Test Match Sofa
Key happy to be back in the ranks
By Mark Pennell
Former England batsman Rob Key has pledged his support to his Kent captaincy successor James Tredwell following his decision to stand down after seven years as the county’s skipper.
Key, who led Kent to Twenty20 Cup success at Edgbaston in 2007 only to suffer LV County Championship relegation the following season, has, however, warned Tredwell that leadership will not be plain sailing.
After announcing the end of his term of office Key, 33, said: “I was very proud to do the job and feel I leave with the respect of the dressing room intact, but I just felt that now is the right time as I’m possibly in danger of not enjoying my cricket if I continued as captain.
“It’s been a while and now seems the right time because I feel Kent, as a side, are starting to move forward again, but it will be a tough year ahead as it always is. I will be here to help ‘Treddy’ and we will sit down and chat about how best I can do that in the near future and to give him the same chances that I had when I took over.
“I remember back to when I replaced David Fulton and he said to me that I’d find that, as captain, the wins feel sweeter but the losses hurt so much more, and it was very true. ‘Treddy’ will soon find that out and will quickly understand the pressure that comes with it.
“The other issue is the budget, of course, and when the world went into recession every county cricket club soon followed. Every team has had to tighten its belt and in those times captaincy took on a different mind-set because you were simply trying to secure the future.
“It’s not going to be easy for ‘Treddy’. It never is, but at least he takes over with a team moving in the right direction, which wasn’t really the case a couple of years back.”
Key, who won 15 Test caps, added: “Captaincy takes a lot out of you and I was worn out from it at the end of the summer and, although this may sound poor in a way, I feel it’s now time to concentrate on myself and my own game and get back to scoring runs and enjoying my cricket again.
“Just the thought of turning up for net practice and not having to worry about what ‘Colesey’ (Matt Coles) or one of the other lads is up to is enough to bring a smile to my face. Tredders will have to deal with all that now, and good luck.”
In praising Key’s time in charge, Kent’s chairman of cricket Graham Johnson said: “There are a whole load of things involved in captaincy; it’s not just all about leading the side out onto the field, and Rob has excelled during his spell as the longest-serving county captain on the circuit.
“The fact he has done seven years is unbelievable and he should be rightly proud of becoming the longest-serving Kent captain of the professional era.
“In my mind he has captained our club with a great deal of distinction. It has been an awesome contribution to Kent. You will have seen all that he does on the field and his work around the ground but, as chairman of cricket, I can tell you that you haven’t seen half of it. His input into this club has been unbelievable. He is a man of deed and has done things for this club that would make you very proud.”
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