Spitfires to host Suffolk at Beckenham
Spitfires to host Suffolk at Beckenham

The Kent Spitfires will now host Suffolk in a one-day ‘National County’ match on 20th July 2021 at The County Ground, Beckenham.

Suffolk and Kent have faced each other only once before, when Colin Cowdrey hit 116 runs in a 113-run Kent victory at the Ipswich School Ground on 30th April 1966, the first round of the Gillette Cup. This was Suffolk’s first ever match against a first-class county’s First XI in modern history.

Kent legends Derek Underwood and Alan Knott, both within their first three seasons of featuring in the men’s First XI squad at the time, also played.

Underwood finished the match with figures of 1/11 from nine overs with six maidens, whilst another Kent capped player, David Sayer, was the pick of Kent’s bowlers with 3/24. Colin Cowdrey even picked up a wicket in his only over bowled, conceding seven runs from it. Future Kent captain Mike Denness also scored 49 runs.

Many players have played for both Suffolk and Kent over the years: early cricket pioneers Fuller Pilch and Alfred Mynn; modern day stars Andrew Hall, Neil Dexter, Matt Hunn and Adam Ball have worn both Kent and Suffolk colours in their careers.

July’s meeting will now take place at The County Ground, Beckenham, after originally having been scheduled to be hosted by Suffolk at Copdock near Ipswich.

Kent’s Director of Cricket, Paul Downton, said: “The players and coaches were looking forward to making the journey to Suffolk, but the challenges presented by the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic mean that hosting this match at Beckenham is now the best option for us from a safety perspective.

“This will be ideal preparation for the Royal London Cup as Beckenham will be our home venue for the Group Stage, and by anchoring our one-day efforts in Metropolitan Kent, we can ensure that COVID regulations and guidance are strictly adhered to.

“We look forward to welcoming the Suffolk players and support staff to Beckenham in July.”

Suffolk County Cricket Club’s Chairman. Andrew Squire. said: “We are delighted to be able to play Kent Spitfires at Beckenham in the current circumstances.

“Having myself played for Suffolk against Somerset at Taunton in the old NatWest Trophy, I know our players will relish the chance to test themselves against a first-class county on their own ground.

“It also provides a great opportunity for our players, especially the younger ones, to showcase their skills against full-time professionals.”