Captain is the Key for Kent
Matt Walker has paid tribute to Robert Key’s captaincy after the former England batsman made Canterbury a happier place to play cricket in 2006.
Key took over the captaincy from David Fulton and Walker at the end of the 2005 season after the pair had shared the duties for much of the year.
“I think he has been fantastic. He is my best mate so I am likely to be slightly biased, but I have been really impressed,” he told ecb.co.uk.
“I never had any doubts about his on the field stuff because he thinks hard about the game and always has done," he said. "But everything else that goes with being captain, particularly in your first year when you are not quite sure what to expect - all the trimmings that come with it - can be a bit of a distraction.”
However Key coped admirably with the added pressures and responsibilty and Walker is quick to praise him for his attitude.
“He has been very relaxed and always pitched his team talks and his man-management at the right level,” he added.
The 27-year-old has also really enjoyed his time as captain and has been rewarded with an extension to his term.
“He has been positive and encouraged us to play in our own way," Walker enthused. "He didn’t get frustrated, which you can do if things aren’t going well with your personal game or with the team as a whole. But he has been very professional.”
Key ended the season with 731 championship runs at an average of nearly 32, scoring just one hundred the entire season, which is a slight disappointment compared to his usual high standards. But Walker believes this is just a blip.
“In the first year when you don’t know whether to have a plan or just roll with it and see what happens, it can be a bit difficult," he said.
“But he has a plan and bigger ideas as to what he wants to achieve with the club and he got better as he went along. I thought he did a remarkable job. He has got his ideas about what he wants to achieve further down the line, and I think he can pull it off.
“I think it is going to be an exciting place to be, at Kent, under his captaincy.”