Joe Weatherley: ''It's A Competition We Tend To Do Well In''

We sat down with Hampshire batsman Joe Weatherley to get his thoughts on the upcoming Royal London Cup campaign

After making his debut for Hampshire just five years ago, Joe Weatherley has quickly become an important part of Hampshire's side in all formats, featuring prominently in the Club’s recent List A successes.

Back-to-back Lord’s final appearances, including a competition triumph in 2018, have given the right-hander a taste for what’s required to go all the way in 50-over cricket, and with a more senior role expected for this summer’s campaign, he has no doubt the side will be ready to push for further honours in 2021.

The Royal London Cup is a competition that Hampshire have done well in in recent years. How do you assess the success achieved in that time?

It was over two years ago that we reached the final in 2019 now, although it feels like it was yesterday, but obviously last year we didn’t play any 50-over cricket so it’s been a while. It’s a competition that we tend to do well in and there’s some great memories from the last two campaigns; in 2018 we managed to win the title and in 2019 we couldn’t quite get over the line but it’s a competition that I think suits us quite well - hopefully that can continue this summer.

Having played in both finals, you experienced being on the right end and then the wrong end of a result. How contrasting were the emotions following those results?

It was disappointing not to win the 2019 final but almost in a strange sort of way, I’m glad we were able to see the other side of it and appreciate the achievements of 2018. In 2018 a lot of us were in and around the side for the first time and we were really quite young - just experiencing the other side of Somerset winning definitely made us appreciate our success the previous year but we’re certainly looking forward to hopefully enjoying more successes like that in the near future.

Does it feel strange knowing there is a different final venue awaiting the finalists this year?

Not really, it’s a shame as I always think that the 50-over final should be at Lord’s and that’s been the case before, but you know we’ve got to adapt and we’ve got to put things together in the group stage before we look ahead to any knockout matches and finals. We’re in a strong group this year and it’ll be a bit different playing different teams to usual as opposed to just South Group teams that we’re a little more accustomed to facing.

There will be players missing from opposing teams with The Hundred too so it will be interesting taking on other players.

What are your feelings about the competition on the whole this year?

I think it’ll be great and will be a brilliant competition for Hampshire fans to follow given some of the younger players might get an opportunity. Players like Tom Prest have broken through in the last few weeks and he’s already showing glimpses of what he can do. This will be a unique chance for our home-grown Academy products to really showcase their talent and to push for spots in future competitions.

With England call-ups we’re used to being without players on occasions too and we feel we have got a strong enough squad to still challenge for 50-over silverware.

Your white-ball cricket has come on a long way in recent years and you’ve had a strong Vitality Blast campaign...does that make you really relish playing more white-ball cricket this season?

For sure!

I put a lot of work into my white-ball stuff in the off-season. I’m looking forward to potentially being one of the more senior players in the competition and helping guide the younger guys as we go.

Hampshire return to Royal London Cup action on Thursday 22nd July with The Ageas Bowl hosting four 50-over fixtures across July & August.

Tickets for all four matches - priced from £16 for Adults, £11 for Concessions and £5 for U17s are available to purchase online by following the link below.

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