Captaincy challenge excites Cork
Dominic Cork insists captaining Hampshire is "a great honour" as his first season in charge gets under way.
Top of Hampshire's priority list will be to retain the Friends Life t20 title they won last season.
In the aftermath of their dramatic victory over Somerset at the Rose Bowl, Cork admitted he was pondering his future despite being offered a new deal.
Now, having committed to the club, the 39-year-old's enthusiasm remains as great as when he made his first-class debut for Derbyshire more than 20 years ago, and he takes particular pride in leading Hampshire.
"I'm really looking forward to it and it's a great honour to be given the job," Cork, who succeeds the injured Dimitri Mascarenhas, told ecb.co.uk.
"I didn't expect that when I was coming to the end of my career I'd be captaining a club that has put together not just a good squad but at a stadium that is really exciting.
"It's great to be a part of it, coming to the twilight of my career. It's something I wouldn't have believed would have happened five years ago."
Should all go as planned for Cork this season, there remains the prospect of the former England all-rounder joining that select band of players to have taken 1,000 wickets and scored 10,000 runs in first-class cricket.
As befits someone appointed captain, though, it is the overall picture about which Cork is most concerned and he believes it is important Hampshire get off to a good start in the LV= County Championship.
“We're trying not to look too far ahead," Cork said. "Yes, there are going to be people who are looking at us because we were t20 winners last year and I think the focus will be on that, but I think this club over the past few years hasn't started off greatly in the four-day competitions and we would love to do that."