Born On This Day: 30th October

A new series from Hampshire Cricket historian Dave Allen marks the birthdays of notable and fondly remembered Hampshire cricketers

Today we celebrate the birthday of one of Hampshire's very best and hugely popular all-rounders, 'Dimi' Mascarenhas who was born on this day in 1977. Although born in London, Dimi was raised in Australia by Sri Lankan parents, and returned to England in 1996, on the recommendation of Paul Terry, initially playing 2nd XI and Southern League cricket in Hampshire.

Having impressed, he made his first-class debut v Glamorgan in September and broke an opening partnership of 177, taking 6-88 – one of the best debut returns in Hampshire’s history. In the next match, he took seven Kent wickets and won a contract which would lead to a highly successful career in all forms of the game, not least representing England in limited-overs and T20 internationals.

He began his Hampshire career as a bowler who batted, and through his career became an increasingly skilful medium-pacer; in 195 first-class matches for Hampshire, he took 450 wickets, with 285 more in limited-overs and another 94 in the T20 – placing him third in Hampshire’s all-time list.

His batting developed over the years, scoring his first centuries in 2000 & 2001 – the latter, Hampshire’s first on their new ground. In 2005 he averaged almost 50, and in 2008 scored 673 runs, his highest aggregate; in first-class cricket, he scored 6,495 runs at 25.07. One of his more notable batting feats was hitting India’s Yuvraj Singh for five consecutive sixes in an ODI at the Oval, and he played for England 20 times in limited-overs internationals and 14 x T20s, in which he was the first Hampshire player to complete the career ‘double’ of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets.

He became Hampshire’s captain in 2008 when in the early spring, Warne informed the county he would not be returning, although that May, Mascarenhas became the first English cricketer to appear in the new IPL. Hampshire started the season poorly and seemed threatened with relegation, but they recovered well, and finished in third place, while they were also runners-up in the Pro-40. He continued in charge in 2009, although Pothas deputised while he appeared again in the IPL. On return he captained Hampshire to the Friends Provident Trophy at Lord’s, beating Sussex. They were less successful in the Championship but finished clear of relegation.

In 2010, he was appointed captain again, but was injured in the IPL, and played just once in a T20 match, so Pothas and Cork deputised, and Cork replaced him in 2010. Mascarenhas was injured when Cork’s Hampshire won their first T20 in 2010, but in 2012 he captained Hampshire in the shortest form, and lifted the Trophy at Cardiff after taking 2-20 in his four overs.

In 2013, he played in just one first-class match but as his Hampshire career drew to a close he was a regular in the 40-over competition and played in the semi-final v Glamorgan at the Ageas Bowl, taking his leave with eight not out, as Hampshire fell to a defeat. Despite that disappointing end, he will be remembered as a very good, cheerful cricketer; one of the supporters’ favourites. He moved into coaching, for a time with New Zealand, and with Essex in 2018.

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Born On This Day: 3rd December

A new series from Hampshire Cricket historian Dave Allen marks the birthdays of notable and fondly remembered Hampshire cricketers