Hampshire gear up for triple assault on glory

Hampshire's Jimmy Adams at the crease during their LV County Championship match at the Rose Bowl, Southampton.
Hampshire's Jimmy Adams at the crease during their LV County Championship match at the Rose Bowl, Southampton.
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HAMPSHIRE skipper Jimmy Adams is leaving no stone unturned as he plots a three-pronged challenge for trophies.

Adams is preparing for his first full summer as captain, after succeeding Dominic Cork towards the tail end of last season.

And he believes his team can excel in all formats of the game next season.

Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi returns to lead the t20 charge which begins against rivals Sussex at Hove on June 14, as Hampshire aim to reach finals day for the third year in a row.

Adams said: ‘The t20 will be good. We know a lot about Sussex and they know a lot about us.

‘To get out of the blocks against them is vital.

‘We have got Shahid Afridi back which is fantastic.

‘He’s a world-class match-winner and we are hoping that maybe Neil McKenzie will be around.’

Last season, Hampshire struggled to get going in the Clydesdale Bank 40, falling at the group stage.

They have been drawn with holders Surrey and runners-up Somerset in a tough group B but Adams believes his team can make a positive impression.

The first match of the competition is a potential reunion with fast bowler Simon Jones as Glamorgan visit the Rose Bowl on Monday, May 7.

That is followed on Sunday, May 20 by a trip to Scotland.

And Adams is aiming for a fast start in the competition.

He said: ‘We have a really tough group and with Glamorgan and Scotland early on, hopefully we can win those and put ourselves in a good position.

‘We certainly can’t underestimate Glamorgan, with Simon Jones and a few others trying to gun us down.

‘I am sure Simon will be as fiery as usual but it won’t be quite as good to be at the other end from him.’

In the County Championship, Adams feels his men have the quality to regain their top-flight status.

‘We have got Michael Carberry for the full season and his contribution in the second half of last season was fantastic.

‘Simon Katich is our overseas player and he’s a great professional. He’s bowling a bit as well which is great.

‘I’m confident our bowling attack will be able to take 20 wickets.’

Some members of the Hampshire squad are already back in training as preparation intensifies.

Adams added: ‘We have reported back, although a lot of the guys are following the sun and playing abroad.

‘My goal is to have a group who are happy, who support each other, and have a really strong unity.’