Benks: Players can make grade

Hampshire coach Dale Benkenstein Picture: Neil Marshall
Hampshire coach Dale Benkenstein Picture: Neil Marshall
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Sam Northeast during the press conference at the Ageas Bowl on Friday. Picture:

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Dale Benkenstein believes his Hampshire side does not need major surgery to make the step up to County Championship division one next season.

The Hampshire first-team coach oversaw a successful promotion campaign in his first season at the helm and is already plotting next year’s top-flight assault.

He is confident his batsmen and spinners are well-equipped to bridge the gap but is looking to bolster his resources in the seam bowling department.

Benkenstein said: ‘We are not far off being ready to compete in division one.

‘Our batting and spin bowling is well covered.

‘We have spoken about a few overseas players but we haven’t finalised anyone yet.

‘We are only looking at opening bowlers for that position and there are a few things to consider.

‘But we might have to do it in a similar way to how we did it this season because players are rarely available for a whole season now.’

This term saw South African bowler Kyle Abbott fufil the role successfully for the first part of the campaign before spinner Imran Tahir returned to the club for the final two Championship matches.

Hampshire have already signed up Andre Adams for the first three months and are looking for more recruits with David Balcombe set to leave the club.

Benkenstein said: ‘There will be an overseas player.

‘Andre Adams comes for the first three months and there may be an opportunity to get one more.

‘Chris Wood is someone who could play more games earlier in the season than he did this year. But I think it’s the only area where we need to strengthen.’