Alsop could continue in role for Hampshire

Tom Alsop. Picture: Neil Marshall

Tom Alsop hopes taking on the wicket-keeping role again will open up his possibilities in the Hampshire first-team.

Academy graduate Alsop gave up keeping to concentrate on batting two seasons ago before reclaiming the gloves in last week’s rain affected draw with Surrey.

The left-handed batsman has seen his place in the County Championship side blocked by the likes of international talent Rilee Rossouw, James Vince and George Bailey this season – having only played three times in the competition.

But after first-choice keeper Lewis McManus was ruled out for the season after fracturing his right index finger last month, director of cricket Giles White gave Alsop the option take over the position for the rest of the campaign.

Alsop said: ‘Lewis obviously did his finger and Chalks (Giles White) asked whether I would be up for doing it.

‘Having not played a lot this year, I saw it as an opportunity to get back in the side.

‘I jumped at the chance when he offered it up.

‘When I decided to put the keeping on the back burner for a while, we had three or four keepers at the club at the time.

‘I wasn’t getting the game time with the gloves and decided to concentrate on batting.

‘Seeing how my season went last year, you could say it was the right decision.

‘But I think it is something I can add back into my game and make myself more of an asset to the club and open up a couple more opportunities for me.’

Alsop is set to take the gloves again against Middlesex – with Hampshire’s clash at Uxbridge set to start on Tuesday.

Leg spinner Mason Crane has been made available for the county following his time as part of England’s Test squad during their victorious series against West Indies.

And Alsop is looking forward to testing his skills behind the stumps against the wily spinner.

He said: ‘Hopefully it is a case of practise and watching him bowl and getting back to taking a few off him.

‘I grew up playing in the academy and keeping with him so hopefully he hasn’t developed any new variations that I haven’t seen!

‘It will be good fun and great to have him back.’

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