DateLine: 14th December 2006
Having won the County Championship & C&G Trophy in his first regular season in all competitions, Carl Hopkinson signed a two year deal at the end of the 2006 with the praise of his coach Mark Robinson ringing in his ears.
Awarded the young player of the year at Sussex in 2000 the much rated Hopkinson moved into the seconds in 2001. He settled as a middle order batsman/pace bowler to some effect and made his first team one day debut against Lancashire late in the season.
In the second half of the 2002 season Hopkinson hit form in the reserves with the bat but chances in the first team did not materialise until 2003 in the “Sunday League.” However, apart from one excellent all round performance against Scotland, he did not do enough to establish himself.
2004 saw Hopkinson open second eleven one day games but he struggled for opportunities at the higher level. However the turning point came in a Totesport League game late in 2004 against Middlesex when he hit 41 and took three wickets. Next year Hopkinson moved into the first team as a regular one day player and operated at number 6, before being given some opportunities in the championship side late in the year as an opener. During this period Hopkinson clearly came to be seen as a batsmen, rather than an all-rounder .
2006 saw Hopkinson display his talents far more frequently, operating as a methodical opening bat in championship matches, while in one day games delivering quick fire runs at number six.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2006 John Dobson)