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    Withdrawal of Xavier Bartlett's NOC to play for Kent in the County Championship
Withdrawal of Xavier Bartlett's NOC to play for Kent in the County Championship
Xavier Bartlett made his international debut in February. Source: Getty Images

Withdrawal of Xavier Bartlett's NOC to play for Kent in the County Championship

Cricket Australia has denied Xavier Bartlett a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) to play in the County Championship for Kent, despite offering him his first national contract.

Bartlett had a breakout season during the 2023-24 Australian summer, making his ODI and T20I debuts against West Indies in February. He took 20 wickets, the most in the competition, during Brisbane Heat's Big Bash League season. His impressive performances earned him a central contract, announced by CA last week.

He was due to play around five Championship games for Kent at the start of the season. However, CA has refused to allow him to manage his workload. Nathan Lyon's time with Lancashire was recently cut back significantly for the same reason, although CA have denied that they were behind Aaron Hardie's decision to leave Surrey.

Bartlett's original agreement covered a minimum of eight T20 Blast fixtures. Kent is currently awaiting confirmation regarding his availability for the competition.

In Bartlett's absence, Kent has signed Beyers Swanepoel, a South African all-rounder, on a contract that covers all formats and runs from May 1 until the end of the 2024 season. Swanepoel, 25, will be playing county cricket for the first time after being part of the Sunrisers Eastern Cape side that won the SA20 earlier this year.

Kent will begin the season with only one overseas player available, Wes Agar. They will face Somerset at Canterbury in the first round of fixtures on Friday.

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