Briggs focused on Hampshire form

Danny Briggs. Picture: Dave Vokes/LMI Photography

Danny Briggs. Picture: Dave Vokes/LMI Photography

Ian Holland. Picture: Neil Marshall

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Danny Briggs insists he doesn’t need to be told what to do to get himself back into the England reckoning.

The Hampshire slow left-armer was in the England t20 squad for the ill-fated series in Australia over the winter but was then deemed surplus to requirements for the subsequent trip to West Indies and World T20.

With a single one-day international appearance to his name and seven t20 internationals, Briggs is clearly on the radar.

Having been overlooked for the series against Sri Lanka, the 23-year-old could yet force his way back into the fold for the clashes against India in August and September.

But for now he remains focused on his job for Hampshire – continuing with tonight’s Natwest T20 Blast showdown with Essex at the Ageas Bowl (7pm) – rather than allowing himself to get carried away with international ambitions.

Briggs said: ‘Nobody from England has been in touch with me since the winter.

‘But I think it’s fairly clear that it’s about performing well for Hampshire and then seeing what happens from there.

‘That’s the message for me and it’s what I want to be doing.

‘I don’t need to be told that. I’m not getting stressed about what’s going on there.

‘I am just making sure I am playing and performing well for the county.

‘If anything else happens after that, then great.’

While the former Ventnor man has impressed in Hampshire’s t20 campaign so far, he has certainly required patience this term after being left out of the County Championship side for the first few weeks of the new season.

He made his return to the four-day team in the most recent win at Leicestershire with Liam Dawson ruled out with a groin injury.

But it says much for Briggs’ character that he has no qualms about playing second-team cricket, just a matter of months after representing his country.

He said: ‘With the weather and the balance of the side, I have had to bide my time and wait for the opportunity to come.

‘The key thing was to make sure that I took the opportunity when it came along as best as I could. That meant playing for the seconds, bowling well and getting a rhythm and I think that helped me at the start of the year.

‘It can be difficult at times. Obviously, I want to play four-day cricket and I want to play in all forms of the game for Hampshire.

‘But I have to look at the big picture and sometimes it’s better for the side if I’m not playing, especially in the early season when the pitches are not conducive to spin.

‘With Daws being injured, it has given me an opportunity in four-day cricket and t20. So it’s a big chance for me.’

Briggs will be a key man in the latest Natwest T20 Blast clash against old foes Essex after Hampshire recovered from defeat in their first game to record successive wins over Sussex and Middlesex.

He said: ‘Essex are a talented side and we always seem to have good, competitive games against them.

‘The first game against Glamorgan didn’t go to plan but we did enough good things in that game to know we weren’t far away.

‘But over the past two games, we have got back to the form we had last year and we will be looking to carry that on.’

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