Spitfires set to have a Blast
Spitfires set to have a Blast

Kent Spitfires will get their 2021 Vitality T20 Blast campaign underway this evening when they host Hampshire Hawks in the South Group.

Kent are still yet to win this season, with five draws and three losses to their names in the County Championship, but are boosted by the return of several key players to the squad for this game.

Bowlers Matt Milnes and Harry Podmore, alongside all-rounder Grant Stewart, return to a 14-man strong squad following injury lay-offs, whilst Fred Klaassen returns from international duty with the Netherlands.

45-year-old Darren Stevens could make his first Spitfires T20 appearance since 2017 after being named in the squad following a history-making 190 against Glamorgan in the County Championship in May – an innings which included 15 fours and 15 sixes.

Heino Kuhn and Tim Groenewald remain absent with injuries, whilst captain Sam Billings and batsman Zak Crawley are away with the England test team – vice captain Daniel Bell-Drummond will captain the side in Billings’ absence.

Overseas signings Qais Ahmed and Adam Milne are expected to join up with the side on Sunday June 13th and Monday June 28th respectively.

Kent Spitfires squad to face Hampshire Hawks: Daniel Bell-Drummond (C), Alex Blake, Jordan Cox, Joe Denly, Fred Klaassen, Nathan Gilchrist, Jack Leaning, Matt Milnes, Tawanda Muyeye, Marcus O’Riordan, Harry Podmore, Ollie Robinson, Darren Stevens, Grant Stewart.

Hampshire have also named a 14-man squad for the fixture, featuring former England stars James Vince and Mason Crane, World Cup winner Liam Dawson, former Kent captain Sam Northeast and Australian D’Arcy Short.

Hampshire Hawks squad to face Kent Spitfires: James Vince (C), Kyle Abbott, Tom Alsop, James Fuller, Liam Dawson, Ian Holland, Chris Wood, D’Arcy Short, Joe Weatherley, Brad Wheal, Sam Northeast, Mason Crane, Scott Currie. 

Kent made the Quarter Finals of the competition last year before losing to Surrey, whilst Hampshire won just two of their 10 games, finishing last in their group. 

Daniel Bell-Drummond scored the most runs of any player in the competition last year with 423 in 11 matches, whilst Fred Klaassen took the most wickets for Kent with 13. 

Around 1500 fans could be present at the Spitfire Ground for the fixture, the first time fans have been able to watch T20 Blast action in the ground for 650 days.

The game will be live steamed on Kent’s website, with play due to start at 19:00 BST.