Let's solidify status - Adams
Hampshire are the undisputed kings of limited-overs cricket in England and skipper Jimmy Adams is hoping to show the world just how good they are.
In winning the Friends Life t20 and Clydesdale Bank 40 this year, the Royals showed themselves as the team to beat in the white-ball formats.
The former earned Hampshire a place in the Champions League, where they will pit their wits against the world’s other outstanding Twenty20 sides.
That promises to represent the toughest test yet for Adams et al, with the captain desperately hoping his troops get through the initial three-team qualifying group in order to reach the competition proper.
He told ecb.co.uk: “If we get through the qualifying group then we have some highly exciting - and very good in terms of experience - matches if we get in to the tournament proper.
“That (reaching the full tournament) is all our focus is at the moment. Our focus is on our next two games and then we can shift it onwards if we get through.”
A feature of Hampshire’s outstanding cricket in the shorter forms is a streetwise approach that means they often come through in tight situations.
Adams added: “You would hope (there is confidence in the side). The guys played decent cricket throughout the year; we did a good job under pressure and hopefully we can do that again here.
“The word momentum gets used a lot, but if you are winning games - and winning games from tight situations - then I am sure it must help in the future.
“We’ve got a group of guys here who seem to have done it well over the last few years and, fingers crossed, we can have a few more games of it.”
Adams will tackle a familiar foe in Hampshire’s first game against Auckland Aces, having represented the New Zealanders in 2010 - something he believes will be more advantageous to him.
“They know a bit about me, but I think it is more of an advantage for me to know about them,” he said. “They will be a strong side; they have got a lot of Black Caps and ex-Black Caps. It will be a really tough match first up.”