Hampshire new-boy relishing ‘key’ tour

Adam Wheater is preparing to join Hampshire on their Barbados tour

Adam Wheater is preparing to join Hampshire on their Barbados tour

Hambledon's George Harding batting against St Cross. Picture Ian Hargreaves (170744-1)

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Adam Wheater prepared to jet off on tour with Hampshire and declared: The next few weeks are key.

The former England under-19 wicketkeeper arrived at the Ageas Bowl last week after completing his move from Essex.

He will be fighting for a place behind the stumps with Michael Bates, who was a key figure in the Royals’ run to a brilliant one-day double last term.

But while he has admitted Bates is the superior gloveman, Wheater offers an extra dimension with the bat.

Hampshire manager Giles White will therefore have a big decision to make when the curtain comes up on the domestic season.

In the meantime, Wheater is determined to showcase his talents on Hampshire’s pre-season tour to Barbados.

The trip will include friendlies against Warwickshire (March 13-14) and Barbados (March 20-21), as well as a twenty20 competition (March 16-17).

Wheater said: ‘We have an early start tomorrow but the journey will be worthwhile when we are sitting on the beach!

‘I think the next few weeks are key. Pre-season is key for anyone’s season – whether you are at a new club or not.

‘There is competition for places and every spot is there for the taking.

‘But hopefully it will go well for me over the next few weeks.’

Wheater had to play second fiddle to Essex club captain – and former England keeper – James Foster at Chelmsford.

‘It will be a bit different here with Batesy, who is younger and a lot less experienced.

‘I could probably have moved to 15 other counties and had more chance of playing as a keeper than I did at Essex.’

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