Duo set to leave Hampshire

Michael Bates. Picture: Neil Marshall

Michael Bates. Picture: Neil Marshall

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It has been revealed that neither Michael Bates nor David Balcombe will be in the Hampshire squad for next season’s return to County Championship division one.

Seam bowler Balcombe has been hampered by a knee injury for much of this season.

Meanwhile, talented wicketkeeper Bates has seen his opportunities limited by Adam Wheater’s form.

First-team coach Dale Benkenstein has admitted it was a hard call as he attempts to get the balance of his squad right for next term.

He said: ‘It’s a tough call but you have to make them to move forward.

‘If Batesy isn’t going to play in the first team, he needs to go somewhere where he will play.

‘Balcs has struggled a bit and we had to make a call on whether to back him or use that money somewhere else.

‘If he is at his best, he is a very good bowler but the problem is we haven’t seen it enough.

‘Our seam bowlers and physio have to take a lot of credit because our seam bowling has been pretty thin but everyone has managed to stay fit and pulled their weight.

‘That is an area for next year where we need to be stronger in depth. We will get an overseas bowler and there may be room for another one.

‘To get the right balance, it was a luxury to have four keepers.

‘You can take that money and get another bowler because I don’t need four keepers. It just makes sense.

‘Some people will think we may be wrong to go with Wheats but we still have Tom Alsop and Lewis McManus who can keep as well.’

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