Captain Cork plans to play every game

He will be 40 before the end of the season, but Dominic Cork intends to play every game for Hampshire this year.

After leading Hampshire to Friends Provident t20 success and LV County Championship survival in Dimi Mascarenhas’s absence at the end of last season, Cork has been given the Hampshire captaincy for 2011.

With Mascarenhas still recovering from the Achilles injury he suffered a year ago and Nic Pothas a reluctant captain, it was no surprise that Cork was given the job.

On paper, Hampshire have their best squad for many years but Cork is serious about playing until September without a rest. “As a player I want to be involved all the time,” he said. “People keep saying I can’t expect to play in every game but I only missed one game from the start of May last year.

“I’m not here to have a free ride, I’m here to bowl my overs and run in every day. If I feel I can contribute I’ll play as long as they want me to play.

“It’s my 40th this year but Ramps (Mark Ramprakash), Ally Brown, Paul Nixon and Robert Croft are still outdoing me. And as I told [Hampshire chairman] Rod [Bransgrove] when I signed, I’m looking to retire at 49 and have the biggest 50th birthday party in the world!”

Cork’s captaincy will be influenced by his experience of playing for England under Nasser Hussain and for Derbyshire under Kim Barnett at the beginning of his career.

“They’re two characters who were very motivated at leading from the front and that’s the sort of captain I’ll try and be,” he added. “Nasser was quite a ruthless captain and would be very honest with people.

“I’ve never been frightened of saying what I think but there are ways of saying it. Some players can take a roasting, others might need an arm round the shoulder. But if they need to be told, they’ll be told.”

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