By Connor Steel
LIAM DAWSON has become the latest player to sign a new contract with Hampshire Cricket in one of their final preparations for the 2022 summer campaign; the now thirty-two all-rounder committing himself to stay at the Ageas Bowl until at least the end of 2024 to continue his lengthy career with the Southampton-based county that has lasted over twenty years including the youth academy.
Known for his left arm spin bowling Dawson made his Hampshire debuts across first class and one-day formats in 2007 following the retirement of Shaun Udal and Shane Warne; although it was with the bat that he first impressed as he scored a maiden century against Nottinghamshire away at Trent Bridge during the 2008 campaign to become an immediate fan favourite.
Since then Dawson has become a mainstay for Hampshire across all formats over the last fourteen seasons; scoring 13,437 runs from different positions in the batting order and taking over 500 wickets in domestic cricket. This includes a short spell on loan with Essex Cricket Club back in 2015 in order to get match fitness after a quiet 2014 winter with little action due to injury and other circumstances
His contributions with bat and ball have helped Hampshire to five pieces of silverware during his career, starting with the Twenty-20 Blast trophy in 2010 and completing a domestic double two years later. Dawson also won the County Championship Division Two title in 2014 before tasting Royal London One-Day Cup success with a sixty-one run victory over Kent at Lords in 2018.
More recently Dawson was again a key figure in 2021 despite a hand injury affecting his playing time; taking ten wickets in nine Vitality Blast appearances as Hampshire narrowly missed out on Final Days at Edgbaston in September. He further took another 10 wickets with the ball and scored 561 runs during the County Championship campaign as again the county missed out on title glory.
Success has also come for Dawson on the international scene; featuring Test, ODI and T20I call-ups for England since making his debut in 2016. He was also a part of the 15-men World Cup winning squad in 2019 and has recently represented his nation earlier this year in the T20 series against the West Indies.
Confirming Dawson’s signing on the county’s website, Hampshire Director of Cricket Giles White said: Liam is an integral part of the team across all the formats. He is obviously a high-quality all-rounder, but he also brings a competitive spirit and passion for winning which is valued highly by us all.”
Dawson also expressed his excitement at signing the new deal, saying: “’m delighted to have signed a contract extension. Having been here since I was a 10-year-old, coming up through the age groups, signing for another two years is really exciting and I’m really looking forward to what comes next.”
The all-rounder continued to prepare for the new season as he appeared in two warm up friendlies held at the Ageas Bowl this week, scoring fifty-eight runs alongside taking two wickets combined in the fixtures versus Gloucestershire and Worcestershire respectively. Scorecards from both drawn games can be found by clicking on the opponents above or via the links available on the Hampshire Cricket website.
Hampshire will now play Loughborough UCCE in an annual university clash, with the three day fixture starting at the Ageas Bowl on Monday morning. They will then open the County Championship with a home clash versus Somerset from April 7, before travelling to Surrey the following week.
PICTURED BY ALARMY: Dawson celebrates hitting a half century during one-day match back in 2015, one of many he has scored for Hampshire during his lengthily career at the Ageas Bowl.