SIMON Katich has told his Hampshire teammates still smarting from their Champions League qualifying anti-climax: Don’t be too upset.
The Royals’ hopes of making it through a three-team qualifying group to the main Champions League programme last month were dashed after just a few hours.
Knowing they had to beat Auckland in their first group game to stand any chance of progressing – the New Zealand club had already beaten Pakistani outfit Sialkot the day before – Hampshire were well beaten.
Their chastening experience continued when they lost to Sialkot as well, finishing bottom of their group.
Katich, pictured, helped the Royals win the 2012 English t20 tournament, but played for Perth Scorchers in the main Champions League format.
One of the two Australian clubs present in South Africa did eventually win the tournament, but it wasn’t Perth – instead, the Sydney Sixers thrashed Neil McKenzie’s Lions in a one-sided final.
“I don’t think the Hampshire boys should be too upset about what happened in the Champions League because they only played two games and they will learn from the experience,” said Katich.
“They’ve proved they can play outstanding T20 cricket in home conditions.
“The next step is adapting to foreign conditions in places like India and South Africa.
“Giles White will no doubt be pleased at Hampshire’s Twenty20 performances in England but he will be telling the players there is room for improvement when they travel overseas.”
Katich knows the Champions League experience, however short if proved, will only help Hampshire’s most promising youngsters.
“The likes of Chris Wood, Liam Dawson, James Vince, they are going to form the nucleus of a winning Hampshire team,” the former Australian Test star said.
“Hopefully they will also go on to have England careers because they are talented enough to do that.”