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Page last updated at 16:24 GMT, Wednesday, 26 May 2010 17:24 UK

Kent bow excites spinner Malinga Bandara

Malinga Bandara
Bandara has taken over 50 international wickets for Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka leg-spinner Malinga Bandara says he is relishing the prospect of playing for Kent.

The 30-year-old is due for his debut in the county's opening Twenty20 match of the season on 3 June.

Bandara told BBC Radio Kent: "I've known about Kent for a long time - that they're a great team to play for.

"Kent coach Paul Farbrace was Sri Lanka assistant for three years. He knows my talents. When I asked him to help me find an English team, he signed me."

Bandara takes over as Kent's overseas player at the beginning of June, replacing South African fast-bowler Makhaya Ntini.

Bandara says he is looking forward to teaming up with Spitfires spinner James Tredwell.

"It's difficult to find good spinners in England, but James is a very good bowler who's taken a lot of wickets in the last two seasons and made it into the national team," he said.

I've played a lot of limited-overs cricket for Sri Lanka, but I love playing test matches and four-day games, that's what I think of as 'proper cricket'

Malinga Bandara

"I think we can join up in the middle and put on a good show for the Kent fans."

Bandara has played eight Test matches and 31 one-day internationals as well as four Twenty20 games for the national side.

"I've played a lot of limited-overs cricket for Sri Lanka, but I love playing test matches and four-day games, that's what I think of as 'proper cricket'," said Bandara.

Bandara's Test match ambitions have been frustrated by countryman Muttiah Muralitharan, the record-breaking off-spinner who has taken more Test match wickets than anyone in history.

He said: "This is Murali's era, and other Sri Lankan spinners have had limited chances to prove ourselves when he's been injured or rested. I think he's retiring soon, and that will be our opportunity to show our ability and talent."

The spinner has already played county and club cricket in England, and says he is looking forward to a long, hot summer to help his bowling.

"Five years ago I played for Gloucestershire, but I was in the Sri Lankan team too much after that to play county cricket. This summer though is the perfect opportunity for me to play for Kent," he added.

"In the second half of the season with Gloucester when the wickets dried out, I got a lot of turn and bounce. I'm hoping it'll be dry for the next two or three weeks and for the rest of the summer."

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