By Connor Steel
HAMPSHIRE CRICKET have announced that James Vince has signed a three year contract extension until the end of 2025, with the youth academy product and county captain giving his teammates a new boost just days before the start of pre-season match action starting on Monday morning.
The thirty-one year old batsman, who celebrated his birthday on Monday, will continue his one club career at the Ageas Bowl; making his debut in May 2009 against Loughborough University. He scored a total of nineteen runs across two innings as the match ended in stalemate in Southampton.
He became a regular feature for Hampshire later that year following the retirement of John Crawley, making his first County Championship appearance in June against Nottinghamshire. Vince further made debuts at both one day and Twenty-20 competitions soon after a series of good performances.
Heading into his thirteenth career, Vince has racked up 17,666 runs from four hundred appearances across all formats; including 69 half centuries and 37 tons since his maiden hundred runs against Yorkshire, scoring 180 runs in a near three hundred partnership with teammate James Adams.
Vince proved critical in the top order as Hampshire won two T20 championships in 2010 and 2012, the side beating Somerset in Southampton and Yorkshire in Cardiff respectively. He also featured in the Division Two title winning side of 2014, scoring 1525 runs in twenty-eight innings including his own personal best of 240 in a single innings against Essex in Southampton.
Assuming the captain role in 2015, Vince experienced further glory three seasons later as he led his side to the Royal One Day Cup in June 2018; The right hander scored twenty three runs to help beat Kent in the final at Lords; missing out on retaining this trophy in 2019 as his team lost to Somerset.
Consistent performances have allowed Vince to receive many call-ups to England international duty since his debut versus Ireland in 2015. His first test appearance came in 2015 versus Sri Lanka, when he scored just nine runs in a home innings win for England at Headingly Cricket Ground, Leeds.
Other international highlights include being part of the 2019 World Cup winning squad, his 83 runs in Brisbane versus Australia in the 2017-18 Ashes and his century against Pakistan in Birmingham last year; now making over fifty appearances for his country including the West Indies tour in January 2022.
Limited success has also come from bowling with his ‘medium-paced’ deliveries taking twenty-six Hampshire dismissals including one five wicket haul. He also has one international wicket with his only victim being Irish captain Andrew Balbirnie in July 2020 in a series played behind closed doors.
In recent years Vince has spent his winters playing twenty-20 franchise cricket across the world with spells in Pakistan, New Zealand, South Africa, and Australia; winning the Big Bash League with Sydney Sixers for two successive campaigns between 2019 and 2021 including scoring key runs in the final.
And in 2021 Vince became the first captain to win the new Hundred competition, scoring 229 runs in ten matches as Southern Brave won the final at Lords in September. He now hopes to retain this title when he leads the same side in the competition later this summer in another bid for short format glory.
Not that his heroics in the Hundred affected his Hampshire performances in 2021 as he averaged 40.8 runs per innings in the County Championship including a double century versus Leicestershire; his side just one wicket away from winning the title away in Liverpool. Vince also led the Twenty-20 side to finals day as he helped them win their last five group games before losing to Somerset.
Hampshire Director of Cricket Giles White said in a statement on the county website: “James is not only a fantastic player in every format but also an excellent captain, so we are of course, delighted that he has committed for the long term. He’s an integral part of the Club and it’s great to have him leading the team in what promises to be an exciting period for the Club.”
And this excitement was shared by the player himself as he prepares for Hampshire’s first pre-season encounter versus Gloucestershire starting on Monday at the Ageas Bowl: “I’m delighted to have extended my contract for a further three years. I’ve been with Hampshire since 2006 and am proud to call The Ageas Bowl my home ground.”
He continued: “I’ve enjoyed some fantastic experiences with the Club and we head into the 2022 season with an exciting group of players and added motivation after coming so close in 2021’s LV= Insurance County Championship. We’re looking forward to the start of the new season, one which will hopefully mark the beginning of a successful period for the Club.”
PICTURED BY DAVID ROWE: Captain James Vince batting for Hampshire against Middlesex in the Vitality Blast Twenty-20 encounter at Lords back in August 2018.