After six long weeks away on tour with the England Lions, James Vince has returned to the Rose Bowl with a new confidence and now hopes this experience will help get Hampshire back into County Cricket’s top flight.
Vince’s winter trip began in Bangladesh at the beginning of January and ended in Abu Dhabi playing against the full England side in a bizarre one day game in which the Lions being bowled out for just 96. In-between the Lions boys also toured Sri Lanka, but this brought limited opportunities to the Hampshire batsman due to the selection of an extra spinner.
But nevertheless it was a valuable experience which gave the 20-year-old a chance to work along England legend Graham Thorpe and some of the best youngsters from around the country, and he hopes this can now help him and Hampshire this summer.
“It was good a good experience,” Vince said about his time with the Lions. “It was nice to be involved. It was a rather long tour three weeks in Bangladesh then three weeks in Sri Lanka and it is nice to be back now, but it was certainly beneficial.
“I played most of the games in Bangladesh and I did ok and in Sri Lanka they played an extra spinner so I didn’t get that much cricket, but it gave me the opportunity to work hard in nets so hopefully I will benefit from that.
“Just working with a different coach has helped me, I worked with Graham Thorpe who has played a lot of Test matches for England and has a lot of experience so it was nice to hear good things from him and I will take on board what I feel will help me and hopefully that can help me this summer.”
Vince is determined to work hard this season and gain another opportunity next winter to tour down under which he hopes to put him in good stead for the future and a possible full England cap.
“There are a few games this summer so I hope to do well with Hampshire and keep myself in the fold and next year there is a one day tour to Australia so it would be nice to be in the side for that too.
“My name is now on the system and who know what can happen. I just have to get some good performances for Hampshire and see what happens really. They have given youngsters a good go in the one day side, Danny Briggs has been selected for the side at the minute after performing consistently well so it shows that they are not afraid to give the youngsters a go.”
Back in England and back to the good old English weather, Vince now has his sights firmly set on the domestic season with Hampshire. It is fair to say that it was a disappointing season last year for the Royals, but now with a new young look side Vince insists the team can get bounce back and gain promotion into the LV= County Championship Division One – somewhere James believes we belong.
“Now looking forward promotion is definitely our main aim this season, we are fairly big club and it will be nice to get back up there this year where we belong.
“This year I hope to score more runs in the four day format, in Twenty20’s we are reasonably successful and hopefully we will be there or there about this year and try and win it again, we were still bit of the pace last year and we want to start well this season and hopefully do well in that competition.
“We have got a young squad but it is a squad that has played a fair bit of first-class cricket so it’s not like we have just been thrown into the deep end, we have a taste of it already, it will be nice to be out there and start playing again and hopefully we can have a good year and do well in all competitions.”
Vince will be pleased to be back at Hampshire after such a long time away from home, and now he be preparing with the rest of the squad who are back for their pre-season tour to Barbados – where he hopes for another successful tour abroad.