Robinson thrilled with pre-season ton
Robinson thrilled with pre-season ton

Kent wicketkeeper-batsman Ollie Robinson was beaming after scoring an unbeaten century in Kent’s warm up game against Essex, a knock which came just days before the start of the Bob Willis Trophy on Saturday.

The 21-year-old retired halfway through Monday’s evening session on 103 from 144 balls, including 19 fours. Following the game, he was understandably pleased and happy to be back playing.

“It is nice to be back playing again” said Robinson, who averages just over 30 with two 100s from 18 first class matches.

“I had a few nerves today for the first time in a while – September last year was the last time I batted. So, a few butterflies, but I soon settled the nerves after lunch and started getting back into a nice rhythm.

“It was a bit odd. The game had that pre-season April feel to it, but it is July now. The wickets are completely different to how they would be normally in pre-season – they would usually be a bit greener and a bit nippier – but now they are a drier with not as much pace. But it is good, we have been training hard and doing all we can to be ready for the next couple of weeks.”

Kent kick off their Bob Willis Trophy campaign on Saturday against their warm up game opponents, but the game is away from home and may be played with different personnel. Robinson insisted the warm up game was useful, but won’t benefit Kent in terms of who the opponent was.

“I think it works both ways” he said. “They have a sighting of us now too so it is not all good.

“They are going to know where I score most my runs now, and I know where they are going to bowl their balls. It is not their full side, but that is a challenge for next week and we are ready for that.

“It does give us an insight of what is going to come up but we cannot take that for granted because it is going to be a different wicket – Essex is known for having a bit more life in the pitch and a bit more spin, so it is going to be a completely different game I think.

“There is nothing like time in the middle and time playing against other people. There is only so much time you can spend in the nets facing the same bowlers, and you cannot beat playing a game against someone else – it does not matter that we are playing Essex first, it is going to be a completely different pitch and a completely different game.”

Robinson can’t wait for the start of the season, too, after a frustrating summer so far because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is going to be good” he said. “It is going to be different behind closed doors.

“I think we are lucky to get any cricket in this year. If you look at the start of the year, it was a bit touch and go if we were going to get any games, but everyone has been good, we have this bio secure environment now which is different, but it just takes a bit of getting used to, and I think it is great we are getting cricket on.

“Training has been different. We have been in two different pods. I think what we are going to do going forward is more group stuff, because we have not done much of that together.

“Fielding drills are completely different because we can only have so many people in one place, more time as a squad is going to be needed but we are tied in these times.

“We are in a pretty good place as a side.”