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Chris Wood: Hampshire's Highest Ever T20 Wicket-Taker

The Hampshire seamer became the club's highest ever wicket-taker in T20 cricket last season

Hampshire’s quest to reach a record-breaking eighth Vitality Blast Finals Day in 2019 saw James Vince’s side fall agonisingly short in the final fixture of the group stage as they failed to reach the Quarter-Final stage for only the second time in nine years.

The shining light, however, in this season's Blast campaign was that left-arm seamer Chris Wood, became Hampshire’s outright all-time leading wicket taker in T20 cricket.

Wood has notched up an incredible 131 wickets in Hampshire colours since his debut against Kent in 2010, but Wood has found that that isn’t a game that lives long in the memory.

“When I broke through it was almost a bit of a cloud, I made my debut in 2010 and when somebody asked me recently when my debut was, I said it was in 2009 and against a different team!

“Everyone knows their first game inside and out but I’ve played some many now for the club I love it’s not one that particularly stays in my mind.”

This season’s Vitality Blast campaign will forever be remembered as the time Wood etched his achievement in the Hampshire record books, something that he wasn’t aware of heading into the summer:

“When somebody told me at the start of the campaign that I was only four wickets away, I couldn’t believe it.

“When you think of the names like Dimi Mascherenas, Briggsy (Danny Briggs) when he was here and now I’m at the top - it’s a great feeling.

“I just want to pull away as much as I can over the next few seasons so absolutely nobody can chase me in the future."

Since 2010, Hampshire have reached T20 Finals Day an incredible seven times out of a possible nine and Wood recalls some of his memorable wickets he has taken along the way.

“Getting Ricky Ponting out at the Oval was special, Jayawardene and Sangakkarra too… they’re all massive names that I thought I’d never even play against let alone get them out.

“But my favourite has to be the 2012 final in Cardiff, I got Azeem Rafiq out in the final over, that pretty much secured the win which was an amazing feeling.”

Playing for Hampshire clearly means an incredible amount to Wood and his progression from joining the club at such a young age is there for all to see.

Having celebrated his twentieth year with the club in 2019, Wood will be celebrating his 30th birthday next June, but he isn’t finished there and he wants to continue representing a county close to his heart for a number of years yet.

“For someone that’s played at this club since they were nine years old, all the way through the academy and I’m still here now, I sort of have to pinch myself every year going into a new season.”

“In my mind I want to play for another six or seven years, but my body means I’ve probably only got another four or five. I love playing cricket and as long as I’m fit and giving everything, I want to play for as long as I can.

“I won’t be that person to hold on for dear life when it comes to it if I’m not performing to the level I know I can, so it will be a big decision to make when that one comes but I’d like to think there’s definitely another four or five years left in me.”

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From The Archive: Membership Cards

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