Makhaya Ntini played five Championship games for Kent in 2010
Kent coach Paul Farbrace says that the county are unlikely to have an overseas player this season.
Building work at their Canterbury home and relegation to County Championship Division Two has seen Kent placed under greater financial constraints.
"Unless someone pulls something out of a hat we are not having an overseas," Farbrace told BBC Radio Kent.
"Obviously it's a shame for members and supporters but at the same time there's more opportunity for the young guys."
Sri Lanka spinner Malinga Bandara and Makhaya Ntini both played for Kent in 2010, with Farbrace
saying in November that the South African paceman could return this summer.
But Kent will now look to win promotion back to the top flight without the help of an import.
"It's not a disaster, but it's not ideal," said Farbrace. "You have to make the best of what you have got.
"You've only got to look at last season and see the progress Matthew Coles made. Had we had a full-strength seam attack he wouldn't have played the cricket he had or made the progress he made.
"We want our young boys to get as much experience as we can and in a few years when the club is on a better financial footing we can sign a good overseas player."