By Connor Steel
HAMPSHIRE CRICKET have confirmed that young batsman Toby Albert has signed a new two year contract extension for the county, continuing his one-club career to date and committing his blossoming future to play at the Ageas Bowl until at least the winter of 2024 following many impressive displays over the recent weeks.
The twenty-year old joined Hampshire’s academy in 2018 and has progressed through the ranks despite the Covid-19 pandemic; mostly starring as a top or middle order batter in all formats. He was promoted to the 1st team in July 2021 and made his debut in a Vitality Blast group game versus Somerset scoring 13 runs, again playing against the Cidermen in the competition’s finals day at Edgbaston last September at the last 4 stage.
Following a spell with Chennai Braves in the franchise Abu Dhabi T10 League during last winter, Albert’s first team opportunities have progressed across all formats. In May he gained his opening experiences of red ball cricket featuring for Hampshire in a tour match against Sri Lanka Cricket Development XI, scoring 69 not out.
His first class debut and growing contributions saw Albert become a feature of the Hampshire twenty-20 side this summer. helping the Hawks seal their third Blast title in July. Batting in the lower order he scored eighty-three runs at an average of 27.66, although he didn’t play in the brilliant semi-final victory over Somerset and one-run win over Lancashire Lighting in the final on the same day held at Edgbaston for a 2nd straight year.
But it was Albert’s performances in the Royal London One Day Cup campaign as Hampshire reached the semi final stages before being knocked out by Kent earlier this week; despite featuring in different batting positions within the line-up. He scored a total of 339 runs at an average of 48.42 in the Royal London Cup; including fifty-plus scores of 84* against Derbyshire and 65* to seal a win versus Lancashire on August 14.
Speaking before Albert was confirmed as Hampshire’s player of the month for August, narrowly beating Tom Prest in a members vote, Director of Cricket Giles White said online: “We’re thrilled that Toby has committed his future to the Club. Toby made the step up to the First XI last year and has looked at home ever since.”
Mr White further poured praise on the batsman for his recent displays, adding that: “He made a significant contribution in this year’s successful Vitality Blast campaign has already impressed in the Royal London Cup – we look forward to Toby’s continued development and are excited to see what’s next for him (in future)”.
Albert was hugely excited to be signing the new contracts, adding: “I’m delighted to stay at this great Club for another two years. I’ve made some great memories and great friends in the short time since moving from the Academy to the First XI. Hopefully I can continue to contribute as Hampshire aim for more trophies in future.”
PICTURED BY ALAMY: Toby Albert bats for Hampshire in their semi-final defeat against Somerset last year, but has been a huge part of the county’s runs in both 20 and 50-over cricket this year as season nears finish.