Qayyum included for Northants trip
Qayyum included for Northants trip

Imran Qayyum could make his County Championship debut after being included in Kent’s 13-man squad for their game at Northamptonshire.

Imran Qayyum, Specsavers County Championship, 2016

The left-arm spinner, 22, has been included for the Specsavers County Championship fixture, starting tomorrow, with Adam Riley missing out through injury. Riley picked up a side strain in this week’s draw with Gloucestershire.

Ealing-born Qayyum won his Second XI cap last month, and is one of three new names in the squad from the game with Gloucestershire, alongside Adam Ball, Ivan Thomas and Sean Dickson. Dickson missed that game after sustaining a hand injury while preparing food at home.

Alex Blake is not included despite making 45 in Kent’s only innings of the Gloucestershire game, while Matt Coles is sitting out the final game of his two-match suspension.

Kent skipper Sam Northeast will be hoping that his side can continue their unbeaten start to the season at The County Ground, and will also want to build on his own fine form, having made his highest First Class score of 189 in a positive team performance for Kent against Gloucester.

“The batting and bowling is coming together and improving week-on-week”. the skipper said when this week’s squad was announced.

“We’ve got a squad in form at the moment which makes my life harder, but I’d prefer to have guys playing well than not.

“The way we are playing our cricket is great: to score 400 twice is a great effort. It’s nice to see the averages of the squad compared to last year: guys are averaging 50-plus at the moment as opposed to 20 last year which is great.

“Nothing’s easy at the moment. We seem to lose a bowler every game and rain has got in the way.

“Calum Haggett and Matt Hunn have put their hand up and made an impact without us having to rely on the older heads of Mitch Claydon and Darren Stevens.”

Kent travel to Northamptonshire to face a side who have lost one and drawn three of their four Championship fixtures so far this season. Opening batsman Ben Duckett, who was in fact born in Farnborough, Kent, hit a mammoth 282 not out in Northamptonshire’s first game of the season at home to Sussex, and registered half-centuries in their second and third games of the season, before making just 2 and 0 against Leicestershire last week.

As the visitors, Kent go into the game in decent form. After a convincing, 10-wicket win against Glamorgan in their first home game of the season two weeks ago, they pushed hard for the win in the draw against Gloucestershire, and have now taken 15 out of a possible 16 bonus points from the last two games.


Northamptonshire squad: TBA

Kent squad: Bell-Drummond, Latham, Denly, Northeast*, Dickson, Stevens, Ball, Rouse†, Haggett, Claydon, Hunn, Thomas, Qayyum