The ‘El Clasicoast’ derby takes place this Friday as Hampshire take on Sussex in the T20 Vitality Blast at Utilita Bowl.

Hampshire have made a solid start to the season and currently sit fifth in the table, despite being frustrated with their last two fixtures rained off.

The second of those fixtures, against Middlesex, left the Hawks particularly disheartened as the game was called off with Middlesex 113/8.

Hampshire all-rounder Benny Howell insists the mood remains positive, despite these setbacks. He said: “Of course, it's a bit frustrating, especially on Friday when we have Middlesex pretty much beaten if we're honest.

"Then the rain came in and hit us, whereas all the other teams managed to play.

"But like the coach Adi (Birrell) said, he keeps reiterating that Hampshire notoriously don’t really start that great and then always seem to come through.

"We know we have the talent, we have the skill, so we're in a good place.”

The Hawks face Essex today, followed by the South Coast derby on Friday, before a break from the Vitality Blast until 6 July.

Howell, who is in his second stint at the club, is excited to take on the club’s fierce rivals in front of a home crowd.

He said: “I'm actually a bit nervous about playing Thursday night into a Friday game, it’s something you really have to manage well.

"That’s first and foremost the thing I want to do, get physically ready.

“But in terms of it being a Friday night Hampshire atmosphere against Sussex, it's the derby and they’re playing well, they're a good side, so it will be a massive game for us.

"We have to put on an entertaining performance and the result will take care of itself.”

Earlier this week, the club began work on the installation of 1,000 solar panels at Utilita Bowl, which will be capable of generating around 25 per cent of the electricity used in the stadium each year, and more than enough to cover the electricity consumed during match days.