Kent defend Clark signing ahead of Ashes

Kent have defended the decision to sign Australian bowler Stuart Clark for the run-up to the Ashes series after criticism from English cricket's chief that the move may help their age-old rivals.

Kent announced they had signed the 33-year-old seamer until June as he recovers from the elbow injury which has kept him out of Australia's tour of South Africa.



England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) managing director Hugh Morris said the county's move had provoked 'dismay' as England prepare their bid to wrest back the Ashes won by Australia in a 5-0 whitewash in the 2006/7 series, in which Clark took 26 wickets.



"It is difficult recruiting good quality overseas players with all the commitments around the world at the moment and good cricketers who will really do a good job for you are few and far between now," Kent chief executive Paul Millman told Reuters today.



"So when the opportunity of Stuart came up we took it quickly, if we hadn't another county would have done there is absolutely no doubt about that."



Kent's decision followed Middlesex's signing of opener Phil Hughes, who has shone in the series win over South Africa. Morris and England selector Geoff Miller condemned the signings.



"The decision of Kent to sign Stuart Clark so that he can continue his rehabilitation after injury to enable him to be fit for the Ashes series has been met with dismay throughout the game," Morris was widely quoted as saying in the British media.



"Of course, it is up to Kent which players they sign but it is an incredibly busy and important year for cricket in England and we wish to give the team every chance of regaining the Ashes."



Miller said: "Middlesex have already signed a batsman in Phil Hughes who has not had experience of English conditions before and now will have that for the Ashes - I don't think that would happen the other way round."



But Millman said Kent were doing their part to support the success of English cricket.



"We've got four cricketers in line for English selection this summer," he said. "Four cricketers who we've nurtured and brought through for English cricket... so we are not stinting in our support for English cricket."



Millman said the club, which was relegated to division two of the county championship last season, had to balance its support for England with the success of Kent cricket.



"It is possible this summer that we might not see a lot of Amjad Khan (playing for Kent) and that's great for English cricket and great for Amjad but it leaves a bit of a gap for us and we've got to think about how we fill that gap," said Millman.



England play Australia in the first of five Ashes tests in Cardiff on 8 July.



  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...