White in dark over Lumb’s Hants future

Michael Lumb is weighing up a deal to join Nottinghamshire
Michael Lumb is weighing up a deal to join Nottinghamshire
Kyle Abbott Picture: Neil Marshall

Hampshire and rain frustrate Middlesex

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Giles White admits he is in the dark over Michael Lumb’s Hampshire future.

The England t20 batsman is out of contract at the Rose Bowl at the end of the current campaign and has spoken to rivals Nottinghamshire over a possible move to Trent Bridge.

The left-hander, who was recently ruled out for the rest of the season with an ankle ligament injury, has spent five seasons at Hampshire and some impressive performances in the shortest form of the game saw him handed his international debut where he then helped England to ICC World Twenty20 glory.

Hampshire’s Championship future looks bleak, with the team heading towards relegation from division one, and rumours have suggested Lumb has already agreed to move to Nottinghamshire at the end of the season in search of a fresh challenge.

But Hampshire manager White has confirmed the batsman has been offered a new two-year contract to stay and is now waiting for the 31-year-old to think things over.

White said: ‘I haven’t got a good feeling on whether he will stay. We will just see how it goes.

‘We’ve offered Michael a two-year contract but he is coming to the end of his existing contract and is allowed to talk to other counties.

‘Nottinghamshire put in a 28-day notice letter to speak to him, which is a regular occurrence. We do that with players as well.

‘He is open to talk to Notts and that’s where we are at the moment.

‘We will be reasonable about it. We will give Michael a bit of time to think through his options and I’m sure he will get back to us shortly.’

Hampshire have themselves been linked with moves for new recruits for next season, but their plans could change depending on which division they will be playing in.

Yorkshire bowler Steven Patterson is one name who has been touted as a possible signing but White denied an approach had been made for the 6ft 4in seamer.

White said: ‘That’s the first I’ve heard of it.

‘You always look at players who are coming to the end of their contracts and you look at players in every position so that you’ve got every department covered in case someone decides to move on.

‘It’s part and parcel of what you do as a club. It’s something that every county does.’

Hampshire signed Kolpak pair Friedel de Wet and Johann Myburgh before the season started but neither has played a first-team game since May and the club’s recruitment policy will come under scrutiny at the end of the campaign.

Relegation from the top flight and division two cricket in 2012 looks likely, with their latest four-day clash against Yorkshire heading for another draw.

That will leave Hampshire rooted to the bottom of the table and needing wins to have any hope of staying up.

But their Championship fortunes are in stark contrast to their impressive Friends Life t20 form as they host Durham in the quarter-finals on Sunday.