Walker expecting different experience
Walker expecting different experience

With the Test series against the West Indies due to start on July 8th behind closed doors without fans in attendance, what will it be like for the players? KSN has been talking to Kent coach Matt Walker to try and find out what will be in store for the players.

Walker told us, “I remember watching a game just before Lockdown between New Zealand and Australia played with no crowd and because I’ve probably watched more cricket than football down the years, watching it felt very strange with the lack of atmosphere for me was worse than nobody watching a football match.”

“For some reason, without a crowd watching a football game on TV it doesn’t bother me as much as watching a game of cricket – maybe I’m just biased because it’s my sport and you’ve got used to playing in front of crowds. I don’t know what it is, but I found it really noticeable when I watched that New Zealand v Australia game without anyone in the stands.”

“People who love football I’m sure will watch it every day with all the SKY footage would say not having a football crowd is much more noticeable than watching a cricket match with nobody in the stands – it really is a matter of opinion, but either way it is strange, it is going to be very different and it will be interesting to see how it’s viewed when the Test series starts next month and how that goes down.”

“I think that in the end, people will understand that we’re all in such a peculiar situation and they’ll just be grateful that we’ll at last see some competitive sport on TV.”

“The players I’m sure will give it their all, they’re professional enough now to be able to deal with that – it will just take getting used to for everyone…”

The Kent coach then had a message for the Kent’s frustrated followers – both members and supporters. “I’d just like to say thank you for being so patient – you’ve been amazing!” Walker said.

“I haven’t been at the sharp end from the office side of things where they are in contact with members all the time. My understanding is that you’ve been very understanding of the situation and been very generous in terms of your memberships and hanging onto them and not demanding money back realising that we’re in an uncontrollable situation and you’ve been incredibly patient.”

“We’re all looking forward to rewarding you with some really good cricket whether it’s this year watching it on TV or hopefully being allowed into the Spitfire Ground, who knows?”

“If it’s not this year then certainly next year, I’m sure everyone will be raring to go and then we’ll certainly be there to try and give you some wonderful cricket at the St Lawrence Ground.”

“Stay patient and fingers crossed we’ll get there but, in the meantime, enjoy watching Joe, Zak and hopefully Sam play for England!”