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England cricketers prepare for New Zealand tour by training with Palace

England cricketers Joe Denly and Sam Billings joined in a full training session with Crystal Palace FC last week, as the batsmen prepare to travel to New Zealand with the national side for a Twenty20 Series and two Test matches. Roy Hodgson and Joel Ward also visited Kent Cricket's Academy facility after training, with Ward taking on a bowling machine under the watchful eye of the manager and cricketers.

Both Denly and Billings play for Kent Cricket whose Beckenham base - The County Ground - borders the Palace training ground. Denly, who was an integral part of England’s drawn Ashes Series last summer, and Billings, who is Kent captain and an explosive top-order batsman, both have football pedigree with Billings once offered trials at Spurs’ Academy and Denly playing age-group football for Charlton Athletic as a winger.