Hampshire’s young left-handed batsman Tom Alsop admitted it was a dream end to his season as Hants became LV=CC Division Two champions.
Alsop, who originally hails from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, has progressed through the club’s junior sides and is now seeking the rewards of his hard graft, as he strives towards his goal of becoming a Hants first-team regular.
Speaking to GiveMeSport contributor Luke Weston, Alsop said: “To come into the team and become Division Two Champion is a pretty good feeling.
“When you look around the team at someone like James Tomlinson, he has been waiting for this moment for 10 years so it’s great to have achieved it.”
The talented England Under-19 international came into the squad for the LV=CC game against Kent in early September, scoring 33 runs in the first innings after surviving a very tricky evening session on day two.
“I was nervous, anyone making their debut is going to have nerves, it was wonderful to walk out at the Ageas Bowl in front of your home crowd, I was extremely anxious especially with the time period I came in at.”
“We had six overs to go in the day, it was dark and gloomy and I was also facing an international spinner in James Tredwell, so it was difficult but I got through that.”
The 18-year-old scored 50 runs from his four innings, but he was keen to point out that although he wasn’t satisfied with his personal performance, the main team objectives were fulfilled with promotion being achieved.
Hants beat Glamorgan by 291 runs in the last game of the campaign to narrowly pip Worcestershire to the title as they returned to the top tier of English Cricket.
“It wasn’t ideal, obviously I would’ve liked to have scored a few more runs, but it was nice, I felt right at home in the environment and all the lads made it very easy for me to perform, as well as giving me confidence that I can play at this level.
“It was disappointing not to contribute but at the stage of the season we were at, it was more about the team trying to win the league and that’s what we ended up doing.”
Alsop who signed a two-year development contract with Hants back in April, now has plans to progress his game further over the winter, as he bids to become a vital member of the first-team squad for the 2015 domestic season.
“The winter plans are to go to Durban just after Christmas and then the pre-season tour to Barbados with the first-team which will be a great experience for me.
“I’m looking to work hard and improve my game ahead of the new season, which is vitally important for me as I look to cement my place in the first team where there is going to be a lot tougher games in Division One.
“There are better bowlers and batsmen so it will be difficult, but all the lads are up for the challenge.”