HAMPSHIRE director of cricket Giles White insists he is proud of the county’s excellent white-ball record but wants to continue to balance it out across all formats.

The Ageas Bowl side made T20 finals day again last year while they were also beaten in the Royal London one-day cup final against Leicestershire.

Added to that was a third-place finish in the County Championship as they finished behind Surrey and Essex, in a tight race that went to the latter stages of the season.

The 51 year old feels Surrey will again be a leading contender so his side's start to the season will be even more important.

Speaking at last month's fixture launch, he told the Daily Echo: “There are some very good sides in there. Surrey have been dominant over the last couple of years.

“For us to win it, we are going to have to be at our best, but we have got a strong squad.

“We prepare well and hopefully if we get that good start, it will give us the opportunity towards the end of the season to maybe be in the mix and to get over the line.

“Getting to finals day regularly is something that we pride ourselves on and obviously the fans get a day out as well, so as a club, we enjoy our white-ball cricket.

“We have had our success but for us, it is about balancing it out with the red ball as well, and being a club that competes across the formats which is also important for us.”

Hampshire will begin their season with a trip to Division Two champions Durham on Friday, April 5 and they don’t play their first T20 game until Thursday, May 30 against Surrey.

White believes the Hampshire players will already be looking to the first fixture against the northeast side as they look to avoid an early slip-up.

He continued: “I think they are a good team but going up north early season might be a bit cold.

“I think the guys will have their eyes on that, they will be packing their woollies and their handwarmers, but it is one that sticks out.

“A few of the guys are away overseas playing for different teams but as we get nearer to that game, we will be focusing on the opposition and these conditions as well.

“If you are spending a winter abroad, coming back is very different so that first bit of pre-season will be focused very much on that first block of red ball games.”

Hampshire have not won the County Championship Division One title since 1973 but they will feel they are getting closer to ending that drought.