Kent have parted company with seam bowler Robbie Joseph after more than a decade-long association with the player.
The 29 year-old was born in St John’s, Antigua, but came to England in 1997 to study at Sutton Valence School, near Maidstone, on a scholarship partly funded by Kent. He made his Second XI debut for the club two years later and was picked to play for a First-Class Counties Select XI against the touring New Zealanders in the year 2000.
He finally made his first-team Kent debut in 2004; playing seven matches and ending with 19 wickets at an average of 34.10, but sadly a spate of injury problems were to hamper his progress for the next three years and he was limited to a handful of games for Kent and sporadic appearances for various local club sides in the Kent leagues.
However, in 2008, he returned with a vengeance and ended that season’s first-class campaign with 55 wickets at an average of 26.05; doing enough to earn himself a place in the England Performance squad for that winter in the process. Finally it looked as though a corner had been turned in his career.
Unfortunately, the next two seasons yielded just six first-class appearances between them as the injury curse struck again. Last year, he fared slightly better, featuring in seven games, but he bowled erratically and lost the trust of Kent captain’s Rob Key and Martin van Jaarsveld. His final game against Gloucestershire in July summed up the situation perfectly; he bowled 19 overs and conceded 110 runs (including 16 no-balls and two wides) for one wicket.
In all, he took 144 wickets in 49 first-class matches spanning eight years for the club, but ultimately, like so many fast bowlers, he was defeated by injury and a club in as dire a financial position as Kent could not afford him any longer.
Kent chairman Graham Johnson paid tribute to Joseph, saying, “We would like to thank Robbie for his efforts for the county over the years and wish him well for the future,” while the man himself indicated that he would like to continue his career elsewhere adding, “I have greatly enjoyed my time at Kent and am now looking forward to a new challenge elsewhere. I feel I still have a great deal to achieve in the game and am looking forward to making that happen.”
Whether any club will take a chance on such an undoubtedly skillful, albeit injury-prone, bowler remains to be seen.
Other County News In Brief:
Hampshire’s assistant and fitness coach Iain Brunnschweiler has left the club to take up a position as head coach of England’s Under-16 and Under-17 sides.
Lancashire have been fined a total of £4,000 for a string of disciplinary offences throughout the 2011 season. Captain Glen Chapple has been handed a two-match ban, suspended for 12 months.
In brighter news for the club, spinner Simon Kerrigan was awarded the Champagne Moment Award at the club’s end-of-season dinner. More
Sussex coach Mark Robinson has admitted that they would have signed seamer Naved Arif, who was awarded a one-year contract yesterday, on a three-year deal had he been an England-qualified player.
A report in yesterday’s Daily Mail has indicated that county cricket’s salary cap will increase by £100,000 to £1.9m for the 2012 season, with Surrey, by far the richest club, looking for it to pushed higher still.
© Cricket World 2011