Hampshire could be facing a major blow to their hopes of Championship success next season with the prospect of losing Michael Carberry for the first few weeks of the campaign.
The 34-year-old has confirmed he has made himself available for the Indian Premier League player auction, which takes place on Monday.
If the opening batsman is picked up by one of the eight franchises in the lucrative t20 tournament, that could rule him out of the club’s return to Championship division one until the end of May.
Carberry’s stock is high in the shortest form of the game, yet the auction is awash with most of the world’s best players and there is no guarantee he will win himself a contract.
But he made an impressive contribution in the Big Bash for Perth Scorchers as they successfully defended their crown, which will have brought him to the attention of several teams.
Carberry ended up in fifth place in the leading run-scorer charts with 266 runs at an average of 44.3 – out-scoring many of the supposed bigger names in world cricket.
If he does get selected, he would follow in the footsteps of Dimi Mascarenhas and Michael Lumb, who both played in the IPL while they were at Hampshire.
But with the tournament starting on April 8, Carberry could miss at least the first five weeks of the season if he is picked up, with the final scheduled for May 24.
That would rule him out of the first five Championship matches and the two opening Natwest T20 Blast clashes.
Meanwhile, the secretary of state for culture, media and sport, Sajid Javid, was left impressed by the Ageas Bowl after his visit this week.
Javid was given a guided tour of the stadium by chairman Rod Bransgrove and commercial director Stuart Robertson.
‘From what I have seen, the facilities are great and the investment in the local community and use of these facilities is very impressive,’ said Javid.