’t know much about him on that front.

“Cooky took the bowlers out to South Africa in March before the rest of the squad arrived and he was outstanding. His attention to detail is great and he is really meticulous with things. I have really enjoyed working with him, he is chilled and relaxed and is guided by how we feel and what we want. He is not someone that rams stuff down your throat.

“One of the biggest factors in me coming here is that I saw it as a similar club to Somerset three or four years ago. I have been told by the likes of Sam Billings that the club is on the up – I heard about what they are trying to achieve here, and it sounded like a really exciting place to be.”

Groenewald has had to wait to get started competitively for Kent. The season has been cut majorly short because of the coronavirus pandemic, and players have had to be patient.

It has, though, given Groenewald extra time to settle in.

“I had January, February, March with the guys” he said.

“They are a good bunch of lads. They are easy to get on with and have made me feel really welcome here. I am just really looking forward to getting some cricket and actually getting going.”

Kent kick off their Bob Willis Trophy campaign on Saturday with a trip to last year’s Division One champions Essex.

The start couldn’t be tougher, but Groenewald is expecting some all-round rustiness, and Kent to compete.

“There is nothing like playing against opposition where the stakes are raised” said Groenewald, who took one wicket for 26 runs in a warmup game on Tuesday against this weekend’s opponents.

“Everything goes up – match intensity, your own intensity – there is a lot more riding on the game.

“We are a fair amount behind where we’d normally be, but we’ve made the best of the situation and it’s the same for everyone. We have done a lot of cycling and running. The guys are incredibly fit.

“The guys are really excited – we have been sitting around for a long time waiting for a bit of cricket. We are going to have to be at our best, we are not going to turn up and catch Essex off guard. They are a quality side and have some very dangerous players.

“It will be a good cricket wicket, but we’ll have to bat well and bowl well. If we go there and play good cricket we’ll give ourselves half a chance.

“We have a really exciting squad – we’re missing a few batters, so guys are going to have to step up on that front, but they know that. When they get in, they are going to have to go big and the all-rounders and bowlers are going to have to do their part with the bat.

“You will get some guys that walk into it and look a million dollars, but it’ll be different until guys are where they need to be. It is going to take time.”