George Kennedy: Kent chairman to stand down at end of March

Joe Denly in batting action for Kent v Essex
Kent finished 23 points behind champions Essex in Division Two in 2016

Kent chairman George Kennedy is to leave his position at the Championship Division Two club at the end of March.

The businessman has been at the helm at the St Lawrence Ground since 2008.

Last year he clashed with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) when his side were overlooked for promotion after Durham's enforced relegation.

Kent were Division Two runners-up, in most seasons normally a promotion spot, but the ECB decided instead to reprieve Hampshire from being relegated.

Kennedy said: "I've really enjoyed the challenge of helping the club navigate through some tricky times but I firmly believe Kent cricket is in much better health than it was in 2008.

"Last season gave us a glimpse of what could be achieved and I know that the club is in good hands.

"I'd like to thank all the members and supporters for their loyalty, patience and understanding and look forward to seeing Kent thrive in all competitions under (head coach) Matt Walker and (captain) Sam Northeast."

He added: "Relations with the ECB have been difficult with the advent of T20 discussions, and the battle over promotion and relegation along with various other issues, but I am happy to hand over to a new regime who will continue the work to return Kent to the top table."

Under Kennedy, Kent had voted against the ECB's proposed T20 city franchise scheme.

His reign saw the club record a £1m improvement in its finances through cost-cutting, and increased sponsorship and ticket revenues.

He will leave the club following its AGM on 28 March.

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