By Connor Steel
HAMPSHIRE CRICKET have announced that batter Aneurin Donald has signed a new contract at the Ageas Bowl following an impressive 2022 season; the twenty-six year old committing his future to the county until at least the conclusion of 2024 as he looks to support his teammates in pursuit of further domestic cricket titles.
The batsman started his career at Glamorgan before joining Hampshire on a loan in 2018, making this move permanent later that annum. And despite a longer-term injury ruling him out of action for two whole seasons, Donald has since made over fifty appearances across all three domestic formats and has scored 1,500 runs.
In his first campaign during 2019 Donald helped Hampshire to finish third place in the County Championship alongside a runners-up spot in the Royal London One-Day Cup. This included his current best score against Warwickshire in July as the Welshman added 173 runs from just 144 balls in a stalemate at the Ageas Bowl.
Donald then sadly suffered an injury to his anterior cruciate ligament and had to undergo a medical operation to repair this, which meant he had to miss an entirety of both the 2020 and 2021 summers. The two seasons further saw a temporary reduction across domestic cricket and competitive sport due to Covid-19 lockdowns.
He initially returned to action for Hampshire’s Second XI in April 2022 and made his first team return just six weeks later after good performances; quickly becoming a regular starter all three formats during the season. He scored a total of 398 runs in red ball action at an average of 28.43 including 94 versus Northamptonshire.
The batsman was furthermore a real mainstay in Hampshire’s Royal London One-Day Campaign as the club reached the semi-finals; adding 227 runs including a fine 76 from 36 balls in a group game against Yorkshire. Donald further played in a small handful of Vitality Blast ties as they won the competition title in Birmingham.
Speaking about this contract extension, Donald said: “I’m extremely excited, especially off the back of such a successful year in 2022. After a couple of dark years with my injuries, it has been amazing to get back on the pitch, with the help and support of the Club, and I hope I can repay the faith they have shown in me. This has definitely become like my second home down at The Ageas Bowl, so I’m looking forward to another 2 years.”
Director of Cricket Giles White was in hugely positive mood when asked about the deal, saying: “Aneurin has an imposing presence at the crease and has the rare ability to shift the course of a match in a short space of time. He is a selfless team player and has also become an extremely popular & important player at this Club. We are delighted to have secured his services for the next couple of seasons (until the conclusion of 2024).”
Supporters can visit the Hampshire Cricket website for further information and reaction to this story; the club also releasing details on their 2023 Membership Scheme as they prepare for the upcoming campaign (April).
PICTURED BY ALAMY (2FM1EKP): Aneurin Donald drives a brilliant shot for Hampshire during their match versus Essex last year in the County Championship; continuing his great come-back after long term injuries.