SIX new players have been welcomed into the Hampshire Cricket Academy for the 2022 season.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Joseph Eckland earns his first year after a great 2021 season with bat and gloves, finishing the summer featuring regularly in Hampshire’s championship-winning second XI.

Seam bowler Max Simpson has been in the Hampshire pathway from a very young age and enjoyed an outstanding season for Hook CC and the academy in the Southern Premier League (SPL).

All-rounder Jude Wright joins the Hampshire Academy as an under-17 after an excellent breakthrough season for Alton CC in the SPL and with the Hampshire U18s in all formats.

Hard-hitting batter Tom Cheater joins for his first year, having played a major role in helping Totton & Eling CC gain promotion to the SPL.

Opening bowler and middle-order batter Eddie Jack is the latest Canford School pupil to join the Academy after Felix Organ and Tom Prest in recent years.

Jack enjoyed an impressive summer and was made captain of the South & West team at the ECB Bunbury Festival.

Leg spinning all-rounder Ethan Baker joins at under-16 level having come through the Hampshire age groups and impressing with performances for Bashley CC and the Hampshire U18s.

Meanwhile, Dom Kelly and Charlie Mumford remain in the academy for another year.

Charlie Freeston, Hampshire Cricket head of player development, said: “It’s fantastic to welcome six new promising young players to the Hampshire Academy.

"The aim of the academy is to help players achieve their goals of playing cricket for Hampshire and England. It’s the vehicle that hopes to turn potential into high quality and our job is to develop these young players both on and off the cricket field.”

In recent years Prest, Toby Albert and Scott Currie are the latest young players to break into the first XI, joining other former academy graduates such as Joe Weatherley, Tom Alsop and Lewis McManus, all playing regularly alongside international players Liam Dawson, James Vince and Mason Crane.

Hampshire Academy full squad: Dom Kelly (U16), Ethan Baker (U16), Eddie Jack (U16), Tom Cheater (U17), Jude Wright (U17), Max Simpson (U18), Joseph Eckland (U18), Charlie Mumford (U18)