Matt Coles: Kent all-rounder 'has England quality' says Rob Key

Matt Coles
Coles took 18 wickets for Hampshire in the T20 Blast last year and a further nine in the One-Day Cup

Kent all-rounder Matt Coles has all the qualities to play for England, according to county captain Rob Key.

The 24-year-old, who has represented the England Lions, has rejoined Kent following a season with Hampshire.

"Matt is one of the most talented all-rounders in the country at the moment," Key told BBC Radio Kent.

"He has been given everything you could ask for to be an international. It is just down to him to decide whether he wants to push hard to get there."

Matt Coles in 2014 for Hampshire
Coles took 41 wickets at an average of 28.41 in 15 County Championship matches as Hants won promotion from Division Two
He added 18 wickets in the T20 Blast, with an economy rate of 8.22 runs an over
Scored 251 Championship runs at 13.94 and 175 T20 runs at 19.44
Took nine wickets in the One-Day Cup, but only scored 30 runs in seven innings

Coles, who came through Kent's academy, has taken 195 wickets at an average of 29.48 in 70 first-class appearances and averages 19.58 with the bat.

Key believes that Coles will have the chance to stake his claim for a place in the England set-up following the national side's disappointing World Cup campaign.

"There are not many people who can bowl at 85 miles and hour plus and hit the ball out of the park. Plus he is a good fielder," the 35-year-old said.

"If I was him, I'd be watching England and the way they go about some of their one-day cricket and I'd be thinking I could make a massive difference to that set-up.

"It is time for him to mature and become the cricketer he can potentially be."

Coles received his first England Lions call-up in 2012, but was sent home from the tour of Australia in 2013 for disciplinary reasons.

Matt Coles
Coles played for England Lions against West Indians in May 2012, producing match figures of 6-118

He left Hampshire only one season into a three-year deal after failing to settle at the Ageas Bowl, but Key believes his career will benefit from a return to Canterbury - and that his previous disciplinary issues are well behind him.

"What's gone is gone really," he said.

"The last time I was captain and Matt was playing [in 2012] he got 60-odd wickets for us and was a massive part of our future.

"Things didn't go well for him the next year and ultimately, for him, I think being away from a family environment, which he has at home when he plays here, was a big thing for him.

"It is not until you leave somewhere that you realise how big an issue that is - being away from people and that support network which you have at home.

"People cope with it in different ways. I think he found it quite hard being away from Maidstone and being around the people he has grown up with.

"That's why, I think, for his career, it is a bonus for him that he can be back home."

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