HAMZA Riazuddin is targeting a regular place in Hampshire’s first team after signing a new one-year contract.
The all-rounder made four of his five LV County Championship appearances for the county last season, when he returned to Hampshire’s four-day team four years after making his debut as an A-level student alongside Kevin Pietersen.
He took a respectable ten wickets at 24 apiece and starred in a dramatic first win of the season against Glamorgan, adding the winning runs to his 5-61 in Cardiff.
But Riazuddin, who is 23 next month, played his last Championship game at the beginning of May and was restricted to just two limited-overs appearances.
“To win two trophies was a great achievement and I'd have loved a big part in that - but when you’re winning every game you can’t tell the coach to change the team!” he said.
Riazuddin made the last of his 17 Twenty20 appearances nearly two years ago, but could yet be the long-term replacement for veteran captain Dimi Mascarenhas.
He continued: “I would love to have a long career at Hampshire, it’s my home, it’s where I grew up and I’ve had a lot of backing here in terms of development.
“I want to make it work and I’ll do everything I can to achieve that. I still think there’s a great chance to do that and that’s why I’ve signed.”
Since making his debut under Paul Terry in 2008, Riazuddin has seen younger players like James Vince, Michael Bates and Danny Briggs establish themselves.
“One big thing for me is always be happy and never be satisfied,” he continued. “I love playing here, I’ve known a lot of the players since I was 15 and we’re all very close mates.
“Being in an environment where you’re comfortable is a big deal. When you’re in the first team it’s important to know you have the backing of the ten other guys. It makes it easier to do your job.”