James Vince believes Hampshire can ‘achieve something special’ and win the County Championship division one title this season.
The captain feels the club have assembled the strongest squad he’s seen during his near decade at the Ageas Bowl
Hampshire have recruited South Africa international Hashim Amla as their overseas player for the first three months of the campaign.
Sam Northeast has also been lured away from his role as Kent captain to bolster Hampshire’s top order.
Meanwhile, Proteas pace bowler Dale Steyn will play a County Championship and a Royal London One-Day Cup clash in June – and has the option to return for the final weeks of the campaign.
The Ageas Bowl outfit have been in a relegation scrap in the past three seasons and narrowly avoided the drop.
However, Vince is confident his troops won’t be fighting at the bottom of the table this campaign.
Instead, the skipper insisted Hampshire can challenge for the silverware.
He said: ‘Yes, definitely (It’s the strongest squad I’ve seen).
‘At the start of each season, you have the belief you can win the championship and other trophies.
‘But I think looking around at some of the players this season – some of the guys like Hashim and Dale to join us as well – it is, without doubt, the best squad we’ve had.
‘We definitely have the players to achieve something special and win the championship.
‘Although last season we were in a similar position as seasons before, we actually played better cricket.
‘But we have extra numbers and good quality coming in.
‘It’s great to have such a good squad to pick from.’
Vince has a selection headache as Hampshire prepare for their County Championship division one curtain-raiser against Worcestershire tomorrow at the Ageas Bowl (11am).
The captain, Amla and Northeast’s favoured spot in the batting order is three.
Amla could open the batting, with Vince coming in at three and Northeast in the number-four position.
‘Hash arrived on Tuesday so we’ll sit down and work out the best order,’ added the skipper.
‘It’s likely myself and Sam at number three and number four. We’ll chat to Hash and see where he’s comfortable.’