Ervine heralds young guns after rain ruins clash

Sean Ervine. Picture: Robin Jones
Sean Ervine. Picture: Robin Jones
James Vince. Picture: Sarah Standing (170455-8793)

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With incessant rain pouring down on the Ageas Bowl, a draw was the only possible outcome on the final day of Hampshire’s County Championship division two clash with Leicestershire.

Just 10 overs of play were possible across the whole weekend as Hants’ third match of the season was decimated by the weather.

But in the midst of the downpour that ruled out any of Sunday’s play, all-rounder Sean Ervine pointed towards the rays of sunshine that make for a bright future on the south coast.

Already this campaign, the squad’s younger players are beginning to shine, suggesting that there is plenty of reason to be optimistic for the rest of the season.

And Ervine paid homage to the mix of youth and experience that he believes can help Giles White’s side push for promotion back to division one.

He said: ‘I think it’s brilliant. It’s a smaller squad and it’s a fairly young squad but there is a good balance between the older guys and the younger ones.

‘And there’s still a couple of older guys to come back like Dimi (Mascarenhas) and Neil McKenzie.

‘I think it’s a great formula. You can see it, everyone’s getting on with everyone and its brilliant.’

However, it was a member of the old guard who led by example in this fixture.

Michael Carberry hit an unbeaten 84 as the hosts reached 217 for four before the weather took centre stage, putting a stop to most of the action on day three and all of it on day four.

Ervine himself ended on 41 not out, and while the young guns in the batting line-up like Sean Terry, Liam Dawson and James Vince couldn’t contribute big scores, the Zimbabwean knows it won’t affect their belief.

‘They’re not short of confidence,’ he said.

‘All the youngsters coming through are the same. I sometimes have to think back to when I was that age and I can’t remember being that good.

‘They’re raring to go and they’re very loud these days, especially Chris Wood – but they’re loving it.’

Wood has impressed so far this season in the bowling department, while Dawson took five for 29 as Leicestershire were all out for 234.

All-rounder Hamza Riazuddin has also come in for praise from captain Jimmy Adams for his recent performances and Ervine can see the improvements that are being made at first hand.

As one of the senior squad members, the 29-year-old can offer words of wisdom to the developing young guns.

But he admits it’s important they express themselves rather than trying to be something they’re not.

‘Every now and then you pass on comments,’ he added.

‘And they can come up to me and ask for advice which the youngsters here do very well.

‘At the same time though, you’ve got to let them learn for themselves and not take away their flair, which is what they’re made of.

‘I can’t go and try to bat like Adam Gilchrist because I’m not. I’ve just got to bat like Sean Ervine – there’s a balance between it.’