Carberry: It's hotting up as Hampshire expects

Andrew Gorvin bowling for Havant.  Picture: Neil Marshall (171025-5)

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Michael Carberry cast an eye toward Hampshire's 2011 season and declared: This is huge.

The left-handed batsman is licking his lips at the prospect of another action-packed domestic campaign after shrugging off a serious injury scare.

On the mend following the discovery of blood clots on his lungs, the 30-year-old is determined to make up for lost ground and force himself back into the England frame.

But the former Surrey and Kent opener reckons recent glories have turned up the heat on the whole of the Hampshire squad.

Carberry believes the Rose Bowl outfit are under big pressure to back up the success of the past two campaigns, which have yielded the last-ever Friends Provident Trophy and a maiden Friends Provident t20 triumph.

The latter – a sweet success on home turf in August – came against all the odds as Hampshire crushed Essex and favourites Somerset on finals day.

Carberry has been instrumental in Hampshire's one-day success, while earning an England Test debut against Bangladesh in March and moving past 5,000 first-class runs for the county.

He admits expectation levels have now risen on the south coast, although remains confident the current Hampshire squad can justify top billing.

'Next season is going to be a huge season for club,' said the opener, who has now recorded 19 centuries since signing for Hampshire in 2006.

'There will be a lot more expectation on us as a squad but we will be putting that expectation on ourselves as players, too.

'We want to be up there, winning trophies every year and that is what we will be trying to do again.

'The twenty20 win last season was an awesome achievement for the club.

'A lot of hard work has gone into our one-day game and we have got the rewards with two trophies in two years.

'We are hungry for more, though.

'The lads have already been back in the gym this winter, hitting balls and all that kind of stuff ahead of the real thing.'

First up for Hampshire, though, is the Caribbean t20 which starts in Antigua on Monday.

Carberry has been ruled out of the Calypso cricket bonanza as he awaits clearance to fly following his injury.

Meanwhile, experienced heads Dominic Cork, Dimi Mas-carenhas, Nic Pothas, Neil McKenzie, Michael, Lumb, Imran Tahir and David Balcombe are all missing.

Jimmy Adams will skipper the side.

The competition is the Rose Bowl club's reward for winning the Friends Provident t20 and compensation for missing out on the Champions League which clashed with the end of last summer's domestic campaign.

Hampshire have been drawn in group B, where they will face Canada (January 11), Barbados (January 13), Leeward Islands (January 15) and Trinidad & Tobago (January 19).

The semi-finals and final take place in Barbados on January 22 and 23 respectively.