sport

Key quits as Kent captain

Rob Key has stood down as captain of Kent after seven seasons at the helm, with off-spinner James Tredwell replacing him.

Key - who had hinted at the end of the season he may hand over the armband - led his county to one Twenty20 Cup crown in 2007, as well as one other T20 final and the Friends Provident Trophy final.

He took over as captain from David Fulton at the end of the 2005 season and Kent are yet to decide who will take his place.

Earlier that year Key, a regular pundit for Sky Sports, had made what has proved to be the last of his 15 Test appearances for England.

Key also played in five one-day internationals between 2003 and 2004 and made the last of his England appearances in a one-off Twenty20 clash in 2009.

The 33-year-old has played for Kent since playing at age-group level aged 11. He made his first-class debut in 1998 aged 18 and has since played in 253 matches for Kent.

Kent confirmed on their official Twitter feed that Tredwell will replace Key as captain for the 2013 season.

The 30-year-old made his first-class debut with Kent in 2001 and has played one Test and nine one-day internationals for England, the most recent of which came against South Africa in September.

Ashford-born Tredwell, who has taken nearly 550 wickets for his home county in all formats and has also captained England Lions, said of his appointment: "Firstly, with the rich tradition of the club and all the great players and captains before, what a great honour it is to be asked to fulfil this position. Having come through the Kent system, it is with great pride I take on this challenge.

"Secondly. I would like to pass on my best wishes to Rob, being under his leadership on a personal note has taken my game forward and been a pleasure to play for.

"To fill his shoes will be a tough job as he performed the role admirably for a number of years, and tactically was in my opinion second to none. I see this opportunity as the next step in my career, and am really excited with the chance to tackle this challenge."

Kent chairman of cricket Graham Johnson said at a press conference this morning: "This is a time to acknowledge two players who have come through the Kent system to play at the highest level. In Rob Key, we have to pay tribute to the longest serving Kent captain in the professional era, his contribution has been immense."

He added: "James Tredwell takes over in leading our team at an exciting time in the club's history and has all the right attributes and experience to build on the efforts so far and to take us to the next level. Both typify all that is best about Kent Cricket."