New Ventnor signing Jamie Miller has been told: Don’t give up on your county cricket dreams.
The 20-year-old leg spinning all-rounder was released by Hampshire at the end of last season – despite some impressive performances for the Academy and the seconds in recent times.
While he never made a first-team debut at the Ageas Bowl, Miller was highly-regarded by the coaching staff.
However, he saw his path to the first team blocked.
And having taken a step back to the Southern Electric Premier League for Ventnor’s top-flight campaign, skipper Ian Hilsum believes his new recruit can still cut it in county cricket in the future.
Hilsum said: ‘As I know, bowling leg-spin in England is a pretty difficult art.
‘But he certainly has the ability to do it.
‘At this time, Hampshire didn’t think they had a spot for him.
‘But there’s no reason why he can’t get back into county cricket in the future.
‘I think he’s got the ability.
‘After being released by a county, it depends on the person on how they react.
‘Some youngsters will take it badly and decide to jack in playing cricket.
‘And others will realise that they love the game, still want to play and want to give it another crack.
‘Jamie is only 20 so he has time on his side.
‘He still has the hunger to do well.
‘It may well be that he gets another opportunity for Hampshire in the future.
‘But for the time being, we’re happy to have him here.’
Ventnor have already produced one Hampshire spinner in Danny Briggs and Hilsum is hopeful that Miller can be another success.
Hilsum explained: ‘He lived on the island for a few years until he decided to go back to Australia this winter.
‘But he kept in touch with Charlie Freeston and a few of the guys from the club, and told him that he had a few options but his first choice would be Ventnor.
‘He asked if he was wanted and we told him of course he was.
‘It’s worked out well.
‘He’s a good lad, he’ll fit in well and, hopefully, he will perform well.
‘He’s got a good record in the league over the past few years so it was a no-brainer from our point of view.’
VENTNOR: Ben Woodhouse, Chris Ridley, Adam Hose, Jamie Miller, Ian Hilsum, Neil Westhorpe, James Cheek, Adam Wilson, Elliott Wilson, Mark Holmes,