Pothas eyes overdue Championship crown

Hampshire's Nic Pothas
Hampshire's Nic Pothas
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Nic Pothas has targeted a long-overdue challenge for the County Championship during his benefit season.

The long-serving wicketkeeper has tasted plenty of success during his time at the Rose Bowl but a runners-up spot in 2005 remains the county’s best recent result in the flagship domestic competition.

In fact, Hampshire have not been crowned county champions since 1973.

And Pothas believes the squad assembled for the new campaign has all the ingredients to finally make a concerted challenge.

Pothas said: ‘I still have the ambition to win the Championship – we haven’t done it for a very long time.

‘We’ve won the t20 last season which was a big one for us and we’ve won one-day competitions since I’ve been at Hampshire.

‘But I haven’t won the Championship and that’s still the big one for everybody.’

Preparations for the new season have gone far more smoothly this year, with manager Giles White not hampered by late unavailability.

Overseas spinner Imran Tahir is pencilled in for the whole campaign, while Johann Myburgh and Friedel de Wet have joined up.

White’s plans have also been boosted with the fact both Sean Ervine and Neil McKenzie have committed themselves to stay.

Pothas said: ‘We’ve got a squad as good as anything else in the Championship.

‘The fact Sean Ervine and Neil McKenzie have re-signed is just gold – those are two great renewals for us and Johann Myburgh and Friedel de Wet are fantastic signings.

‘Myburgh bolsters the batting and with de Wet, we’ve now got three strike bowlers with Simon Jones and Kabir Ali.

‘Giles White has been fantastic. He has formulated the squad with the signings that have been made.

‘It’s nice to have settled plans going into this season and we’re all looking forward to it.

‘We’ve pretty much got all angles covered but, at the moment, it’s all on a piece of paper.

‘Until you’ve got a trophy to take home with you, it doesn’t mean a thing.’