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Billings’ Twenty20 links help Kent seal Brathwaite deal | Cricket Bats | England

West Indies all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite has signed to play in Kent Spitfires’ opening four matches of the Vitality Blast.

The World T20 champion, who made his name hitting four successive sixes in the final over of the 2016 final against England, will join the Spitfires squad before the opening group match agaist Surrey on July 6.

Brathwaite can at least be confident of getting on the field at Kent. He has yet to figure for Surisers Hyderabad in this season’s IPL, a continuation of his inactivity when he played only twice for Delhi Daredevils in 2017.

It will be the first experience of county cricket for Brathwaite, who has played three Tests, 28 ODIs and 25 T20s for West Indies, and who said Sam Billings had been instrumental in persuading him to sign during conversation at IPL and BBL when they have been team-mates.

“I have a good relationship with Sam, having played in the same team at the IPL and BBL,” he said. “Sam chatted to me about the opportunity to join and has told me a lot about the great support and atmosphere on T20 nights.

Brathwaite has also played for both Sydney Sixers and Thunder in the Big Bash League as well as Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League.

Kent director of cricket Paul Downton said: “Carlos is a proven match winner. He is an explosive ball striker and a skilful white-ball bowler with good variations and extensive experience in the 20-over format. I’m sure he’ll make an impact in his brief spell with the Spitfires.”

Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis will succeed Brathwaite as the squad’s second overseas player ahead of a likely debut against Sussex Sharks at The Spitfire Ground on July 27.

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