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Richardson ready to fly with Spitfires
Richardson ready to fly with Spitfires

Australia international Kane Richardson will make his Vitality Blast debut in Canterbury tonight and the 32-year-old is glad to finally become a Spitfire after being announced as one of Kent’s T20 Overseas Players back in December.

As he sits in the Media Room at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence looking out at the outfield in the sunshine, he reveals that this isn’t his first time here, albeit his first visit was in cyber space.

“I was talking to Freddie the ops guy yesterday actually, I remember playing cricket ‘here’ on the PlayStation back in the early 2000s,” he says.

“I remember there being a tree on the ground, so I actually feel like I know this ground pretty well!”

The famous Lime Tree may have a younger successor outside of the playing area at Canterbury now, but Richardson still gives The Spitfire Ground a glowing review.

“It’s really unique here because of the slope and the setting – it’s really nice to see it in person at last and the sun’s shining here today so that always helps.”

The bowler, known for his skill at bowling ‘at the death’ – during the final overs of the game in which saving runs is a precious commodity and taking wickets can turn the outcome of a match, is no stranger to being an overseas player in another country.

When asked how he would sell himself, he gives the following explanation of what he will add to our talented group of players: “Without knowing what happened last year, with me you’re bringing in an experienced overseas bowler.

“I want to contribute in the field and bowl some hard overs but also have an impact on the younger guys and help them too, hopefully I have an impact on and off the field.

“Ideally we dominate and win every game and have a great time, but there’ll of course be ups and downs – hopefully I can be a calm and level head around the boys.”

His impressive T20 CV includes stints in the Indian Premier League (IPL) with three different franchises, time with Birmingham Phoenix in The Hundred & he is also a Big Bash League (BBL) winner with the Melbourne Renegades, also having played for the Adelaide Strikers back in Australia during his career.

“I know a few guys that have played here – I’ve chatted to Marcus Stoinis and to Adam Milne who I know was here when we last won the tournament a couple of years ago.

“Obviously we have a strong white-ball pedigree and all the guys I’ve spoken to have said that they loved their time here.

“I already know a few of the boys from playing against them as well so it’s nice to see some familiar faces here.”

The right-armer is looking forward to his time as a Kent Spitfire, and when asked about who he’s looking forward to playing against, he quickly sounds off who he’s been told will be a big match for our supporters.

“I know that there’s a rivalry with Essex! One of my good mates used to play for them and I know a few of the coaching staff there, they’re Aussies from back home so there’ll be a bit more on that one for me for sure.

“To be fair, I’m looking forward to every game really, it’s going to be awesome. Hopefully the weather will be as good as it is today!”

Aside from The Spitfire Ground, there’s also another venue that he’s looking forward to going to.

“I think any time you can play at Lord’s is pretty special. I’ve been lucky enough to play there a couple of times but you never take that for granted. Even in terms of having a meal there it’s pretty special!”

Tickets are now on sale for all T20 matches hosted by Kent Cricket this Summer via tickets.kentcricket.co.uk.

Buy in advance to save money on gate prices.

Picture supplied by Kent Cricket.