Denly positive over Kent prospects
Joe Denly has backed former county Kent to prosper.
His departure was announced at the same time as Martin van Jaarsveld’s, leaving Kent without two of their most established batsmen.
Michael Powell’s arrival from Glamorgan has partially filled the void, bolstering batting ranks that include captain Rob Key, Darren Stevens, Geraint Jones, Azhar Mahmood and several promising youngsters.
“I think they are at a big rebuilding stage. I’d love to have stayed and helped them rebuild, but I’ve got to look at it from a selfish point of view. For me playing for England again I feel this is the right move.
“Obviously I wish Kent all the best. Hopefully it won’t be too much of a struggle down there. They’ve got some very good young players coming through and with the likes of Keysy, Geraint Jones, Darren Stevens and James Tredwell all still there, I think they have a good mix.
“Even with me and Martin leaving there’s still some quality players that can come in and do well.”
Elaborating on the “very good young players”, Denly said: “Sam Northeast started off last season pretty well. He faded off a bit but I expect him to come back this summer coming and having a great year. He’s certainly capable of scoring very big runs.
“There are a few lads: Daniel-Bell Drummond, who played a few one-day games last year and showed what a class player he is; Alex Blake is another one who has scored hundreds in first-class cricket. So they’ve certainly got the potential there.”
Denly’s return to Division One begins with a visit to Somerset from April 5 before Middlesex host Surrey at Lord’s and travel to Durham.
Five of Denly’s seven championship seasons with Kent were in the top flight, most recently in 2010 after helping them back up at the earliest opportunity.
Despite 1,024 championship runs this year, the right-hander could not help the county of his birth repeat the trick and he subsequently decided to join the Division Two winners.
“Middlesex had a great year, winning a championship which isn’t easy,” Denly added. “To come out on top of that a get promoted into Division One is a great achievement.
“With me moving there it’s a big challenge going up into Division One again. All the sides will be good and every game’s going to be challenging so I’m looking forward to that.”