Denly departs Middlesex to return to Kent

Batsman Joe Denly has left Middlesex to rejoin his former county Kent.

The 28-year-old had a year to run on his contract at Lord’s but has departed to seek more regular first-team cricket.

He played in nine of Middlesex’s 16 County Championship matches in 2014, scoring three half centuries, but only averaged 23.

Middlesex director of cricket Angus Fraser said the emergence of young middle-order talent was likely to restrict Denly’s appearances in 2015 and a move back to hometown Canterbury would be good for the former England one-day batsman’s career.

Fraser said: “In the three seasons Joe has spent with Middlesex we have witnessed glimpses of what he is capable of producing, but, frustratingly, these displays have not come around as often as everyone wanted.

“Joe’s lack of consistency gave younger cricketers like Nick Gubbins and Ryan Higgins the chance to impress, which they did, thus reducing Joe’s first XI opportunities.

“With Joe not getting regular first-team exposure, Kent made contact with us to ask whether we would consider allowing them to speak to him about returning to Canterbury.

“We discussed the matter with Joe and, having thought long and hard about the approach, realised that the move, and the greater opportunities and security it would offer Joe, was the right way forward.”

Denly, who played nine one-day and five T20 internationals for England, joined Middlesex from Kent ahead of the 2012 season.

In three years at Lord’s, he made more than 3,000 runs at just under 30, including two first-class hundreds.

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