Hampshire Cricket History

August 25, 2016, 2:45 pm
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(There are loads of songs called ‘Drifting’ from Enya to Jimi Hendrix to Fleetwood Mac)

But Drifting? Not me this time and thanks very much once again for some really delightful responses. Whatever else happens, I’ve absolutely no intention of stopping the Blog while people enjoy it

So, I’ll try to fix my gaze clearly on What’s Going On (as Marvin would say)

It’s Taunton that’s drifting isn’t it? It looks like an old fashioned Taunton pitch at the minute while the game begins to remind me of last year’s, needing a strong Hampshire rearguard action to secure the draw and 10 points

Meanwhile, Notts look lost and therefore very probably down I suspect. They’ve won just one match and that was the first one of the season. Presumably if everything they say about England and Div Two is true there will be something of an exodus?

Durham aren’t going to beat Warwicks but it will help for them to lose. It does look to me increasingly as though our last game at home to Durham might be crucial. If so, the ball-by-ball commentaries could be ‘amusing’ …

I guess it would suit us for Surrey to beat Lancs? They both look rather far away at present

HOWEVER There is a bit of a problem looming. Next week while we knock-off a three-day win v Yorkshire, Durham are at home to Notts! It might almost suit us for Notts to win.

Then we go to the Oval while Durham are at Leeds

After which they play their game in hand, at home to Surrey

And finally Durham come to us.

Then it’s 2017

Living in the Past
August 25, 2016, 7:05 am
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It’s Jethro Tull. I saw them more than once but most notably at a Hyde Park free concert in beautiful Saturday afternoon sunshine back in 1968. The full bill also included Roy Harper (“When an Old Cricketer leaves the Crease”), the early, elfin, acoustic Tyrannosaurus Rex and top-of-the-bill Pink Floyd. I was 18 and it was rather wonderful. This weekend I’ll be at the huge Victorious Festival on Southsea Common – even taking the skiffle guys down for a play. Festivals always rekindle something of the latent hippy inside me, I’m looking forward to it.

I’ve lived in the past all my life. Not principally with cricket history but through my teaching career in art and popular culture. I’ve taught about art history, movies, music etc but there was always a vital point for me – that my engagement with the past had to connect with and illuminate the present. At its best, it contributes to the development of the present into the future. In terms of cricket, that was the reason I wrote Forever Changes, but for someone like me to publish something like that is merely pissing into the wind. They will do what they want with not a care.

At the festival this weekend, I’ll connect in my imagination with all those other festivals and large outdoor gigs I’ve done over the decades. When I go to art galleries I can find connections between the work of the past and the present. It gives me ideas for the future. In cricket over the past two years I have found that increasingly hard to do. I look at the situation with Tom Alsop and I can connect it historically with the way Hampshire often treat their own young cricketers – but that’s too negative to live with for too long.

It leaves me feeling (literally) alienated – like an alien, wandering around a ground and club that increasingly I don’t care about. I’m not even listening to the commentaries any more. Will they stay up? For the first time in my life it doesn’t seem to matter.

Exactly fifty years ago this week I went to the US Ground in Pompey and saw Trevor Jesty’s debut – as an opening bowler. He played alongside David Turner who had made his debut in the previous game and Richard Gilliat who joined us that season. Richard Lewis was also on the staff and playing in the 2nd XI, like Jesty and Turner a teenager. Seven years later, under Gilliat’s captaincy, they were County Champions. We’ve never managed that since.

In my imagination, I can still connect with those days – not by any means all perfect – but what I’m increasingly struggling to do is to connect them with what I encounter today. It’s not like music, art, cinema; it’s almost as if the connecting thread has been broken.

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe it comes to most people, although as I say, it seems to be just cricket for me. At the start of the season I told the Committee and club that this would be my last 12 months as Archivist. I think I’ve done what I could, I’ve covered all the walls in the Atrium and elsewhere and, with Stephen and Richard, sorted out the library and archive space. There isn’t much left to do although I said I would stay as long as the next AGM if necessary.

I’ve not gone public beyond that small group before now, but I’m doing it for two reasons.

  1. To put my grumpiness on this delightful Blog in some kind of broader context
  2. To point out that right now we have no idea what happens next. When my predecessor and pal Neil Jenkinson retired some years back, I simply took over. But Stephen (Kent) and Richard (Yorkshire) are miles away. Fancy a job?

