White: Northeast was right to snub Hampshire last time

Sam Northeast was unveiled at a Hampshire press conference on Friday. Picture: www.davevokes.photography

Giles White backed Sam Northeast’s decision to snub Hampshire four years ago.

But the director of cricket reckons the time is now right for the 28-year-old former Kent batsman to make an impact at the Ageas Bowl.

And he believes it is feather in the club’s cap that Northeast chose Hampshire over a raft of other counties.

White said: ‘When a player of that quality chooses to continue his career with you, it is a real boost.

‘He is obviously the type of player we are keen to have on board.

‘He believes it is the right fit for him and I believe it is the right fit for us, so it looks good all round.

He opted to stay, which was probably a good decision because his career has blossomed since then

Giles White

‘We had spoken to him a few years ago. He was very much torn at the time as to where he should go for the good of his career.

‘He wasn’t sure whether to stay at Kent or come to us.

‘He opted to stay, which was probably a good decision because his career has blossomed since then.

‘Maybe the move now is the right time and it will take his game to the next level.

‘He is going to test himself against some top players in, what we hope, is a strong Hampshire team.’

Northeast, who was unveiled by Hampshire on Friday and averages 39.66 in the first-class game, has been club captain at Kent for the past three seasons.

White insisted there are no plans to make him skipper at the Ageas Bowl, though – despite Aussie George Bailey not returning and James Vince potentially set for a busy summer with England.

He added: ‘The plan is not for Sam to captain the side.

‘The idea is Vincey will do everything as club captain.

‘Obviously, we will have to assess that as the season goes on and how it plays out with England.

‘He has an important series coming up. After that we will have a better idea of what his summer is going to look like.

‘But within the squad we have a number of good leaders, so we won’t be short of captaincy material. In the future, who knows?

‘But Vincey does it very well. He has been an excellent captain over the past couple of years.

‘He is growing all the time and it helps his game, so he is the obvious choice.’

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