Hampshire Cricket History

The Ajmal Controversy
October 3, 2014, 10:42 am
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Rumbles on. This is from the BBC Website. It’s hard not to feel some sympathy I think, BUT

1. If he’d arrived at Hampshire last year and we’d been promoted what would we have said?

2. If Essex had ‘turned up’ at the Ageas Bowl (for the second year running) it might have been irrelevant. I reckon they were the poorest side there all season.

Here’s an extract from the story:

“Essex head coach Paul Grayson believes they would have won promotion had county umpires been “brave” enough to report Worcestershire’s Saeed Ajmal. The Pakistan spinner was suspended by the International Cricket Council last month for an illegal bowling action. He had taken 63 wickets in nine County Championship games for Worcestershire, who beat Essex to promotion.

“I’ve no doubt that if Worcestershire didn’t have Ajmal, we would have gone up this year,” Grayson told BBC Essex. “They’ve struggled in the second half of the season* when he was supposed to be away with Pakistan. I don’t want to sound like we’re being bitter, but I do believe we should have gone up this year.”

*In fact they won seven matches – three without Ajmal

Photographing Cardiff
October 1, 2014, 9:52 am
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One of our regulars, Ian Pearce sent me these (many thanks)


I may be David but I’m not really Welsh. I’m sitting in front of Ian’s Hartley Witney/Aldershot FC flag hoping the vantage point would allow a decent presentation team shot


It didn’t so here I am legging it onto the field having blagged my way on with my Ageas Bowl Media Pass! I’m about to get sprayed with champagne!

Lovely memories

New Bird
October 1, 2014, 7:27 am
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I’m interpreting all the comments about our new Aussie as meaning he’s coming for three months then hoping to be in the Aussie squad who start at the end of June with a match v Kent, then Essex before the first Test in Cardiff on 8 July. If he’s not selected I wonder what that might mean – or perhaps Kyle Abbott is available for the second half of the summer …

Perhaps we can do what Notts did ten years ago – promotion in 2004, the Championship in 2005.

A Blogger’s Tale
September 30, 2014, 4:35 pm
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Richard G & Jimmy A

Left (at Cardiff on Thursday) is Richard ‘Griff’ one of our Bloggers with a couple of Comments recently – here getting Jimmy to sign his Cardiff ticket. Richard is one of those AMAZING collectors who has some extraordinary and delightful stuff and he corresponds with me, Bob Elliott and Stephen S quite regularly about this & that. He lives up north and is involved in the delightful Wombwell Cricket Lovers Society (South Yorkshire) which I’ve visited a couple of times. There was a photo of Bob Elliott a few weeks back on here too, so you Bloggers are getting more famous!

I’m planning a project with you guys, linked to stories like this one of Richard or my memories on the post below of 1959. I’ll make sure all the end-of-season info is completed first and then all will be revealed.

Autumnal stats
September 30, 2014, 10:01 am
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(From the BBC)

“The UK is on course to have its driest September since records began, according to provisional figures released on Tuesday by the Met Office. The country received just 19.4mm of rain up to 28 September, about a fifth of the normal level.

It has also been one of the warmest Septembers in the past century. The Met Office holds rainfall records going back to 1910. Before this year, the driest September was in 1959, when 23.8 mm of rain fell.”

In fact 1959 was a fabulous summer throughout whereas 2014 wasn’t always that – the only Ageas Bowl first-class match to escape a weather interruption was the Test Match. I remember 1959 very well as it was the first season I played proper, organised school cricket and the first time I saw first-class cricket (Hampshire v Surrey at Portsmouth). But this one ended up being as memorable!

September 29, 2014, 5:06 pm
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From our website – late Monday afternoon:

Hampshire Cricket are delighted to announce fast-bowlers Jackson Bird and Yasir Arafat have signed to play for the Club during the 2015 season.

27-year old Bird will join the Club for the first three months of the season and will be available in all formats. The right-arm fast medium bowler first turned heads after an impressive debut season for Tasmania in 2011-12, finishing as the Sheffield Shield leading wicket-taker. The 27-year old, who averages just 20 with the ball in First-Class cricket, went on to make his Test debut for Australia in December 2012.

Experienced fast-bowler Arafat, who played for local rivals Sussex in 2014, will feature in the Royal London One-Day Cup and NatWest T20 Blast for Hampshire. The 32-year old has a wealth of experience in one-day cricket having played in several countries’domestic tournaments around the world. Arafat took 33 wickets in one-day cricket for Sussex in 2014, averaging an impressive 20.8 with the ball.

Close of Play
September 29, 2014, 9:44 am
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“Already I scent the rain in the air and the wind howling across the Severn, bringing with it the cathedral chimes it has torn to shreds. And I feel for my mackintosh again.”

John Arlott wrote those as the final words of his account of the glorious summer of 1947 (Gone to the Cricket). Our season finished before tea on Thursday but I was lucky enough to share bits of that evening and the next morning with the players and coaches and then there were those various events at the ground on Saturday (below). Even yesterday, away from cricket, I spent the afternoon performing at a folk festival in Southsea and then walked along the seafront on a beautiful early evening which might have been high summer.

But this morning there is drizzle and chill in the air and a newspaper with no cricket scores or fixtures. There will be some limited-overs stuff this winter but I can’t say I care terribly about that, so the winter will be a matter of reflecting with satisfaction on the perfect outcome; promotion – which was always the priority this year.

I’ve been running this Blog for a few years now and this year it has really moved on with regular correspondents and some (silent) followers. Blogs only work when people join in so many thanks – I shall keep it going through the winter with news and history which remains its principal purpose. I shall start trawling through this year’s Posts and Comments to write the season’s account for the Handbook while Bob Murrell polishes off his many detailed statistics.

Members’ Chairman Terry Crump is launching his Blog too at: hampshirecricketmad.wordpress.com

Enjoy the close season, thanks for all the interest and comments and keep watching. I won’t go away.


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