Hampshire Cricket History


What’s the Point?
October 30, 2020, 5:24 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Please note a new ‘Forever Changes’ entry below

Colin has asked if I might identify changes to the Points system as the years move on. This is an entirely reasonable request and a very difficult thing to do. There are three notable post-war histories of the Championship by Roy Webber, Robert Brooke and Stephen Chalke and while all three identify moments of change (not always coinsistently) as far as I can see nowhere do they lay out the scoring clearly and simply, Neither do the Handbook or Playfair.

That leaves us with Wisden and Cricket Archive. If we take 1958 as our starting point, both include a good deal of information, but while Wisden explains how faster scoring rate on first innings had changed that year to be more precise, nowhere does it actually identify that teams could (a) win two extra bonus points for that or (b) that this only applied if they did not win the match. Similarly this list from Cricket Archive, mentions batting bonus points but says nothing about how many are available, when or why:

Matches Won (12 pts); Lost (0); Lost but won on 1st inns (2); Lost but tied on first inns (1); Drawn but won on 1st inns (2); Drawn but tied on 1st inns (1); Drawn but lost on 1st inns (0); No decision on 1st inns (0);

Match abandoned is also (0).

This ain’t helpful because it appears that the maximum points available were 12 for a win but they weren’t. Hampshire either won or lost 10 matches in 1958 where the winning side took 14 points, because they still kept the two points for first innings lead (see my Comment).

But in another nine matches, either Hampshire or their opponents took four points. This was where the side that took first innings lead, did so by scoring at a faster rate, but did not win the match. When a side scored at a faster rate and took the lead, but then went on to win, they lost the faster rate two points – so no team took 16 points. Sometimes, as in the two matches in Pompey Week, Hampshire’s opponents batted more slowly but took first innings lead in drawn games, so they only took two points.

And if that’s not clear, don’t forget the first match which did not start until Day Three whereupon Yorkshire won on first innings and took eight points.

Keep up at the back please …



Forever Changes 1960
October 30, 2020, 4:04 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The county 2nd XI competition (two-day matches) began in 1959, but some 2nd XI sides still competed in the Minor Counties Championship, won in 1960 by Lancashire 2nd XI and for seven consecutive years by county 2nd XIs. England having won and retained the Ashes in 1953, 1954/5 and 1956, had lost the 1958/9 series in Australia 4-0 but there were complaints about the actions of the Australian fast bowlers and their habit of exploiting the back-foot law by ‘dragging’. Both issues would surface in the following seasons in English cricket.

The English first-class season of 1960 began with a match between Cambridge University and Surrey at Fenners on Wednesday 27 April. On the following Saturday, the students played Nottinghamshire, Oxford University met Gloucestershire in the Parks, MCC played the Champions Yorkshire at Lord’s and the first three County Championship matches started at Ilkeston, Pontypridd and Edgbaston. All first-class matches that year, whether Championship, or friendly were scheduled over three days; the Tests v South Africa over five.

This was an early start for the Championship. In 1959 it began on 6 May and until 1960 Championship matches always began after the FA Cup Final, held on the first Saturday in May. Perhaps this reflected the fact that there were still league footballers who were also first-class cricketers. Cambridge University included Tony Lewis and Roger Prideaux who would play for England, David Kirby who would captain Leicestershire and Christopher Howland, briefly with Sussex and Kent, plus Alan Hurd (Essex 1958-60) and the man who would become 7th Baron Penhryn of Llandegai. Oxford had an impressive top-order of AC Smith (Warwickshire & England); DM Green (Gloucs & Lancs); AA Baig (India & Somerset); Javed Burki (Pakistan) the Nawab of Pataudi (India & Sussex) as well as Charles Fry and Dan Piachaud (from Ceylon) who both played for Hampshire that year; there was Andrew Corran who would captain Nottinghamshire, Ian Potter (Kent) and David Pithey who would play Test cricket for South Africa and in England for Northants. By the ‘Varsity’ match they added fast-bowler David Sayer (154 matches for Kent 1955-1976) and Alan Duff who played briefly for Worcestershire. They dominated the Lord’s match but rain saved the ‘Light Blues’. By 1995, 35 years later, Oxford University won their match against Cambridge, still at Lord’s, but only Will Kendall (Hampshire) and Iain Sutcliffe (Lancashire) would go on to win caps at county sides.

