Matt Coles joins Essex from Kent on a two-year deal

Matt Coles has joined County Championship winners Essex on a two-year contract ahead of the 2018 season.

The 27-year-old all-rounder began his career with Kent and enjoyed a six-year spell at St Lawrence Ground before moving to Hampshire in 2014.

Coles spent just one year at the Ageas Bowl before returning to Kent, where he made 212 appearances for Kent in all formats, taking 439 wickets.

Coles confirmed his departure from Kent in a statement on Thursday night.

“It’s with a heavy heart that I leave Kent. It’s been my home and family for most of my life,” Coles said.

“It’s time for a fresh challenge and I’d like to thank everyone at Kent and wish everyone the very best moving forward in 2018 and beyond.”

Kent head coach Matt Walker added: “I’ve known Matt since he came into our age-group system.

“He’s a talented cricketer and we wish him well. We are already identifying players to reinforce the squad and add to the talent in the group.”