Hawks confirm McDermott for 2024 Vitality Blast

By Connor Steel

HAMPSHIRE HAWKS have announced that Ben McDermott has agreed to ‘represent the county’ for a third successive Vitality Blast campaign due to ben this summer; the Australian wicketkeeper-batsman committing his availability for the entirety of this popular Twenty-20 competition in a ‘bid’ to reclaim the thrilling title won against Lancashire back in 2022.

The twenty-nine year old signed for Hampshire in early 2022 and made an immediate impact on his debut, contributing to three wickets behind the stumps and adding twenty-eight runs with the bat against Middlesex. His efforts throughout the group stages and quarter finals ensured that his team qualified for the showcase Edgbaston Finals Day in late July.

He scored thirty-one runs from 17 deliveries in the semi-final success versus Somerset, including three maximums and followed this with sixty-two in 36 balls to help Hampshire win the final by just one run. McDermott continued in the 2023 competition as he scored 407 at an average of 31.3 per innings, helping the Hawks reach the ’10th straight’ Finals Day.

The Australian has played thirty-two games for the Hawks and scored 902 runs combined as the ‘opening’ batter, whilst contributing to nearly forty-five dismissals against varying sides. He has further played for Hobart Hurricanes in the ‘Big Bash League (BBL)’ over the winter period; scoring 261 in just eight matches with three half tons and ‘high score’ of 95.

He has further become a crucial component of the Australian national team and has played a total of thirty times for the country over these last three years; playing at both One Day International and Twenty-20 level. The last match saw him score a half century as he added 54 runs in an encounter versus India, ultimately in vain as their hosts won by six runs.

McDermott said via the Hampshire website: “I’ve absolutely loved my time as a Hawk so far, so it was an easy decision for me to come back for the year’s Vitality Blast. We have a really exciting squad and I am confident about our chances of having another successful season, hopefully bringing more silverware back to ‘Utilita Bowl’ (previously Ageas Bowl).”

The excitement was matched by Hampshire Director of Cricket, Giles White, who talked about the talent of McDermott as he said: “We are delighted that Ben is returning for the 2024 ‘Vitality Blast’. He’s become an extremely valuable and popular member of a good squad. A great team man and explosive with the bat; he is an integral part of our T20 plans.

Hampshire are scheduled to begin the 2024 Vitality Blast with a home game against Surry to be held on May 30, whilst multiple games will be played between June and July in the competition to conclude the group stages. All quarter finals and ‘Finals Day’ are set to be contested in September after the Hundred finishes, with official fixtures to be seen online.

PICTURED BY ALAMY (2JH90NA): McDermott bats for the Hawks during their 2022 Vitality Blast win over Lancashire.