Former England allrounder and county veteran Dominic Cork will leave Hampshire at the end of the 2011 season. While it would be premature to suggest that his departure will bring an end to a 21-year county career – there has been talk that another second division county may be interested in signing him – what is clear is that Hampshire have decided not to renew his contract for the 2012 campaign.
Cork, who turned 40 in August, enjoyed some notable successes during his three-year stay at the Rose Bowl, winning the domestic 50-over competition in 2009 and the Friends Provident Twenty20 in 2010. He admitted he was considering his future in the game after captaining a young Hampshire side to the t20 title, but ultimately took Hampshire up on their offer of a deal for the 2011 season.
He had been Hampshire’s captain since midway through the 2010 season, having begun his first-class career in 1990 and had a long stint with Derbyshire, where he was also captain, before joining Lancashire, until the move to Hampshire in 2009.
Cork remained a consistent performer throughout his Hampshire stint, taking 94 first-class wickets for them at an average of 27.77, his best being 5 for 14 against Worcestershire in 2009. His presence was particularly felt in limited-overs cricket; both of Hampshire’s trophies during his time with the county having come in the shorter formats, and he contributed 43 wickets at an average of 24.06 in 45 domestic Twenty20 matches.
“I don’t want to be picked because of what I’ve done in the past, I want to be picked because I can make that difference, and if I believe I can do that I’ll carry on,” Cork said after Hampshire’s Twenty20 triumph last year. “If I don’t think that then it’s time to let some of the youngsters take the ball and have a good time because it’s been a great career.” Hampshire have taken the decision for him and decided to place their faith in their set of promising young home-grown players.
“Dom has made an outstanding contribution to this club over the last three years,” Hampshire manager, Giles White said. “He’s been a very popular figure and has played a huge part in a successful period in the club’s history. Two trophies and leading the club to another Finals Day says it all. We wish him all the best for the future.”
“Dominic has had a fantastic impact on this Club since his arrival in 2009,” Hampshire Chairman Rod Bransgrove added. “I should like to thank him for his commitment, enthusiasm and contribution over these three seasons and wish him every success in the future.”
Hampshire will make an announcement on the long-term captaincy of the club in due course.