Heino Kuhn will lead Kent in the absence of Sam Billings and Joe Denly (Picture: Getty)Kent have named the former South Africa batsman Heino Kuhn as their interim captain while Sam Billings and Joe Denly play in the Indian Premier League.
Spitfires captain Billings played ten matches of IPL 2018 as his franchise, Chennai Super Kings, won the tournament for a third time.
After being retained by MS Dhoni’s CSK, Billings will miss the start of the 2019 English county season, with Kent playing in Division One after last season’s promotion.
Vice-captain Denly will also be in India after being bought for £110,000 by Kolkata Knight Riders. It is the first time Denly, who featured in England’s recent T20 series against West Indies, will play in the tournament.
With Billings and Denly both absent, Kuhn will lead Kent during the early stages of the season, with Daniel Bell-Drummond acting as his deputy.
Kent head coach Matt Walker said: ‘It raised a great debate amongst us about who was the right person for that role.
‘We did think about alternative options and maybe trying a different route by giving a younger player some development options.
‘But having spoke to Heino, he was very much up for it and very honoured to be asked.
‘He got to know the guys very well last year and certainly wanted to develop his leadership role in terms of getting more involved with the batting group and taking that on as a leadership aspect.
England international Joe Denly will make his IPL debut for KKR (Picture: Getty)‘He’s the obvious choice in many ways in terms of his experience, international quality and the way the boys respect him hugely. He’s a great example.
‘We could have gone for a bit more of a left-field route and really thrown someone the gauntlet but I think we’re in safe hands with Heino.’
Kuhn made 11 appearances for South Africa before being signing for Kent ahead of the 2018 season. He finished the campaign with 780 County Championship runs.
The 34-year-old was also the leading run-scorer in last season’s Royal London One-Day Cup, hitting four centuries in 11 innings as the Spitfires reached the final, where they were beaten by Hampshire.