Dimi plays down his big farewell

File photo dated 25/8/12 of Hampshire's captain Dimitri Mascarenhas.
File photo dated 25/8/12 of Hampshire's captain Dimitri Mascarenhas.
Hampshire's James Vince hits a six during the NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day at Edgbaston, Birmingham. PPP-170309-212743001

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Dimi Mascarenhas certainly knows Friends Life t20 finals day could be the perfect conclusion to his Hampshire career.

But it is typical of the man, who has given such sterling service to the county down the years, that he has played down his own individual ambitions and will not allow himself to become wrapped up in the emotions of the occasion.

Instead, the popular t20 skipper, who retires from county cricket at the end of the season, is focused on leading his side to more silverware – just as he did 12 months ago.

Mascarenhas said: ‘For me, it’s just another opportunity to be involved in another trophy with the lads.

‘Obviously, it would be a good way to go out but just to win another trophy would be awesome.

‘Throughout my whole career I’ve played cricket because it’s fun, first and foremost, but secondly, to win trophies.

‘That’s what it’s about. This being my last season might have come into everyone else’s mind but not mine.’

If the Royals do end up lifting the trophy and completing a successful defence, it will see them write their name in the record books as the first team to do so.

But first a semi-final battle with Surrey (2.30pm) and a potential final against the winners of the clash between Northamptonshire and Essex (11am) stand between them and another slice of history.

And Mascarenhas remains as focused and excited at his shot at another finals day as he has on previous occasions.

He said: ‘It’s another finals day – the biggest day on the calendar at the moment – so we are very much looking forward to it.

‘It’s another opportunity for us to win a trophy and all the teams that are there are in contention to win it.

‘There are only four teams left and hopefully we can be there at the end.

‘We have played well at times this season.

‘We have seen glimpses, we have shown a lot of glimpses of how good we can be.

‘So it would be good if we can put a really good team effort together on the day.’

The 35-year-old, who has cited injury as the main reason behind his decision to quit, goes into tomorrow’s showpiece in good shape – a far cry from a year ago when he somehow dragged his body through two games playing with a shoulder injury that then ruled him out for the remainder of the campaign.

He said: ‘I have not played with pain like that before.

‘It was gone. I honestly don’t know how I got through it. It was so sore.

‘Injections would not have done anything, just painkillers but they didn’t do a hell of a lot to be honest.

‘It was more the adrenaline that got me through.

‘I knew going into it that I could play in finals day but then I would miss the rest of the season.

‘Or I could try to get fit and hopefully get through in the YB40 to play at Lord’s.

‘But I thought “play finals day” and it was the right decision.

‘Touch wood, it’s all going good this time and I’m ready to go.’