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Kent sign Australian fast bowler
Kent sign Australian fast bowler

Kent Cricket have announced the signing of Australia starlet Xavier Bartlett for the first round of 2024 County Championship matches & the group stage of the Vitality Blast, subject to regulatory approval & additional franchise commitments.

Right-arm fast pacer Bartlett has seen a meteoric rise over the past few months, taking 20 wickets in 11 Big Bash League (BBL) matches for Brisbane Heat alongside Kent Spitfires T20 captain Sam Billings, ending the tournament as BBL|13’s top wicket taker. He was then named Player of the Series after his ODI debut for Australia against West Indies this month.

The 25-year-old, who plays for Queensland in Australia’s Sheffield Shield, currently has a first-class bowling average of 25.68, after taking 66 wickets in 19 matches since making his first-class debut in October 2019.

He made his full Australia debut this month and received his IT20 debut cap on 13 February from a former Kent Spitfire, Marcus Stoinis. He took the wickets of both West Indies openers, Johnson Charles & Kyle Mayers, in his first innings with the ball as an Australia International T20 cricketer.

On joining Kent for a select number of first-class & T20 matches, Bartlett said: “I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress as a bowler over the past few months, and this is a great opportunity to test my skills as a bowler further in English conditions.

“I’m excited to link-up with my fellow countryman Wes Agar too during my time here. Hopefully we can both take some wickets together!”

Kent’s Director of Cricket, Simon Cook, said: “We’re thrilled to have secured Xavier’s services for the early part of the season.

“His career trajectory is clearly on an upward curve, he possesses the ability to take wickets with the new ball in both formats and he has excelled under pressure, consistently delivering in the tough overs during BBL|13.

“We’re working closely together with Xavier’s representation & Cricket Australia to monitor his overseas playing commitments carefully. 

“He’ll be a part of our Championship squad at the start of the season, and for at least our first eight Vitality Blast matches, with an opportunity to extend his stay with us until the end of our Vitality Blast group stage if all parties remain in agreement.

“It’ll be exciting to see him in combination with our domestic attack in both formats and he’ll be a big addition for us during his time here.”