The Playfair Cricket Annual identified just 24 ‘overseas’ professionals playing county cricket, although two Jayasinghe of Leicestershire and Barwell of Somerset played no matches and three others, Louis Devereux (Glamorgan), Colin McCool (Somerset) and ‘Laddie’ Outschoorn (Worcestershire) retired before the season started. In addition to the University cricketers, leading players included Bill Alley (from Australia, for Somerset), Ken Grieves (Australia/Lancashire), Ray Hitchcock (NZ/Warwickshire), Khalid Ibadulla (Pakistan/Warwicks), Laurie Johnson (Barbados/Derbyshire), Stuart Leary (SA/Kent), Danny Livingstone (Antigua) & Roy Marshall (Barbados/both Hampshire), Jack Manning (Australia/Northants), Joe Milner (SA/Essex), and Peter Wight (British Guyana/Somerset). McCool had played 14 Test Matches for Australia, the last in 1950, while Marshall and Ibadulla with four each were the only other Test cricketers. Other overseas players in England were to be found in the northern leagues including Garry Sobers and a newcomer, Basil D’Oliveira. Among the counties, Somerset had four ‘overseas’ players, Hampshire three, Essex, Northants, Sussex and Warwickshire two each.

The annual also identified amateurs in the counties’ averages, and by 1960 there were very few – and then mostly captains. The only exception was at Sussex who had Ted Dexter, David Sheppard, and Robin Marlar who all captained the county, David Mordaunt and Pataudi and Howland from the University match. Other amateurs who played regularly in 1960 were Donald Carr & Bill Richardson (Derbys), Trevor Bailey & Doug Insole (Essex), Tony Lewis & Wilf Wooller (Glamorgan), Tom Pugh (Gloucs), Colin Ingleby-Mackenzie (Hants), Colin Cowdrey & David Sayer (Kent), Bob Barber (Lancs), David Kirby (Leics), John Warr & Colin Dryborough (Middx), Raman Subba Row (Northants), Reg Simpson (Notts) AA Baig & Colin Atkinson (Somerset), MJK Smith, AC Smith & ‘Ossie’ Wheatley (Warwickshire)  From that list, only Sayer and Baig were not county captains at some point (Wheatley at Glamorgan). Other than one game for Tony Allom of Surrey, they, Worcestershire and Yorkshire were fully professional.



Close of Play
October 29, 2020, 4:43 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I will return to the Forever Changes theme tomorrow afternoon, until when I’ll stay with Alan Rayment. I’ve been looking through some recent photos and found this one which seems to me especially poignant. I don’t think I ever showed it to Alan but it’s from the day when we went to Hungerford and our ‘senior pro’ spent a delightful day with the oldest-ever first-class cricketer, John Manners.



Alan Rayment (updated)
October 28, 2020, 8:54 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I am very sorry to report that Alan Rayment, Hampshire’s senior pro, my friend and one of our ‘Bloggers’ died yesterday evening in Lymington Hospital. He was 92.

(3.30pm) Here is a fuller tribute:

Alan William Harrington Rayment known to team-mates and friends as ‘Punchy’,was born in Finchley, 29.5.1928. He was a right-handed batsman and occasional bowler, who played club cricket in the London area, and from the end of the war variously for Middlesex 2nd XI, London Counties, the Lord’s XI and, on National Service, the RAF. His matches for the Combined Services included his first-class debut v Northamptonshire in June 1947.

