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Smith's best is yet to come

Will Smith is adamant he has yet to reach the peak of his career as he embarks on a new chapter at Hampshire.

The batsman has experienced a huge amount of success in county cricket, winning the LV= County Championship for a fourth time in 2013.

After securing his maiden title in 2005 with Nottinghamshire, he was an integral part of Durham’s trio of trophy triumphs, captaining the north-east county to their second title in 2009.

Durham's financial constraints meant Smith's contribution of 786 runs in this year’s victorious campaign was not enough to secure a new deal at the Emirates Durham ICG but, at the age of 31, Smith insists he has a lot more to offer at the Ageas Bowl.

“I'm just very excited,” he told ecb.co.uk.

“I'm at a stage of my career now where I have a fair amount of confidence that my best years are probably ahead of me, certainly as a batsman.

“I feel that in the last couple of years I've had a couple of things to work out to help my game and also about the game as a whole that could see me do hopefully pretty well in the next four, five, six years.

Will Smith said: "I think most batsman would probably admit as well that they don't feel they are at their best until their early 30s."

“I think most batsmen would probably admit as well that they don't feel they are at their best until their early 30s.

“Speaking to people like Michael Di Venuto, who I played with at Durham, he was adamant that he hadn't worked out his game in the entirety until his last few years at Durham.

“The move has coincided with a time where I genuinely think I've got my best years ahead of me and also going to a fantastic club like Hampshire.”

While Smith was disappointed to leave the county he had spent seven years with after joining from Notts in 2006, he revealed the challenge that awaits him at Hampshire was too good to turn down.

Asked why he decided to move to the south coast, he replied: “There are so many things. The ground is a fantastic stadium, it's a good batting wicket and the stadium is only going to get better in the next few years.

“What Rod Bransgrove has done at the club has been unbelievable and I'm sure he'll continue to do so in the future.

“The facilities they've got and the squad they've got - obviously they're an incredibly well-drilled one-day unit and I feel I'm a better one-day player than a lot of people have given me credit for at Durham in the last few years so that's somewhere hopefully I can fit in and really prove that I'm as good a one-day player as I am a four-day player.

“And also the situation Hampshire find themselves in in four-day cricket is obviously not where they want to be and it will be a great challenge for me and everyone else within the Hampshire squad to get them back towards the top of Division One, which is where they were not so long ago.

“When I thought about the move, there are so many ticks in a lot of boxes and when you add them all up it adds up to a pretty attractive situation.”

Smith also revealed the opportunity to work with manager Giles White and skipper Jimmy Adams was another defining factor behind the switch.

“That was a huge reason in going to Hampshire as well, to play for Jimmy Adams,” he added.

“He's someone who I've played a lot with and against in the past and he's a man I greatly respect; I respect what he's done on the pitch and I respect what he's done off the pitch.

“That was a huge thing for me to go there and play for him. And also Giles White as a coach is an absolute rock-solid character and has great ideas about the game. It will be a privilege to play for both of them.”

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