Kent captain Denly vowed to use games to reignite international career

PUBLISHED: 09:52 30 May 2019

Kent skipper Joe Denly during Essex CCC vs Kent CCC, Specsavers County Championship Division 1 Cricket at The Cloudfm County Ground on 29th May 2019

Kent skipper Joe Denly during Essex CCC vs Kent CCC, Specsavers County Championship Division 1 Cricket at The Cloudfm County Ground on 29th May 2019

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Acting Kent captain Joe Denly has vowed to use his upcoming domestic games in the Specsavers County Championship as the motivational springboard to reignite his international career.

The 33-year-old from Canterbury is intent on putting the disappointment of missing out on England's World Cup squad behind him and has set his sights on forcing his way into contention for this summer's Ashes series with Australia, starting in August.

Though he made brief appearances in Australia's Big Bash League and the Indian Premier League during the close season, as well as winning two Test caps against West Indies earlier this year, Denly was replaced in England's World Cup party at the 11th hour by Liam Dawson, the Hampshire left-arm spinner - a selectorial decision that Denly fully understands.

"I think Liam's a fantastic cricketer and deserves his selection," said Denly. "Even before I got the call, I knew that this was an avenue they could take and I was fully prepared for it.

"There is no point moping around, I have to get on with it now and put on some performances for Kent. There is a lot of cricket between now and the Ashes so my focus is trying to perform for Kent and the Ashes selection will take care of itself."

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Whilst conceding that his lack of actual game time may have ultimately damaged his World Cup ambitions, Denly has no regrets over his "long-haul" winter or his continued desire to perform in the world's best Twenty20 competitions.

"I would have liked to play more cricket for sure, but it has been great to be involved in the IPL, BBL and with England," he said.

"That England white-ball team is a special side and the country should be excited about their chances at the World Cup."

Denly is again likely to lead the county on their return to the Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence on Monday when Kent welcome Royal London One-Day Cup winners Somerset for a Specsavers County Championship four-day match [11am start].

Kent will hope to have all-rounder Grant Stewart back in the ranks again after the popular, Australia-raised player missed the first two months of the season through injury.

On his road to recovery, Stewart scored a Second XI century in late May and, on his return to bowling last weekend, bagged four for 19 for Kent League outfit Sandwich during their 10-wicket defeat of HSBC London.

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