A Royals reunion as Briggs faces Maxwell in league action

Hampshire bowler Danny Briggs

Hampshire bowler Danny Briggs

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Danny Briggs will return to his Ventnor roots this weekend – to face his Hampshire team-mate Glenn Maxwell in the Southern Electric Premier League.

The slow left-armer, who made his England one-day international debut over the winter, has been overlooked for the county’s latest Championship clash with Yorkshire.

Briggs has been a key part of the Friends Life t20 side in recent weeks.

But he has barely had a look-in in the four-day game, with so many pitches failing to offer any kind of assistance to spin bowling following so much wet weather.

But having been left out of the team, Briggs got on the phone to his old club to make himself available for the game against league leaders South Wilts, who include Maxwell – another of Hampshire’s key t20 men.

While the Australian all-rounder impressed for the Royals during the group phase of this year’s t20 competition, he is back to club cricket while he waits for the quarter-final trip to Nottinghamshire.

But delighted Ventnor skipper Ian Hilsum believes Briggs’ return is a welcome boost for the Islanders, who will be bidding to climb off the bottom of the premier division table.

Hilsum said: ‘Briggsy knows there is a spot there for him whenever he wants it.

‘He let me know he could play this week and it’s a great bonus to have him.

‘He’s always keen to come back and play for us when he can.

‘He’s very much still one of the lads, he played in our golf day at the start of the year and he would have played more games if the weather had been better.

‘We know we need a strong side against South Wilts because they are storming the league and I think they will end up winning it.

‘They’ve got Glenn Maxwell and he and Briggsy are team-mates so will know each other pretty well.

‘It will be interesting to see how they go against each other and who comes out on top.’

Briggs is set to become the second England international in successive years to feature in the Southern Electric Premier League after Michael Carberry turned out for Havant last season.

Ventnor currently find themselves immersed in another relegation struggle this term after last season’s promotion from division two.

But Hilsum remains upbeat on his side’s chances of avoiding an instant return to the second tier.

He said: ‘We know we’re only one or maybe two wins away from being in mid-table again.

‘There are a lot of teams in the league who have only won two games this year with so many games called off.

‘The only reason we’re bottom is that we’ve played an extra game and lost it.

‘But we’ve still got to play the teams that are down there with us, so it’s still all to play for. We just have to hang in there.’

VENTNOR: Jake George, Ollie Mills, Danny Briggs, Adam Hose, Ian Hilsum, Neil Westhorpe, Chris Ridley, Jamie Miller, Mark Holmes, Elliott Wilson, Charlie Freeston

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