Hampshire county cricket: Ali Orr loving life with Hampshire after controversial move from rivals Sussex

A Hampshire batsman is relishing life with his new team after a controversial move from their south coast rivals.
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Ali Orr's move from Sussex to Hampshire County Cricket Club in the off-season caused quite a stir at the Hove based club. The 22-year-old batsman had come through the youth ranks at Sussex and was seen as one of their most promising players. The decision to let him leave led to former England and Sussex players, Ian Gould and Chris Adams, resigning from their backroom roles due to their unhappiness with the decision. Sussex's loss is Hampshire's gain as Orr looks to hit the ground running.

Hampshire batsman, Ali Orr, is looking to cement his place in the team after a controversial move from south coast rivals Sussex.Hampshire batsman, Ali Orr, is looking to cement his place in the team after a controversial move from south coast rivals Sussex.
Hampshire batsman, Ali Orr, is looking to cement his place in the team after a controversial move from south coast rivals Sussex.

While there has been much debate as to what prompted the move away from Sussex, Orr chose to move up a division and join Hampshire for it's winning culture. He said: "More than anything it's the winning, the mentality. I think it's a club that has massive ambitions to go places, and it's clear to see they are going places. They finished top three in all formats last year, it's a massive thing for the club.

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"Hopefully I can come into that and try and win something and compete in all formats. I have played against Hampshire enough now, so to actually play here at the Utilita Bowl, it's special."

In his young career, the left-handed batsman scored 2810 runs in all formats for Sussex, including six centuries, with an average of 39. Orr is now looking to cement a place in the team and bring his skillset to the top of the order. He said: "When it comes to ambitions like this I find it quite tricky to put a numerical figure to it. For me, being in a new team, I want to try and settle in the team and cement my place because I know being down here is very competitive.

"In each team spots are scarce and I have to perform well to be in the squad. To start with, I want to settle in the squad and cement my place a the top of the order in red ball, and then see where it goes from there. Hopefully, if I am patient enough, play my way then runs will come and we will see how it goes."

Orr spent the winter in Hampshire and has now moved to the area. He has been delighted with how it has gone so far. He said: "It's been amazing, the guys have been really welcoming, it's just been a really nice change. I know the weather has not been great at the moment but it's been really nice being here the whole winter. It's been a long cold winter, but really nice to meet everyone and get settled."

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The batter was set to face off against his old team in a pre-season friendly today (March 29), but the weather has delayed the reunion. Despite the controversy surrounding the move, Orr is happy to be returning to Hove and seeing friends and teammates. He said: "I'm looking forward to it. It will be nice to go back."

The first Vitality County Championship game starts on Friday, April 5 away to Durham at the Seat Unique Riverside stadium. While the teams first home game at the newly named Utilita Bowl, takes place between Friday, April 12 and Monday, April 15 as they take on Lancashire. Tickets are available via the website.

The white ball season kicks off with the Vitality Blast on Thursday, May 30 with a home game against Surrey. Further information and ticket sales can be found here. The Metro Bank One Day Cup starts on Friday, July 26 when Hampshire will take on Northants at the Utilita Bowl.

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