Friday 19 September 2008 

Walker Completes Switch From Kent To Essex

Kent's Matthew Walker has completed a move to Essex, signing a two-year contract after he was released by his erstwhile employers at Canterbury.

Walker, 34, made his Championship debut in 1994, going on to score over 15,000 runs in first-class and One Day cricket.

Walker told the Essex CCC website (www.essexcricket.org.uk):

"I was born and bred in Kent and came through their county system, enjoying many happy times over my 16 years there. I made a lot of friends among the team and around the ground so it will feel strange not to be there next season but that’s life – players come and go. When you are at the same club for so many years you can get into a comfort zone, doing the same things over and over.

"Now I’m moving on to an exciting new challenge with a new set of guys at a new ground. I’ve not played as much as I would have liked to this year but I certainly have no intention of winding down my career just yet as I feel I still have plenty to offer. Now I want to show Essex what I can do.

"I already know a fair bit about Essex and some of the players here and have a lot of respect for what they have achieved this season. There is a huge potential at the Club and I hope my experience can help the young batsmen out.

"I’ve scored runs consistently and been a steady force in the middle order for some time so I hope to continue that on during my time with Essex."

Essex First-Team Coach Paul Grayson told the Essex CCC website:

"Matt’s a very experienced player who is ready for a new challenge. We feel he can offer a few good years to us. It’s been evident by our lack of Championship batting points this year that we need an experienced middle order batsman to strengthen the side and we are confident Matt can fulfil that role. In one-day cricket he is someone who makes bowlers think and is only going to further improve our squad in that form as well."

© Cricket World 2008