Xavier Bartlett confirmed for Vitality Blast stint with Kent

Xavier Bartlett struck in his first over in international cricket Cricket Australia/Getty Images

Xavier Bartlett will join Kent for the Vitality Blast weeks after Cricket Australia blocked the fast bowler from playing for them in the County Championship.

Bartlett was originally signed for Kent's first five Championship games, but CA denied him a No Objection Certificate on the eve of the season, a week after handing the 25-year-old a central contract. It was the first national deal Bartlett had earned after a breakthrough Australian summer in which he made his ODI and T20I debut and led the Big Bash League wickets list with 20 for Brisbane Heat.

Kent acted swiftly to replace him, signing South African bowling allrounder Beyers Swanepoel on an all-format deal which runs from May 1 until the end of the season. They had remained hopeful Bartlett would be able to uphold the white-ball element of the initial deal which amounted to at least eight Blast games. That has now been confirmed.

CA are understandably cautious with Bartlett's workload, particularly when it comes to first-class cricket. He played just three Sheffield Shield matches for Queensland after returning from a back stress fracture sustained during the last English summer while playing club cricket. He is likely also to land a deal in Major League Cricket, which is set to begin on July 4. Though unlikely to make the final 15 of Australia's T20 World Cup squad, he is firmly in the frame for their limited-overs tour of England in September.

Bartlett will join Swanepoel and fellow Australian seamer Wes Agar as three overseas options for Kent's Blast campaign, which begins on May 31 against Middlesex at Chelmsford. Only two of them are permitted in any given playing XI.

In a statement released by Kent on Tuesday, director of cricket Simon Cook said: "We've been working extremely hard with Cricket Australia to ensure that Xavier can join us in some capacity this season, and we're really pleased to have secured his services for eight matches of our T20 campaign."He is hot property at the moment and fully deserves his new central contract with Australia. I know that Spitfires supporters around the world will be extremely excited that the BBL's top wicket-taker this Winter will be pulling on a Kent shirt this June."