CRICKET: Hants could face relegation reprieve

Will Smith batting for Hampshire this season
Will Smith batting for Hampshire this season
Ryan Woodford has making 200 appearances for the Hawks. Picture: Keith Woodland

Woodford challenged to make 400 Hawks appearances

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Hampshire’s cricketers could face an unlikely reprieve following their relegation to the County Championship’s second division.

A report in today’s The Times claims that rivals Durham could be penalised as the club owes about £5-6 million in debts.

It said the club faces a points deduction, which could lead to relegation, after financial support from the ECB ended last week.

Durham finished the season in fourth position in Division 1, 45 points clear of Hampshire who finished second-last, and another 31 points ahead of bottom placed Nottinghamshire.

Speaking to BBC Radio Solent this morning, Hampshire CC chairman Rod Bransgrove said: ‘The first thing I should say is that we deeply regret the circumstances that Durham Cricket finds itself in.’

But when asked about the possibility of Hampshire being returned to the top flight, he added: ‘Who wouldn’t want another chance to stay in the first division?’