Lumb quits but Hampshire will move on

Michael Lumb hits out for Hampshire in t20 action
Michael Lumb hits out for Hampshire in t20 action
Jonny Bairstow, right, thanks skipper Eoin Morgan. Picture: Neil Marshall

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Rod Bransgrove has dismissed talk of a Hampshire winter exodus after Michael Lumb confirmed his decision to quit the Rose Bowl.

The left-hander, whose season has already been ended by an ankle injury, has played his last game for Hampshire.

He has agreed a move to Nottinghamshire, despite being offered a new deal to stay.

With the club heading for relegation from division one of the Championship there are rumours that there could be a major overhaul of the current squad at the end of the season.

Skipper Dominic Cork has just turned 40 and Nic Pothas’ future could be in doubt with the club confirming discussions with Essex wicketkeeper James Foster.

Also, South African pair Johann Myburgh and Friedel de Wet have hardly featured for the first team this season after signing last winter.

Australian batsman Simon Katich has been earmarked as a possible new overseas recruit with Imran Tahir not expected to return next year.

And there are question marks over Simon Jones and James Tomlinson, who have barely played this year.

That leaves manager Giles White with plenty of thinking to do as he starts to plan his team for the 2012 season.

Rose Bowl chairman Bransgrove said: ‘I know that Giles is deeply engrossed in looking at all of the options for next summer.

‘I won’t comment on any other plans at the moment.

‘But this is the time of the year when you start looking at all of the other options for next year.

‘I wouldn’t necessarily read anything into it that Michael has decided to leave. It’s one individual player.

‘He’s been a key part of things over the past few years and I think it’s quite sad in a way.

‘It’s his decision. I’m not really the right person to ask over what his reason was.

‘Our view is that we’re sorry we’re losing him.

‘Personally, I felt very close to Michael and his wife and I’m disappointed to see them go.

‘He goes with my very best wishes but these things happen in sport. You just have to move on.’

Bransgrove hinted that the club’s impressive youngsters will get more of an opportunity next season – especially if the club are relegated to division two, as looks likely.

But in the wake of confirmed reports over an approach for Foster, he refused to comment on the pursuit of the club’s possible targets for next year.

He said: ‘We’ve got some good quality youngsters who can step up and do the job.

‘We’ve got six or seven young players and they are all going to start wanting to play some regular cricket or they will want to go somewhere else. All these things have to be considered.

‘But any discussions we have with any player at any time are confidential.

‘I respect the privacy of players and I’m surprised that other clubs don’t, to be honest.’

He added: ‘In the event that we are relegated, I wouldn’t regard it as an absolute train smash.

‘I’d hope that our members and supporters would continue to support us if we were to go down.

‘In some respects, if we are playing more of the younger players – if that is the option we pursue – it may give them a good opportunity for a year or so to regroup.

‘But I’m still hopeful that we can put enough points together to get ahead of Worcester and Yorkshire.’

Hampshire’s latest Championship clash saw just 30 overs of play at rain-hit Durham.

The visitors struggled to 77 for three after being reduced to nine for two inside seven overs.

But Neil McKenzie (46 not out) steadied the ship with another spirited display.