Farbrace aims to bolster Kent bowling resources

Kent will hope to bolster their seam-bowling resources during the close season by signing at least two seamers ahead of the 2012 campaign.

The Division Two side filed fifteen 28-day approach letters in hoping to speak to players at other counties and head coach Paul Farbrace is hopeful that at least of couple of them will reap dividends.

“The noises seem to be that we may be in a position to sign an overseas player as well as two bowlers for next season,” said Farbrace. “We know we have an experienced batting side, we just need to strengthen our bowling resources in order to complement that.

“There’s no secret that we’ve spoken with the likes of Tim Groenewald, Jon Lewis and Gareth Andrew, which all came to nothing. We’re also not going any further with our interest in Harry Gurney (Leicestershire) or Naqaash Tahir (Warwickshire). But there are two or three others we’ve met, spoken with their agents, and hopefully those situations can lead to something.

“The reality is there aren’t that many quality bowlers out there, so many of the counties are speaking to the same pool of bowlers, jostling for position, and trying to sell their club as the way forward.”

In the meantime, Farbrace and the Kent cricket committee have a seemingly thorny problem ahead of them with eight players running out of contract in six weeks’ time. The eight are: Joe Denly, Sam Northeast, Azhar Mahmood, Simon Cook, Robbie Joseph, Chris Piesley, Adam Riley and James Goodman.  

Farbrace, the former Kent and Middlesex wicketkeeper remains phlegmatic, however, preferring to see the contractual merry-go-round as part and parcel of the modern county game. 

He added: “Our cricket committee knew people would be coming out of contract and it’s the club’s choice to run it that way. From the outside it may look as though there’s uncertainty because we have eight people out of contract come the end of September, but I don’t think it has any bearing on the team.

“Those eight are all at different stages of their careers. Two of them turned down extensions last year, so have chosen to put themselves in this position.

“Fair play to them, if they back themselves to have a good season it will help them when they renegotiate their next deal. If they don’t have a great summer, then it makes it that little bit tougher for them. But I don’t mind people outing themselves under pressure and backing themselves to get a better deal in life.”

He added: “We all know – and it’s the same in any performance-based industry – you will always get people coming out of contract. It’s the same for the coaches as it is for the players, in that you know, that if things haven’t gone quite as well as expected, then you may not get your contract renewed.

“Things are much better than they used to be. Only a few years ago players would get to the end of a season and still have no idea whether they’d be offered a deal, at least nowadays we start talking things through by the first week of June.

“The players have the PCA behind them and can talk to other clubs after a 28-day notice, so overall the players are handled more fairly and are much better protected. Cricketers only have a short shelf-life so it’s only right they look to maximise their earning potential by good negotiating.”

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