by Alex Smith

GARETH Berg is hoping his fiancée waits until after Hampshire’s opening Specsavers County Championship match before giving birth.

He and Ally’s second child is due during next week’s four-dayer against Surrey at The Oval.

“But babies can come out whenever they feel like it so it could be any day in the next week!” laughed Berg, as he prepared for Hampshire’s first game against Worcestershire tomorrow.

“We’re on tenterhooks at the moment but it isn’t taking anything away from the game and the focus on my job as well.

“Hopefully we will get married sometime, off season, towards the end of October – that seems to be the best time for cricketer weddings.”

On the field, Berg has vowed to end Hampshire’s run of three final-day relegation scraps, and is expecting the county to finish in the top three.

But he has warned his experienced team-mates they might have to sit out of the occasional game due to the squad’s impressive depth.

“We are definitely top three this year,” Berg said.

“We need a bit of luck on our side as we have struggled with luck over the past years but with that there is no reason we can’t fight for any silverware.

“As a team we have covered all bases this year and we are a fantastic unit.

“If we are going to leave out a few players in that first team who have been regulars over the last year or two it shows how strong the squad is.

“The teams which have won titles over the years have been big squad teams so everyone will have to take that on boards; you can’t be a selfish cricketer in the squad.

“You have to take your opportunities when it comes and if you are not involved for a few games then you have to accept it and support the boys that are playing.”

Head coach Craig White said: “We’ve managed to have about a week of being outdoors and the guys are in good shape and ready to go. Most counties have been in the same position this pre-season but the boys are in good shape and we’ve prepared the best we can.

“We’re not taking Worcestershire lightly.”