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Kent sign up big three

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Robert Key

Robert Key has confirmed an extended deal at Canterbury

Kent have secured the services of England duo Geraint Jones and Robert Key and former South Africa batsman Martin van Jaarsveld until 2009.

Jones, 30, is currently in Australia preparing for the Ashes, which he will start as wicketkeeper in next week’s first Test in Brisbane.

Kent captain Key, 27, is set to join him Down Under as part of the ECB Academy squad.

Van Jaarsveld joined Kent as a 'Kolpak' player after retiring from international cricket in 2005 - meaning he is not regarded as an overseas player - and has been a prolific run-scorer.

Kent chairman of cricket Graham Johnson said: “This is good news for the supporters of Kent cricket.

“Robert, Geraint and Martin have each made outstanding contributions over recent years and form a key part of the club’s future.

“We are looking to move forward both on and off the field and I am delighted we have such a strong nucleus of players who buy into the future vision of the club and who are committed to help us achieve our ambitions.

“Robert Key has made a major contribution to the club in his first year as captain while Martin has made a superb contribution with the bat. He is also an excellent example to all our young, aspiring cricketers.

“We are obviously pleased to hear that Geraint is likely to be selected for the first Ashes Test and we all wish him well.”

Johnson also revealed the club are in talks with Martin Saggers in regard to a contract for next season.

Saggers missed large parts of the last two years through injury and is looking to prove his return to full fitness before finalising a contract for the 2007 campaign.

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