LV= County Championship Group Three, Glamorgan v Kent
Date: Thursday 29 April Time:11:00 BST Venue: Sophia Gardens, Cardiff
Coverage: Live commentary and reports BBC Sport Online; updates BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Kent

Australian batsman Marnus Labuschagne will make his first appearance for Glamorgan since 2019 in the Championship match against Kent in Cardiff, just two days after arriving.

Labuschagne has moved up to number three in the world Test batting rankings since his last county stint.

“It’s something you’ve got to get used to, travel and play, and it’s exciting to be back,” he said.

Labuschagne has been cleared to play under Welsh Government guidance.

As well as his Covid checks, he must only leave his flat to visit the stadium – while Derbyshire’s Australian paceman Billy Stanlake is not yet allowed to play under English quarantine regulations.

Labuschagne scored 1114 runs in 10 Championship games in his last spell at the county, currently averages 60 across 18 Test matches, and demonstrated his current form hitting 192 and 112 in his last two innings as Queensland won Australia’s domestic competition, the Sheffield Shield.

His arrival at Glamorgan’s headquarters came on a cool damp day- but was undaunted by the drop in temperatures from his most recent games.

“It’s different weather, different conditions, different balls but that’s part of the fun, that’s why you travel around the world and play in different conditions so you can improve your game,” Labuschagne told BBC Sport Wales.

“It’s exciting to challenge myself in different conditions that I haven’t played in for around 18 months now. I want to score as many runs as I possibly can, I want to take opportunities to get big scores, but my main concern is winning for the team and get ourselves up that ladder.”

He is relishing working with Glamorgan coach Matthew Maynard again, after his last spell in the UK domestic game set him up for a starring role in the 2019 Ashes series.

“He’s a coach that I really learned a lot off, and we’ve already been yapping away in the changing rooms talking tactics, so it’s exciting to be back. I’ve come over to learn more about the game and how far I can push my game and keep getting better,” Labuschagne explained.

His UK season is likely to be interrupted by an Australian tour to the West Indies, although dates are yet to be confirmed.

He is hoping that some crowds will be allowed in Cardiff before that.

“I can’t wait for crowds to be back here, I really enjoy playing in Wales with the fans and the culture here, it’s an atmosphere you miss a lot especially when it gets taken away,” he said.

Labuschagne’s Queensland team-mater Michael Neser, primarily a bowler, will be given an extra week to get over his flight before making his debut away to Lancashire.

Glamorgan recall fit-again fast bowler Timm van der Gugten, while spinner Andrew Salter and seamer Lukas Carey are included in the first team squad for the first time this season.

Nick Selman, Andrew Balbirnie, Dan Douthwaite (heel injury) and Roman Walker all drop out of the 13.

Glamorgan and Kent have both lost two out of their three Championship matches, with Glamorgan four points ahead of their visitors.

Kent, still without captain Sam Billings on IPL duty, add Nathan Gilchrist and Marcus O’Riordan to the side which lost to Lancashire.

Glamorgan (from): Lloyd, J Cooke, Labuschagne, Root, Carlson, C Cooke (capt, wk), Taylor, Salter, Harris, van der Gugten, Weighell, Carey, Hogan.

Kent (from): Bell-Drummond (capt), Cox, Crawley, Denly, Leaning, Kuhn, Robinson (wk), Stevens, Milnes, Klaasen, Cummins, Gilchrist, O’Riordan.


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