Hampshire's academy director and former opening batsman Tony Middleton is thrilled to have been awarded a benefit by the county for 2006.
He scored nearly 6,000 first-class runs for Hampshire between 1984 and 1995 but thought the accolade had passed him by.
"I can remember when I finished playing, I was told, 'Don't worry, you'll get a benefit,' and that was 10 years ago," he told BBC Radio Solent.
"I thought they'd forgotten, but it was a nice surprise. I feel privileged."
Middleton, 41, whose testimonial year is launched on Friday evening, also toured Australia with England A in 1992/93.
He top-scored in the NatWest Trophy Final victory over Surrey in 1991, and was also in the side which lifted the Benson & Hedges Cup the following year.