The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine …
August 24, 2016, 5:03 pm
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… Any More?

They’re off at Taunton for bad light, but the over count is pretty well the end of the day anyway. Of the four current matches, this one has so far made the least progress towards a win/lose result. It doesn’t have to be a draw but with Somerset closing on Hampshire into day three, the pressure is on Hampshire to reach a challenging total in the third innings – and they’ll need to do it fairly quickly too. Elsewhere at present, victories for Yorkshire, Surrey and Warwickshire look distinct possibilities. Perhaps it’s building up to a crucial final game at the Ageas Bowl v Durham?

Meanwhile, it rained at the Ageas Bowl today, but although it got very dark in Pompey, it barely rained here at all – a disappointment for Mrs A and her garden.

PS 9.40pm I haven’t been anything like glued to the ODI today – it’s not seemed very interesting – but I’m sorry to see the rain causing so many problems (we did eventually get a bit in Pompey). They’ve just resumed, but Sky showed a bird’s eye view of lots of people queueing for the buses well before the end. It looks one-sided.

And just as I finished typing that, off they went again. If you went, my sympathy. Ultimately I guess, a disappointing day.

Left, Right, Gone
August 24, 2016, 11:54 am
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I’m a bit slow in this hot weather but it occurred to me this morning that Hampshire’s top-scorers yesterday, Ervine and McLaren, are both left-handers – therefore having the advantage of playing against the two Somerset wicket-takers who bowl orthodox SLA, turning the ball into the left hander.

Seeing the conditions, the Hampshire selectors have chosen to give a game to a Minor Counties bowler of the same sort, but I was just wondering whether they could have picked any other left-handed batsman to counter the threat?

I’m thinking … was there one who wasn’t selected?

(No I’m not thinking of Kevan James)

Anyway this piece of magic cheers me up

I Can’t Explain
August 23, 2016, 5:34 pm
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(The Who)

I’m not sure whether anyone else can either

Was Tom Alsop dropped or is he indisposed? I guess it’s entirely reasonable to applaud the decision to pick Ervine at number 3. Meanwhile, I’m intrigued by the choice of Smith as captain.

It looks as though most of the games are moving towards results and tonight the weather forecast looks less serious on Thursday – the rain might come overnight

But Alsop? I understand that we have the best batting line-up in the country with loads of bonus points, while Alsop only got 93 last time out, with three half-centuries in his past six innings, but he still seems quite promising to me.

So, dropped or unavailable?

PS In 17 innings this season, three Hampshire bowlers have taken five (+) wickets in an innings: Best at Old Trafford (5-90), McLaren v Somerset (5-104) and Wheal in the last match (6-51). So Carter’s debut in the last match, 4-52 & 1-24, was pretty good too – good enough indeed for him also to be ‘rested’?

Walk On
August 22, 2016, 1:40 pm
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(Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee)

It looks like yet another name and number (544)* on the Board then

Hampshire have David Wainwright (SLA Shropshire, ex-Derbys/Yorks) in the squad of 14 and are talking as though he’ll play because Taunton is turning. So too James Vince & Sean Ervine (perhaps) – but if it’s turning, what about Brad Taylor?

Hampshire have just won their second game of the season but could be about to make three changes. Out go – well we know Dawson, but after him?

*Wainwright will also be their 22nd Championship player, plus Stevenson, Taylor, Sammy and Afridi in the white ball stuff. 26 players in one season is not a record, but excluding a single JPL match for John Rice, it is double the size of their 1973 squad in four competitions.

PS: Forecast looks very dodgy for Thursday. Might need lots of bonus points



That’s Your Lot
August 22, 2016, 7:16 am
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But remember, Taekwondo and Dressage are for life, not just for August.

Now, back to the serious stuff. Tomorrow’s team? Presumably Vince is back – is he a straight swop for Dawson, with just Crane (& Smith?) to bowl spin? We can opt to bowl first, therefore not last (ref leg-spin).

Interestingly Taunton has become increasingly a result pitch through the season, after starting off in its usual way.

Four seamers again? What if Ervine was fit?

And given recent success is it straightforward that Vince takes over the captaincy? It might do him good … I hope he scores 300.

Incidentally – no comments about the Vipers. Was it Fats Domino or is it not of particular interest to Hampshire fans? I’m just wondering.


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