Dominic Cork insists Hampshire can retain their LV County Championship first division status as well as their Friends Life t20 title.
Hampshire have qualified for the t20 quarter-finals as South Group winners, but now return to four-day action with a must-win game against Sussex at Hove. They are 36 points adrift of safety at the foot of Division One and are so far the only county without a Championship win this season.
But Cork is as determined to see Hampshire stay in the top flight as he is to become the first captain to lead his county to a successful defence of the domestic t20 title.
He said: “As a club we’ve staved off relegation in the last two years and what we have to do is fight hard to get ourselves up to at least third from bottom. We’ve got nine games left and we can still do it.
“We can do as much talking in the changing room as we like and as much planning as possible but we have to look at ourselves and take some responsibility.”
Hampshire are the longest serving of the first division counties. “I take it very personally and don’t like being bottom,” added Cork. “[Hampshire manager] Giles White’s the same, we take it hard but I never give in with anything and I’m not giving in. I still really believe that we’ll be okay.
“We have to grab games by the scruff of the neck and make things hard for the opposition. We’ll probably have to win three or four games at least. That’s a tough ask but we have the players that can do it.”