Sam Northeast: Hampshire signing backs county for trophies challenge

Hampshire batsman Sam Northeast
Sam Northeast has not played Championship Division One cricket since Kent's relegation in 2010

Batsman Sam Northeast insists Hampshire are capable of challenging for trophies this summer after moving from Kent.

The 28-year-old agreed a four-year deal at the Ageas Bowl earlier this month.

Hampshire have not won the County Championship for 45 years and last won a limited-overs trophy in 2012.

"I honestly believe we can have a run for the Championship this year, or a run in a few competitions. We've got that good a squad, I think we can compete," he told BBC South Today.

Northeast scored 1,017 Championship runs for Kent last summer at an average of 50.85, and has hit 19 first-class centuries in his career.

He was wanted by a number of counties, but chose to remain on the south coast, and hopes playing regularly in the top flight of the Championship will boost his chances of an international call-up.

Northeast is to travel to the Caribbean to join the England Lions squad in time for the limited-overs part of their series in the West Indies.

"Hampshire always felt like the right move in my mind. I think I knew from the beginning that I was going to end up here," he said.

"I've wanted to play Division One cricket for the last few years. It is the next step up for me, it is a really exciting challenge and hopefully that can kick me on to international honours as well.

"The most important thing is to come here and win as many games as possible, make sure the team is playing well, and if any internationals come off the back of it, then brilliant."

Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove said Northeast was arguably the most significant signing by the club since Kevin Pietersen in 2004.

"I expect within a month of Sam starting for us he'll have played more games than Kevin Pietersen did," he joked.

"Sam was right in our sweet spot, he's exactly the type of player we were looking for to supplement the squad. We've been tracking him for some years."