Kent have been rocked by the news that senior players Martin van Jaarsveld and Joe Denly have left the club, while head coach Paul Farbrace has also announced his resignation.
Van Jaarsveld had been linked with several counties during the course of the summer as he became increasingly vocal in his criticism of the St Lawrence pitches and resigned as the club’s vice-captain. The 37 year-old South African, who is qualified for England, has signed a two-year contract with Leicestershire that includes the option of a third year and said of the announcement, ““I would like to thank everyone at Kent for the opportunity I have been given.
“I have poured everything I have had into trying to score runs and win games for the county, but now it is time for a new challenge which I hope will reignite my passion for the game and allow me to recapture my best form.”
Denly, who is a product of Kent’s Academy and was the first Canterbury-born player to be capped by the county, alluded to his wish to play Division One cricket next season after signing for Middlesex and said, “A large part of me is very sad to be leaving Kent. As a local lad who’s come through the system I expected to play my whole career here. This is an important stage of my career, however, and I’m really excited about the move to Middlesex, who are a club on the up as shown by their recent promotion to Division One of the Championship.”
Meanwhile, former Academy director Farbrace’s decision to resign is likely to have been influenced by several factors; namely the severe restrictions on the club’s playing budget; the loss of one of his protégé’s in Joe Denly; and the refusal of the club’s chief executive to give him his backing when asked about his future last week.
The former wicket-keeper said of his departure, “It has been a privilege to be director of cricket and I have enjoyed working with the group of players and wish them well. I am now looking forward to the future and I will always have good memories of my time at Kent.”
As for Kent’s future as a club, much remains uncertain. They are widely known to be one of the less financially solvent counties and have suffered a severe player drain over recent seasons that has manifested itself in increasingly poor performances on the pitch. For a county with such a proud tradition and a loyal fan base, the current situation can surely not be allowed to continue for much longer before the members, and maybe even the ECB, start to take action.
© Cricket World 2011