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Key confident of mixing with champions


Robert Key believes Kent "can beat anyone" in the Champions League if they live up to their potential as they look to bounce back from their Twenty20 Cup heartbreak.

The Spitfires narrowly failed to become the first side to retain the title when they were edged out by three runs by Middlesex in Saturday's thrilling encounter at the Rose Bowl.

Their progress to the final though has put them in line for qualification into the Champions League pencilled in for later this year with a 2.5million jackpot on offer to the winners in the eight-team tournament.

Kent may yet run into problems over the fact they have players who featured in the rebel Indian Cricket League on their books, but should they take part Key has faith in his side to put in a strong showing.

The former England batsman said: "(The Champions League) will be a good experience it if goes ahead.

"We are a half-decent side. We would do all right. Of course, it will be different conditions. I have no idea really what the standard will be like, who is going to be playing.

"I am sure there are going to be a lot of good teams in it. But, if we play well, we've got a chance to beat anyone.

"But, like I've said before, I'll wait until I get some plane tickets to go out there and then see if all the money that is talked about materialises when someone wins it."

Key is delighted at the way his players stood up and were counted at the Rose Bowl especially given the high stakes on offer for all four teams.

He said: "One thing we didn't do was hide. It is in big games like those that you find out about the character of players and everyone stood up. It was good.

"We played pretty well. The semi-final against Essex was almost as big as the final in terms of qualifying to enter other competitions (Stanford Super Series and Champions League) and the money people are going on about.

"With everything that was at stake, it was credit to all the sides the way they performed and behaved and the skill level throughout the day was high.

"Twenty20 is getting bigger and bigger and Saturday would have done no harm for Twenty20. That must have been brilliant to watch. That final was a great advert."

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