Hampshire manager Giles White defends Barbados trip

Giles White

White started his first-class career with Somerset

Hampshire cricket manager Giles White has defended the decision to take the squad to Barbados for pre-season training for a third successive season.

After preparing in the Caribbean the previous two years, the county have gone on to make sluggish starts to the domestic campaign.

Last season they lost five of their first eight County Championship games.

White told BBC Radio Solent : "We feel that Barbados will give us the best possible preparation for the season."

He added: "If you stay in England then you can get through to the start of the season having hardly had any outdoor practice which we know we can get in the Caribbean. You're almost guaranteed sunshine out there.

"The atmosphere is great out there, the facilities are good and so are the wickets so we made a big play for going back out there.

"We're keen to make a good start to the season and we feel this gives us the best chance to do so."

White will be operating with a reduced squad compared to last season following the county's relegation to the Second Division of the County Championship.

But the former Hampshire batsman is looking on the positive side of working with a smaller side.

"We've got Simon Katich coming over as overseas player which we're very happy about, all in all things are in place and I'm happy withy the squad we have got," he said.

"If we're lucky with injuries then there's going to be very stiff competition for places.

"It's a good bunch, everyone's working hard and we are all looking forward to next season."