In the 1940s, the Middlesex batting line-up, including Compton, Edrich and Robertson was very strong, but in June 1948 he played for Middlesex 2nd XI against Hampshire 2nd XI at Dean Park, Bournemouth, and after rain interrupted play on the first day, he scored 40 in a longish innings on a turning wicket in a memorable duel with Reg Dare. He later felt that “maybe that innings and my fielding impressed coach Arthur Holt, whom I ran out with a direct hit on the stumps from cover point.” Two months later, Hampshire’s captain and secretary Desmond Eagar wrote to the Finchley Club’s secretary and to his parents, requesting a meeting between his Chairman and members of the club’s committee: and he was offered a two-year contract with Hampshire, starting at £5 per week.

He made his county debut on 7 May 1949, and played for Hampshire in 198 first-class matches over ten seasons, scoring 6,333 runs at 20.36, with four centuries, 23 half-centuries – and 19 wickets. It is interesting to note that he was the last capped Hampshire professional whose career was solely in three-day first-class matches – he played no ‘white ball’ games. He completed 1,000 runs in a season on two occasions, in 1952 and 1956 and he was a member of the side that finished third in 1955 and runners-up in 1958 – both best performances by Hampshire at that time.

As a batsman, he was enterprising at the crease, and when fielding superbly in the covers, quick on his feet; helped no doubt because with his wife he ran a dancing school in Southampton – they often performed together. In a late season match at Bournemouth in 1950, age just 22, he scored 58 and 94 as Gloucestershire’s England bowlers Goddard and Cook spun Hampshire to an innings defeat. Apart from Alan, only his early mentor Neil McCorkell reached 40, Alan’s share was 47% and his batting brought the highest praise from John Arlott who, in his diary of that season described them as “the two best innings” he saw “by a young cricketer” that year, adding “he never played a reckless stroke at a good ball (and) … never failed to punish a bad ball”.

His maiden century, 100* (& 74) came in a win against Somerset at Portsmouth in May 1952, there was a second a few weeks later at Trent Bridge and he was presented with his county cap at Bournemouth in July. In 1953 at Bristol, during the week of the Coronation he scored 126, adding 246 with Cliff Walker for the fourth wicket – at the time the fifth highest for that wicket for the county. He was proud too to have shared a third wicket partnership of 96 with Roy Marshall against the touring Australians in 1953 but as ever, Alan delighted equally in watching the superb stroke-play of Neil Harvey, on his way to three figures. Then in 1955 at Weston-Super-Mare, his 104 came out of a Hampshire score of 245-7 declared, after Somerset had been bowled out for just 37. The pitch was so difficult that Derek Shackleton took 14-29 in the match but Alan typically decided to attack and trust to luck and Hampshire won easily.

After retiring in 1958, he coached at Lord’s and occasionally captained Hampshire’s side in the new 2nd XI competition. He led a fascinating and varied life after that and on his death in Lymington, on 27.10.2020, he was Hampshire’s ‘senior pro’ – the longest-serving of all their former professional players. In later life he wrote and published a fascinating social and historical account of his early life called Punchy Through the Covers, 1928-1949.

Alan’s life was not always straightforward but he ‘danced’ through much of it with a twinkle in his eye and a smile of gratitude for the many opportunities it presented. In 2018 he was entertained to a surprise 90th party by his friends in the Dorset Cricket Society and he was always engaging and entertaining at the reunions of former players, or when watching Hampshire – not least on a fine summer’s day in May 2019, when he was interviewed by fellow-Londoner Kevan James as Hampshire returned to the Isle of Wight for the first time in almost 60 years. He was a wonderful conversationalist, talked wisely of cricket then, and cricket now and recalled playing in Hampshire’s first Island visit in 1956, and in the following year, his innings of 80 against Nottinghamshire. ‘Punchy’, a good friend to many, was such fun, and will be greatly missed. He once wrote:

“From the day of my debut at Cardiff sixty-nine years ago, I have always been, and remain, thankful and proud to have worn my Hampshire cap, to have played with and against unforgettable characters, and to have occasionally entertained Hampshire cricket fans on Hampshire soil”.

