Kennedy: ECB’s decision in favour of Hampshire is not fair on Kent

Hampshire have been given a relegation reprieve but Kent feel it is an unfair decision. Picture: Neil Marshall
Hampshire have been given a relegation reprieve but Kent feel it is an unfair decision. Picture: Neil Marshall
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KENT chairman George Kennedy claims the England and Wales Cricket Board has dealt his county ‘an unfair hand’ by allowing Hampshire to remain in division one of the County Championship.

The ECB agreed a bail-out for financially-stricken Durham, on a series of conditions including relegation from division one of the County Championship.

In a statement on Monday, the ECB also announced Hampshire will instead remain in the top flight despite finishing below Durham in the second relegation position.

The governing body explained Hampshire’s retention of division one status is ‘in accordance with ECB’s competition regulations’.

But Kennedy is planning to take up an invitation to meet ECB chairman Colin Graves over the next week, to state Kent’s case as this summer’s division two runners-up.

‘I would have expected them to at least have had a look at number two in the second division,’ he told Sky Sports News.

‘But we heard nothing at all.’

Kennedy learned of the arrangements only when he was contacted by the media for his response.

‘The ECB at that stage hadn’t told me,’ he said.

‘They had, unfortunately, told Hampshire they were staying up a day or so earlier – so it was rather embarrassing all round.’

Since then, however, he has been in contact with the ECB.

‘They called me and said “Look, it’s time we had a meeting” - because I had said I’d rather lost confidence in the ECB, and you can understand why.

‘They want to try to repair that damage. We finished second; there seems to be a vacancy, and to arbitrarily take one club and let them stay up without even looking at the others just seems plumb wrong.’