New Hampshire skipper Dominic Cork has told Dimi Mascarenhas: Hurry back.
The 39-year-old has been confirmed as the new Royals captain for the 2011 season, replacing Mascarenhas who is continuing his recovery from a long-term Achilles injury.
Mascarenhas is making good progress but he will not be fit when the new season starts against Durham on April 8 at the Rose Bowl.
Nic Pothas deputised for Mascarenhas last term before he handed over the t20 duties to Cork. The wicketkeeper was then struck down by a knee injury himself.
So it makes sense Cork has been handed the responsibility this season on all fronts in a bid for continuity and also for the fact the former England star remains as fiercely ambitious as ever.
Cork said: ‘We had to be fair to Dimi because he has had a long-term injury and they wanted to see how he was.
‘They discussed the captaincy with me and I was obviously very proud and honoured to be given it. I’m looking forward to the challenge.
‘I’m not really looking to change anything too drastically – it will just be the same.
‘It’s about sticking together when it gets tough and it’s about proving people wrong again like we did last season.’
Mascarenhas succeeded Shane Warne as skipper in 2008, while Cork was at the helm for last summer’s dramatic Friends Provident t20 victory at the Rose Bowl.
Cork, though, is hopeful he will be able to call upon the talented 33-year-old and believes he could yet return as skipper in the future.
He said: ‘I don’t see why Dimi would not come back as captain in the future but the most important thing for him is to be back playing.
‘He’s had a very serious injury but we want him back.
‘He is a big part of this club – he’s the fixtures and fittings.
‘He’s been very successful and when he’s around, I will be using him a lot because he’s got a lot of cricket knowledge.
‘I don’t know when he will be back but as captain, I want him back as quickly as possible. Dimi makes any team. He is a match-winner.’
While Cork is a chirpy character and has certainly added personality and experience to the Hampshire side since he arrived in 2009, he insists he will not shy away from laying down the law when he sees fit.
He said: ‘Man-management is the key to it off the pitch. On the pitch, it is win and that’s all it’s about.
‘Captaincy is not to dampen anyone’s personality or flair.
‘What you have to do is to use all of that to allow that player’s talent to go on and push the team forward.
‘I want everybody to express themselves and everybody to believe they are good players when they go out there and do well for Hampshire.
‘But I won’t butter people up. I have never been frightened of saying what I think but there are ways of saying it.
‘It all depends on the player. Some players can take a roasting and some might need an arm around the shoulder but if they need to be told, they will be told.’
Meanwhile, Cork and the Hampshire bowlers today flew out to the Caribbean for a pre-season training camp.
The rest of the squad will join them on March 13 to play a t20 tournament against Essex, Warwickshire, Derbyshire, Yorkshire and Barbados, as well as a 40-over clash against Essex and a two-day game against Derbyshire.