(Below) Alan at his beloved Lord’s, pulls a ball against Middlesex watched by Leslie Compton and Bill Edrich and (far right) at his surprise 90th Birthday party in 2018 (with his pal Mike Barnard).



EG Wynyard
October 27, 2020, 7:18 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I am ready to resume the story of Forever Changes but here is a good story from Stephen Saunders and Hampshire Cricket Heritage:

WYNYARD MEMORIAL

Towards the end of last year I was in Buckinghamshire and, as an ardent Hampshire cricket supporter and historian, I decided to locate the grave of Major Edward Wynyard DSO, OBE. He won his DSO in 1887 in the Burma Expedition, went on to fight in the Boer War and was awarded the OBE (Military Division) on retirement in April 1919.

Having located his grave and memorial in the churchyard of Holy Trinity, Penn I was saddened to see the state that it was in, so I set myself a project of having the memorial restored and refurbished. Firstly I contacted the Vicar, the Revd Mike Bissett who advised me that he had no authority to give me such permission and that only the family could do so. I then made contact with Richard Evans, who wrote the biography of “Teddy” and he put me in touch with one of his granddaughters, Edwina. She was only too pleased to give me the go ahead. Both Edwina and Richard contributed to the costs of the project. The balance being made up personally by the directors and historian of Hampshire Cricket Heritage Ltd. 

The cross was totally unstable on the base and had anyone wished it could have been pushed over. Unfortunately Covid-19 delayed the project for some time. Eventually the cross was separated from the plinth. The plinth was repaired and the cross replaced. In addition all the lettering was re-enamelled.

The results do justice to a gentleman, who fought in Burma and the Boer War and was a great sportsman. He won an FA Cup winners medal playing for the Old Carthusians in 1881; he was captain of Hampshire County Cricket Club from 1896 to 1899, and also played for England. He was a keen winter sportsman and Champion Tobogganer in 1895, while the following summer he was playing cricket for England.

EG ‘Teddy’ Wynyard, Hampshire CCC 1878-1908:

4,322 runs at 34.57 HS 268 v Yorkshire in 1898; 49 wickets at 31.61.

Two ‘Before’ and two ‘After’ photos



FC 1958/9
October 27, 2020, 8:59 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I saw my first match in 1959 so have been watching county cricket for around 60 years of almost constant change, but anyone who watched the sixty years from 1900 would probably have felt he or she was watching much the same game and (single) competition, that they had started with all those years before. People around my age however, are the last generation who were introduced to and grew up with county cricket as first-class cricket. Even the introduction of a knock-out cup in 1963 did not guarantee many matches each year – for half the counties just one, perhaps away, mid-week – although the Lord’s Final was shown on BBC TV. At school, from 1959-1967, I never once played in a game governed by limited-overs regulations. If the first side were not bowled out, they would declare at tea, after which the other side would chase a target or play for a draw. I doubt whether many school games today are played as anything other than win/lose in specified limited overs.

Before 1959, county cricket was played on what are called ‘uncovered’ pitches. The regulations would change from time-to-time but essentially it allowed nature to take its course. If it rained during a game the pitch got wet and became more helpful to bowlers, especially if the sun then shone and created a ‘sticky’. As it took some time to dry out, paying spectators often waited hours (days) for play to resume, so in 1959 the authorities experimented – initially for just a few years – with covering against the rain. As it happened this was almost unnecessary that year, which was a hot and sunny summer. It is nonetheless instructive to consider some statistics, comparing the wet and uncovered 1958 season with the one that followed.

Hampshire finished runners-up in 1958, their best-ever season to that point yet in 28 Championship matches they were three times bowled out in their first innings for less than 100, five more times between 101-150, four more under 200 and four more under 250. There were three other first innings when their scores were 105-7 dec, 120-6 dec, and 130-7 dec. That leaves just nine innings when they either declared with a reasonable score (best 296-7 dec) or scored 250+. Twice, at Bournemouth, they passed 400 and on two other occasions 300, but these were not, on the whole, first innings scores of a team finishing second in the Championship in the recent past.

