Kent have opted to retain Rob Key as captain ahead of next season. The 35-year-old, who played in 15 Tests and 5 ODIs for England, will skipper the side once again in their quest for promotion from Division Two of the County Championship.
There was some speculation as to whether Key would carry on the role, particularly as Kent’s season was far from spectacular.
With a number of big names in their squad, they are always among the sides tipped for promotion, or at least to make a respectable bid for one of the one-day trophies.
However, despite reaching the semi-final of the inaugural Royal London One-Day Cup – which they lost to Warwickshire by a comprehensive six wickets – they were extremely disappointing in the LV County Championship, eventually coming in sixth place, far adrift of the title race.
Robert Key blameless
Admittedly, Key is not to be blamed for their failings, and if anything, was one of the few experienced players in the dressing room, as Kent experimented with several young players over the course of the campaign.
As those players mature, Kent should have a far better chance of progressing next season, and that is most likely to happen under Key’s leadership.
Key, who made his first-class debut for the county in 1998, told Kent’s official website: “It is an honour to lead the club at such an exciting time on and off the field.”
Kent chairman Graham Johnson has described him as a “stand-out captain” and confirmed that the decision to retain him as skipper was unanimous, adding: “I know Rob is keen that the potential is developed to a higher level in 2015.”
In fact, it is clearly Key’s experience which has seen him retained, particularly because of the role he has played in developing young talent.
"He is very aware of all aspects of the club and is conscious of a rising expectation from all who follow Kent, having seen the possibilities in 2014”, Johnson added.
The Spitfires have also been bolstered by the news that Joe Denly will return to the county after a three-year spell away at Middlesex.
Like Kent, Denly has work to do after struggling with the Lord’s county, but has something to prove going into 2015.