Giles White has faced some difficult decisions in his time as Hampshire manager.
But he admits that dispensing with the services of both Dominic Cork and Nic Pothas at the end of the season was among the toughest calls he has ever had to make.
Both are players of vast experience with international honours and a serious collection of winners’ medals to polish.
They were also both keen to stay at the Rose Bowl.
But White felt that the time had come to thank his veterans for their efforts and place his trust in youth.
White said: ‘Dom has been fantastic for us over the past three years and Nic’s record speaks for itself.
‘They have both been a big part of this club and have enjoyed fantastic success.
‘And they have been a big part of those successes we’ve had.
‘But time does move on and good things come to an end.
‘Myself and the club feel it is the right time to do that.
‘Every decision is hard and this one was very hard to make. It’s a tough part of the job and they are never easy.’
So instead of Cork leading the attack next year, with Pothas keeping wicket, it will be Michael Bates behind the stumps and Chris Wood steaming in.
White said: ‘You can see from the side that there are a core of young players who have played a significant part in the last bit of the season and it’s likely that they will be in the same position next year.
‘We’ve got to give them their chance.
‘I wouldn’t expect too many new recruits. I feel we’ve got a nice balance in the squad already.’
One man who has already agreed to join is former Australian Test batsman Simon Katich – a name who has been linked with a return to the club for some time.
Katich, who enjoyed a previous spell with the county from 2003-05, will replace Imran Tahir as their overseas player in the Championship.
White said: ‘We’re delighted with the signing of Simon. He is everything we need in an overseas player at this stage
‘He’s a quality player, first and foremost. But he’s a very good man as well and the lads respect him highly so he’s a good bloke to have around the changing room.
‘His availability’s very good, too, so, with all that coupled together, we’re very pleased.
‘He’s not playing in the IPL and not contracted to Australia so he should be available for the whole season.
‘That’s unusual for an overseas player these days. It will be great to have that continuity.’