Big-hitting Maxwell adds new dimension to t20 bid

Hampshire's new signing, Glenn Maxwell
Hampshire's new signing, Glenn Maxwell
George Bailey is bowled for a duck against Essex. Picture: Neil Marshall

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Destructive Australian batsman Glenn Maxwell signed up to Hampshire’s Friends Life t20 campaign and insisted: I’m here to give the management a nice problem.

The 23-year-old arrived at the club last month and has turned out for the seconds while playing club cricket for South Wilts in the Southern Electric Premier League.

But with one of the two permitted overseas players, Shahid Afridi, expected to arrive two games into the t20 campaign – which starts on June 14 – Maxwell is ready to fill the void.

He then hopes to pile on the pressure, with fellow Aussie Simon Katich also battling for selection.

Maxwell said: ‘I know it will be tough for me to try to keep either of those guys out of the side.

‘But I love putting pressure on selectors with good performances. I enjoy being the dilemma on whether they risk playing me.

‘If I can do that in the first couple of games and give them a real headache, that will be great for me.’

T20 specialist Maxwell turned out for the Delhi Daredevils in this season’s Indian Premier League and also enjoyed a stint with the Melbourne Renegades in last season’s Australian Big Bash competition.

He also holds the record for the fastest half-century in Australia’s domestic one-day history after reaching 50 from just 19 balls as Victoria beat Tasmania last year in an interstate clash, eventually going on to hit 61 from 27 balls.

He said: ‘The last thing I want to do is to be a one-hit wonder, so I’m looking to create my own history and do it a few more times, maybe with some even bigger scores.’

Manager Giles White insists that Maxwell’s recruitment does not put Afridi’s arrival into doubt.

White said: ‘It just gives us options. We’re not sure exactly when Shahid will arrive and it might be that he misses the first two games because of the Sri Lankan series.

‘We know a bit about Glenn and he would play a similar sort of role to Shahid.

‘He gives the ball a good hit and bowls and fields well. He’s an exciting young player.

‘We will see how things evolve. Simon (Katich) is in good form and it might well be that they play together while Afridi is away and we will work it from there.’