Adrian Birrell backing Hampshire captain James Vince for England recall
Adrian Birrell wants to see Hampshire captain James Vince back in the England reckoning.
And the South African admitted the club would not mind if the skipper is missing for them this summer – should it mean he features in the Ashes.
Vince is pushing for an England place ahead of the much-anticipated series against Australia later this summer.
The 28-year-old will open for Hampshire this season as he bids to earn a spot in Joe Root’s squad for the Ashes.
Cuckfield-born Vince featured in all five Tests of the previous series Down Under.
And runs at the start of the new season could force the selectors to recall him.
Hampshire first-team manager Birrell has been impressed with his skipper since moving to the club over the winter.
He joked that those at the Ageas Bowl want to lose their skipper during the series.
Birrell said: ‘We want to produce cricketers for England, that would be fantastic.
‘We want to lose him!
‘There will be other players who get opportunities if he goes to play for England.
‘James is a fantastic player from what I’ve seen of him so far.
‘He’s a very good leader and I hope he plays for England.’
Birrell also expanded on the decision to move Vince up the order to open this season.
The Hampshire skipper batted at number three for his county last term.
But Birrell believes if Vince can score runs at the top of the order it could help his England chances.
He added: ‘If he puts his name in the hat as an opener then you can bat anywhere.
‘You can be picked anywhere.
‘He needs to make sure that he scores the volume of runs.
‘If he does it as an opener I’m sure he’ll advance his chances of playing for England.’