And so another year comes to a close and Hampshire CCC can look back and reflect on a 2018 season that brought lofty peaks and disappointing troughs. The re-capture of the Royal London One Day Cup was the culmination of a superlative campaign in which Hants looked like winning every time they took to the field, however this was followed shortly after by a very poor showing in the T20 Blast that saw the team fail to progress to the knockout stages. A fifth place finish in the Specsavers County Championship will be viewed as a passing grade, rather than achieving distinction given the quality within the squad for the format. In Summary; 1 trophy, 1 failure, 1 mid table finish. Overall I think 2018 will be deemed a positive year for the South Coast Side.
What can 2019 bring? With the bulk of the squad staying together, Hampshire have fine tuned their playing group. Experienced campaigners and club legends Jimmy Adams and Sean Ervine depart, leaving behind fond memories and big shoes to be filled, however the county have been pro-active in the transfer market and internal contract negotiations, the latter has seen Joe Weatherley, Chris Wood, Tom Alsopp and Brad Wheal all commit their futures to the club, while new signings James Fuller, Keith Barker and Aneurin Donald will provide the necessary experience to replace the outgoing senior players. With 3 months to go until the season starts, we can expect a few more signings which should mean Hampshire’s dealings over the Winter see an overall strengthening of the squad. Add to this, fresh blood in the coaching team in the form of Adrian Birrall (formerly of South Africa Assistant Coach and Ireland Head Coach) and there are plenty of reasons for the Hampshire faithful to be excited about the 2019 season.
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