Dale Benkenstein gives Hampshire just 20-per-cent survival chance

Dale Benkenstein. Picture: Sarah Standing
Dale Benkenstein. Picture: Sarah Standing
Shahid Afridi. Picture: Neil Marshall

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Dale Benkenstein believes Hampshire have just a 20-per-cent survival chance ahead of their final Championship division one fixture.

Hampshire travel to Nottinghamshire tomorrow knowing that they need to win and for other results to go their way to have any chance of staying up.

Even a win at Trent Bridge might not be enough as the Ageas Bowl outfit attempt to overhaul a 16-point deficit.

Somerset need seven points in total when they host Warwickshire, while Sussex need nine points to secure their safety when they go to champions Yorkshire.

It looks bleak for Hampshire and the first-team coach admits that the odds are stacked against his side.

He said: ‘I think it’s going to be a tough ask to stay up but it’s still a possibility.

‘The one thing that is in our hands is to go out there and play well.

‘But we have to rely on other people and that is never a great position to be in.

‘If we do get relegated, it will not be down to this game. It will be down to how we played in May, June and July.

‘I would say we have a 20-per-cent chance at the most.

‘We are up against it, for sure.’

In fairness, Hampshire have done well to take it to the final round of fixtures after a dismal start to the campaign left them rooted to the foot of the table.

But Benkenstein has warned that there will be an impact on the club’s recruitment plans if they are relegated back into division two.

He said: ‘We’ve actually played some very good cricket in the past six weeks.

‘The writing was more on the wall for us two months ago.

‘But we were going for the win against Yorkshire and lost the game. We would never have lost that game in normal circumstances.

‘The most frustrating thing is that we played our worst cricket against the worst teams.

‘We lost at Worcester and for me it was the worst four days of cricket of my career.

‘We started a bit late for my liking but we have played some excellent cricket lately.

‘This game will have a bearing on a few decisions, definitely. It’s a result-driven business.

‘It probably has a bearing on who we sign for next year and what sort of budget we end up having.

‘We will see the effect of everything once the season is finished.’

Benkenstein also warned any players not to make hasty decisions over their own futures.

He said: There is one rule in cricket: Never make a decision in September.

‘It’s better to make big decisions a month after the end of the season.

‘It’s better to have a bit of balance on how you are feeling

‘But nobody has told me they are retiring.’