CA revokes Xavier Bartlett’s NOC for county championship with Kent

CA revokes Xavier Bartlett's NOC for county championship with Kent

Cricket Australia stopped Xavier Bartlett from playing in the Kent County Championship, denying him a No Objection Certificate (NOC) shortly after offering him his first national contract.
Bartlett had a breakthrough season in the 2023-24 Australian summer, making his ODI and T20I debuts against the West Indies in February and taking a competition-high 20 wickets in the Brisbane Heat’s Big Bash League season. His impressive performances earned him a first central contract, which CA announced last week.
He was due to play around five Championship matches for Kent in the early stages of the season but was denied permission by CA to manage his workload. Nathan Lyon’s season with Lancashire was significantly shortened recently for the same reason, although CA have denied being behind Aaron Hardie’s withdrawal from his contract with Surrey.

Bartlett’s initial deal covered at least eight T20 Blast matches and Kent are awaiting confirmation on whether he will be available for that competition.

Simon Cook, Kent’s director of cricket, said: “National boards are always going to protect their best assets, so it was no surprise when we received news from Cricket Australia that they were withdrawing their NOC. This decision has potentially not ruled.” “We have ruled him out for the Vitality Blast and continue to discuss our options with Cricket Australia.”

In Bartlett’s absence, Kent have signed South African all-rounder Beyers Swanepoel on a deal that covers all formats and runs from May 1 until the end of the 2024 season. Swanepoel, 25, was part of the Sunrisers Eastern Cape team who won the SA20 earlier this year and will play in county cricket for the first time.

“We’re really excited about the potential that Beyers has and what he can offer us this season,” Cook said. “We looked at him very carefully at the start of the year, but at that time he had not played the games required to qualify as a viable foreign signing for us. “He is a true all-rounder who provides us with additional batting depth across all formats – a gap that we have sought to fill with our foreign players this year.

Swanepoel said: “I am absolutely excited to be joining a historic county team like Kent and to be playing in all formats of the English county game. I hope to learn a lot whilst here amongst a very talented team. I spoke to “Former Kent overseas players before signing and they couldn’t recommend Kent highly enough as a place to come and improve my game in English conditions.

Kent will start the season with Wes Agar as their only available overseas player and will face Somerset in Canterbury in the first round of matches on Friday.