Benham deemed surplus to requirements

The man hailed as a future Hampshire captain by none other than Shane Warne has been released by the Rose Bowl outfit.

Chris Benham – who was tipped for the top by the Aussie spin king during his time at the Rose Bowl – has left after seeing his first-team opportunities dwindle in recent years.

While his departure was announced by the club as the batsman deciding to seek a new challenge elsewhere, it is clear that others have now moved ahead of the 27-year-old in the pecking order and he was deemed surplus to requirements.

And while Benham remains a talented batsman on his day, he simply didn't produce often enough when the chances came his way.

Benham said: 'I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Hampshire and would like to thank everyone at the club for helping me develop as a cricketer and a person.

'I have been lucky enough to be part of a very successful one-day team in recent years.

'A personal highlight was winning the Friends Provident Trophy final at Lord's in 2009.

'Hampshire is a great club with huge ambition and it has a group of exciting and very talented youngsters.

'I wish them every success in the future.

'Personally, I still have a huge desire to play cricket at the highest level and see playing in a new environment with different ideas as a very exciting prospect.'

Benham made just nine appearances last season and failed to reach a half-century in any of his 11 Championship innings or three FPt20 matches.

Last season's top score of 45 came at Nottinghamshire.

But he made a total of two centuries and 10 fifties in first-class cricket with a further four centuries in one-day matches during his six-year stay at Hampshire.