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Kent man of passion' would be great captain

PUBLISHED: 17:19 08 April 2009 | UPDATED: 11:05 12 August 2010

ROB Key has been tipped as the perfect candidate to bring some passion to the role of England captain, writes Stuart Henderson.

ROB Key has been tipped as the perfect candidate to bring some "passion" to the role of England captain, writes Stuart Henderson.

The Kent skipper was this week named in the provisional 30-man squad to take part in this summer's ICC World Twenty20 tournament, which will be held in England from June 2-21.

He is one of the front-runners to be handed the captaincy after Test and one-day captain Andrew Strauss was not selected.

Kent first-team coach Simon Willis told the Times that Key, who grew up in Beckenham and went to Langley Park Boys' School, would be a 'logical' choice.

He said: "It's logical that Rob should be in the frame because he has led Kent for a while and his stature in the county game grows year-on-year.

"He's a good captain and a thinking cricketer. He's passionate about the game and he leads by example so, if he was thrown into it, he would do the role credit."

Key has already admitted he is keen to lead England, despite not having played for his country since 2005.

He said: "It would be an unbelievable job, and I'm sure there are a few names in there who are sure they could do it. My name has been touted around as captain for England for a bit and I never really thought it was going to happen. But we're in that position again."

Key last played for England during the 2004-05 tour of South Africa, although he has since led the England Lions team on many occasions. The 29-year-old has also guided Kent to Twenty20 success, when they won the domestic cup in 2007.

His Spitfires team-mate, 23-year-old Joe Denly, has also been selected and both will find out on May 1 if they have made the final cut, when the squad will be reduced down to 15 players.

The loss of two key batsmen - Denly and Key have formed a reliable first-wicket partnership in all forms of cricket for the county - would be a blow to Kent, but Mr Willis insisted their absence would open the door for others in the Spitfires squad.

He added: "If players get call-ups, that creates opportunities. At least it gives us a chance to assess where those players are at and whether they can fill the void or whether you have to look elsewhere.

"Good players like that are always going to be missed, but that's how we find out who the next best players are."

stuart.henderson@archant.co.uk

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