One-day kings set sights on Championship

Hampshire celebrate winning 2012 Team of the Year at The News Sports Awards
Hampshire celebrate winning 2012 Team of the Year at The News Sports Awards
Suzie Bates

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James Tomlinson believes Hampshire should not let their quest for Championship success detract from their marvellous achievements in limited overs cricket.

The long-serving bowler is regarded as a four-day specialist rather than a limited overs player by the county, who were crowned team of the year for 2012 at The News Sports Awards.

But the loyal club servant enjoyed Hampshire’s success just as much as any other fan.

He shared in the glory after his exhaustive efforts in the Championship allowed the Royals’ limited overs bowlers to stay fresh to land their unprecedented double.

While the modest Tomlinson played down his own contribution, he believes there is nothing wrong with the club’s focus if it means winning trophies with such regularity.

He said: ‘It’s been an amazing year for the club to win those two trophies.

‘Of course, I am looking for us to do better in the Championship this year.

‘I’d love to play more one-day cricket but, at the moment, I’m seen as more of a four-day bowler.

‘It’s an area we will be looking to improve next season but we have to be careful not to prioritise that too much to the detriment of the one-day game.

‘We want to go up this year but if we’re such a good one-day side, I don’t think we should stop doing that to switch the attention.

‘We will be trying to win more one-day trophies but it will be the cherry on the cake if we can get promoted this season and show we’re a good side in all forms of the game.’

It’s been a remarkable run of silverware for the club with success in the the now defunct 50-over Friends Provident Trophy at Lord’s in 2009, t20 glory in both 2010 and 2012 and the Clydesdale Bank 40 victory last summer.

Tomlinson said: ‘You can’t deny that is an amazing era for the club.

‘It’s worth pushing the point that we have won one-day trophies in 2009, 2010 and two in 2012.

‘That is a cracking effort.

‘We’ve got young players who are no older than 23 or 24 who have won three or four trophies in their careers already.’

Tomlinson was also quick to praise the other winners on the night and a list of worthy nominees who didn’t carry off a trophy but were still deserving of respect.

He said: ‘We were delighted to win another award. It was a very enjoyable evening to be involved in – with so many other people who have excelled in their sports.

‘We’ve been very lucky to do so well in a year when there were so many other fantastic achievements.

‘It’s fantastic to see so many other talented sportsmen and women honoured for their efforts.

‘And when you see some of the achievements of some of the other winners and nominees, you can see the passion for all sports in our region.’

Runners-up in the category were Portsmouth School of Gymnastics, who won the British TeamGym Championships and also went on to represent the city and the country in a European event in Denmark.