Rod Bransgrove excited to see Hampshire's Vitality Blast campaign inspired by World Cup fever

Rod Bransgrove is hoping Hampshire can tap into World Cup fever as they start their Vitality Blast campaign.

By Rob Atkins
Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 2:17 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 2:49 pm
A packed Ageas Bowl during the World Cup. Picture: Adrian Dennis/Getty Images
A packed Ageas Bowl during the World Cup. Picture: Adrian Dennis/Getty Images

The Ageas Bowl outfit begin their south group charge at home to Sussex Sharks on Friday (6.30pm).

England’s dramatic World Cup final triumph over New Zealand at Lord’s on Sunday has captured the nation’s imagination.

Heralded by many as the greatest match of all time, Bransgrove believes it will inspire south-coast fans. 

And he hopes that will translate into big Vitality Blast crowds at the Ageas Bowl, where six World Cup group games were staged.

‘Hosting those games was a massive success,’ said the Hampshire chairman.

‘All of them were virtual sell-outs and we were thrilled with the way things went.

‘There was fantastic atmosphere at them all.

‘We have always had a deliberate policy to attract families and make it a good occasion.

‘There are plenty of entertaining diversions around the ground for the youngsters.

‘Attracting them is a very important part of the business and will become increasingly so as we move forward.

‘With the Blast starting on Friday, it promises more excitement for the fans.’

Hampshire have already reached one limited-overs final this summer – surrendering their Royal London One-Day Cup crown to Somerset at Lord’s.

And Bransgrove believes the squad are more than capable of a return to Finals Day – where they triumphed in 2010 and 2012 – after a miserable effort last summer.

He added: ‘We have got a very good squad, which we have been developing for a year or two.

‘There is a new manager. He is very committed and enthusiastic to lead us to some trophies.

‘Last year we were a bit disappointing but hopefully this time around we can give the fans plenty to get excited about.

‘I’m sure we will be ready to take on the competition once more.

‘Over the years it has virtually become ours and we feel we should be doing much better than we did last season.’

James Vince and Liam Dawson were part of the World Cup-winning England squad.

They will be joined in the Hampshire ranks by South Africa all-rounder Chris Morris, who is poised for his debut on Friday.