Cricket / Twelfth Man: Fostering the spirit of Kent

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The Independent Online
DARYL FOSTER, the Australian who masterminded Kent's revival, is set to resume his old post as coach of Western Australia. However, before panic sets in at Canterbury, Kent members can be reassured that he will continue to look after his adopted county with whom he signed a new five-year contract last winter.

Foster spent 18 highly successful seasons in Perth before handing over to Terry Alderman a year ago. But the scourge of Graham Gooch had an unhappy time, culminating with the side's slump to fourth - out of six - in the Sheffield Shield table and was sacked last month.

WA, whose chief executive is the former Hampshire batsman, Chris Smith, then sought out Foster who said: 'We are working something out where I can look after WA but I won't be leaving Kent.'

That was confirmed by the Kent secretary, Stuart Anderson, who said: 'We understand Daryl is talking to WA. Our arrangement is that he spends his winters in Australia and we see no obstacle to his taking up any opportunity he likes.

'His prime responsibility is to Kent and in any clash at the beginning and end of the season we would have priority. But we don't believe there would be a clash and don't wish to stand in his way.'

Foster, who took Kent to a Lord's final and second place in the Championship last year, says he is relishing the variety of the county circuit after years of visiting the same five grounds in Australia.

THE recent tale of Kent's Australian bowler Duncan Spencer taking his passport to Wales reminded Alexander Dainty, of Somerset, of a South African rugby player at Oxford University who was told he needed a Welsh visa.

Being without one, he was bundled into the boot of the coach and covered with blankets as they approached the border. There followed a customs check which involved a noisy search of the boot.

Unfortunately, he ended the match in hospital, missed the bus back and only some sharp work by the skipper, Peter Robbins, who adorned his passport with a Welsh 'visa', eased his fear of discovery on the return journey.

A BOTTLE of Aberlour whisky goes to Jon Gritten of Hertford for his suggestion that, following in the barefootsteps of Chris Lewis, Messrs Gooch, Gatting and Emburey might look good adorning the centre spread of The Oldie. Other suggestions included Andre Agassi in Shavers' Weekly, Fred Trueman and Frances Edmonds dueting on a poster campaign for British Gas and David Gower in Aviation. Next week's bottle will go to the sender of the most appropriate inscription on a watch to be sent either by Peter May to Ted Dexter or David Gower to Graham Gooch.

GRUNTING may be off the tabloid agenda at Wimbledon in the absence of Monica Seles, but it did become an issue in last week's women's Varsity match when a bowler was ordered out of the attack because of her noisy delivery.

The Oxford University pace bowler, Shamim Umarji, was warned and then after five overs told not to bowl again in the match at Clare College. Without her, Oxford, who made 141, were unable to finish off Cambridge whose last pair batted out 11 overs to finish at 63 for 9.

SATURDAY SURFIE: XXXX, the fuel that drives the Australians is actually owned, whisper it quietly in Earl's Court, by Kiwis. Castlemaine were taken over by the New Zealand firm, Lion Nathan, a few years ago but it has not affected the Brisbane brewery's patriotism.

Faced with heavy competition at home XXXX was quick to follow Foster's into the United Kingdom where each claimed to be the Ockers' favourite, ignoring the fact that outside their respective Victorian and Queensland heartlands few Australians drink either brew.

This summer, however, you will not see an Aussie cricketer drinking any beer but XXXX. They are contractually obliged to do so as the brewery is a sizeable contributor to their tour fee and a large supply follows them from hotel to hotel to ensure they never run out.

And whoever takes the Ashes the winners will be Danish - the company that sells both Tetley's and XXXX in the UK is half-owned by Carlsberg.