Happy Friday everyone or as we say down here in Kent… ‘happy Friday everyone!’ Welcome to the latest edition of your weekly Kent County Cricket Club ramble with me, everybody’s favourite Kent, I mean Joe Denly, correspondent.

As the title would suggest, it’s been a quiet week in Denly town. But come rain or shine, we will still be with you every Friday afternoon. Satisfying your animalistic hunger to hear about the latest from Kent. But we’ll get onto why it’s been so quiet later. Without further ado, let’s jump into the action.

Catching Up

As I seem to do every week now, I’m going to remind you (I say remind because I’m sure you read last week’s instalment and all of the others before that), of what we closed with seven days ago.

‘As I seemed to jinx Denly’s chances with my closing statement last week, making myself sound like an elected leader carrying out a brave speech I’m not going to say anything on this miserable Friday. Only join us again next week to find out what’s happened with everybody’s favourite cricketer!

Until next time…’

I haven’t made any promises I can’t keep there. Apart from the fact that a few weeks ago, I declared this column would focus solely on Denly until England’s tour of Sri Lanka concludes at the end of the month. But it’s been so quiet in Denly town in the past seven days that we are going to have to touch on some other stuff here in Kent.

A Quiet Week In Denly Town

So, after the best part of 300 words of rubbish to introduce this week’s ‘Canterbury Tales,’ I have finally reached the stage where I get to explain to you why it’s been such a quiet week in Denly town. And by ‘Denly town’ I do of course mean the part of my brain that is obsessed with Joe Denly. Which is all of it.

Throughout Tuesday, the day before the first day of England’s second Test in Sri Lanka, I kept my fingers and toes crossed that Denly would get a deserved inclusion in the team.

Of course he didn’t; in what is becoming a familiar theme. Captain Joe Root went with an unchanged team for Kandy. Which wasn’t very sweet in my eyes, from the convincing first Test victory in Galle.

This was despite the top order of the batting largely failing to impress. Along with some of the spinners in the ‘spinner’s paradise’ that is Sri Lanka. Batting and spinning being two things that Denly can do to the highest quality don’t forget.

Naughty Nicknames

There was a case for the Canterbury lad, nicknamed ‘No Pants’ for reasons I’m not even aware of, but in the end, not even the fit-again Jonny Bairstow and England legend Stuart Broad could get in the side. Which bizarrely featured Ben Stokes batting where Denly should be, at number three.

The wait for a Test debut goes on for the magnificent man as he has seen his whole tour feature just the single competitive match so far. The solitary T20 in which he won the Man of the Match. He continues to seek that first Test he so deserves and craves.

As you might have worked out by now, this is why it’s been such a quiet week in Denly town. As the great man has been reduced to carrying drinks and the odd bit of substitute fielding at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, once again.

Third Test Hopes

For Denly super fans like myself (I’m sure there are others), he says not-so-confidently, all eyes are now firmly on next week’s third and final Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in Colombo. While I may have said this last week, there does appear to be a genuine chance for Denly to come in for the final match of the tour. Which gets underway in the early hours of next Friday morning.

This is due to the fact that, after Day 2 of the second test, Root and the coaches may not have the option of not changing a winning team. As the side are currently behind and therefore, losing. As the tourists begin their second innings, they are behind by 46 runs. It’s not a lot, I know, but things are certainly looking completely different than they were at this stage in the first Test.

Once more, I find myself asking the question of who Denly should replace and I’ve come to the conclusion that it should be a straight swap for Stokes. Who shouldn’t be representing England in the first place in my eyes, but let’s not go down that rabbit hole. However, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Back Home

Meanwhile, back home here in the South East corner of England, it’s been a busy and positive week for Kent CCC. Just as well with all the Denly non-selection misery.

A player has put pen to paper on a new deal…

It’s South African batsman Sean Dickson! Famous for his near county record innings of 318 on the absolute road that is Beckenham, in July 2017 against Northants in the Specsavers County Championship.

Although he’s 27, you feel he’s still yet to hit his peak in a Kent shirt. And it’s certainly a tidy bit of business ahead of a first Division One campaign since 2010. He has followed bowler Harry Podmore, who was only scheduled to be a Kent player for the past summer and bright youngster Zak Crawley in signing new contracts in recent weeks.

There was also big news off-the-field. As it was announced that a new CEO has been appointed. Simon Storey from Derbyshire. As stand-in CEO for the 2018 season, Ben Green has now moved to another position within the club.

Aside from Kent captain Sam Billings doing a nice little interview with Metro and it being announced that we would again have to fare without him due to the IPL at the start of next season, that was it really.

A Kentish Winter Overseas

Before we have to say goodbye this week, it’s worth touching on the Kent players that have been and will be featuring in overseas competitions over the winter. As aforementioned, Billings will be busy. He has that odd T10 thing we’ve touched on in recent editions, an England Lions Tour and the IPL; with pre-season in between.

The likes of Darren Stevens and bright prospect Crawley are currently featuring in the minor leagues of South Africa and Australia. Daniel Bell-Drummond, as well as playing a vital role in that weird Smith/Warner match with a hundred, could be off to the Pakistani Super League.

Once he’s done with England, there will be Big Bash action for Denly. Possibly a Three Lions tour of the West Indies in early next year if he can keep impressing. I’m sure there will be others and we will do our best to keep track of them over the winter.

Until Next Time…

There we have it, that’s Canterbury Tales done and dusted for another week. As ever, thank you very much for reading but you’re probably getting tired of me saying that now, seeing as you read every week and can’t imagine a world where you wouldn’t.

We hope that the next seven days won’t be so quiet in Denly town. Hey, at least it’s not going as bad for him in Sri Lanka as it is for the UK in Europe. At least he knows how to be out of something! Ah, more Brexit puns next week, promise.

Until next time…