Nathan Ellis, Ben McDermott re-sign for Hampshire’s Blast defence

Nathan Ellis, Ben McDermott re-sign for Hampshire's Blast defence

Hampshire have confirmed that Ben McDermott and Nathan Ellis, their T20 Blast-winning overseas pairing, will return to the club to help their bid to defend the title in 2023.

McDermott scored 494 runs in the Blast last season including five centuries, second only to his opening partner and captain James Vince among Hampshire players. He top-scored in the final against Lancashire with 62 – Hampshire’s next-highest score was 22 – and was also involved in 19 dismissals, the second-most in the competition.

Ellis, meanwhile, took 15 wickets for Hampshire last year and finished the season with a remarkable economy rate of 6.87, despite predominantly operating as a death bowler.

He was involved in a memorable climax to the final: Ellis appeared to have sealed the trophy when he bowled Richard Gleeson, but Hampshire’s celebrations were cut short when replays confirmed he had over-stepped. With three runs to win, he deceived Gleeson with a slower ball, and Lancashire could only manage one bye.

Both players were initially signed, in part, through Hampshire’s ties to George Bailey, who captained the club in 2017 and has since become Australia’s lead selector. Bailey has a long-standing connection with Hobart Hurricanes, the Big Bash team that McDermott and Ellis represent.

“Both Ben and Nathan were fantastic for us last year and it’s a great boost to the squad to have them back,” Giles White, Hampshire’s director of cricket, said.

“They made a big impact at the club and were exceptional on the field. The clarity that comes with continuity will hopefully help in our pursuit of another Finals Day in 2023.”

Ellis may miss some early fixtures depending on Punjab Kings’ progress in the IPL. “After the success of last year it was a no-brainer to re-sign with the Hawks for this summer,” he said.

McDermott, who does not have an IPL contract, is likely to be available for the whole season. “I’m over the moon to have re-signed with the Hawks and can’t wait to play in front of the Ageas Bowl crowd again,” he said.

Both players also represented London Spirit in the Hundred last year, though only Ellis has been retained (on a £100,000 contract). McDermott has entered the draft on March 23 without a reserve price.

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