Another revealing comparison comes through the individual averages. In the 1958 Championship, Peter May, the outstanding batsman of the era had an average of 55.39 then came Willie Watson with 48.96 while only two other players, the amateurs MJK Smith and Raman Subba Row, averaged over 40. In 1959, under hot sun and on covered pitches, MJK Smith averaged 63.79, and seven more batsmen over 50. Meanwhile of the bowlers in 1958, Mel Ryan of Yorkshire had an average of 15.00 but no fewer than seven men, including the Surrey spinners Lock & Laker were ahead of him as Surrey won their seventh consecutive title.  Derbyshire’s Les Jackson was at the top with 126 wickets at 10.40 while Hampshire’s Derek Shackleton took 161 wickets – an average around six per match – but was only 10th at 15.33. In 1959, Gloucestershire off-spinner David Allen led the bowlers at 15.58, not enough to have featured in the top ten a year earlier, while Jackson had 118 wickets but at almost double the cost – 18.06 – and 16 bowlers bowled at least 1,000 overs in the first-class season.

The other feature of the Championship at that time was how many different grounds, and therefore pitches, counties used. Essex for example played 14 home matches at nine different venues (two different ones in Colchester, but not in Chelmsford) while Kent used eight, not arriving at Canterbury until the August Bank Holiday. Glamorgan & Yorkshire used seven grounds, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire & Somerset five, Hampshire, Sussex & Worcestershire four, Lancashire three, Surrey two (one match at Guildford) and Yorkshire apart, it was principally the counties using Test Match grounds that stayed put; Warwickshire using two, Nottinghamshire and Middlesex one each. Even without the weather, this meant a variety of surfaces demanding different skills from batsmen and bowlers.



FC: 1900-1960
October 26, 2020, 8:10 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

‘Forever Changes’ now covers a 60-year period, 1960-2020. This first post is a summary of the previous 60 years, during which time there were far fewer and far less frequent major changes:

In England, the final first-class match of the 19th century was between the Home Counties and the Rest at Hastings; it finished as a draw on 9 September 1899 with Gilbert Jessop exactly 100 not out and ‘WG’ undefeated on 21. Both men were present seven months later for the start of first-class cricket in the 20th century, as Surrey defeated London County by an innings at the Oval. The match was played, as had those in the previous few years, with five balls per over but when the County Championship began three weeks later that number had increased to six, where it remains. Another change was that the follow-on, previously set at 120 runs, was no longer compulsory, with the deficit raised to 150 runs.

Cricket historians still disagree about the start of the County Championship, although there is something of a consensus that it was constituted formally from 1890 with eight counties. By 1895, with MCC in control, there were 14 and after Worcestershire joined in 1899, that settled briefly on 15. Northamptonshire joined in 1905; Worcestershire suffering the impact of the war, missed the two-day matches in 1919, but when Glamorgan joined in 1921 the 17 counties in a single ‘division’ were assembled, and the Championship remained unchanged until Durham joined in 1992.

In 1959 came the introduction of full covering in Championship matches, following the recent restriction to a maximum of five leg-side fielders. Beyond that, there had been relatively few significant changes to English county cricket in the previous 60 years. The key difference in the Championship was perhaps that teams played a varied number of matches in 1900, with the top two sides Yorkshire and Lancashire plus Surrey playing 28, but Somerset just 16, and three others 18. By 1922 the minimum was set at 22 matches. In 1900, the final table was based on a percentage calculation. When the Championship resumed after the war in 1946, the fixtures were co-ordinated from Lord’s for the first time, and from 1950-1959, all the counties played 28 matches – so not quite everyone home & away.

Among the changes that did occur in the 60 years from 1900-1959, were an extension of the days on which captains could declare; the post-war county matches in 1919 took place over just two lengthened days and when they resumed over three in 1920, Wednesday and Saturday were adopted as the normal start days; points awarded and methods of calculating the Champions were revised frequently, and in 1939 there was an experiment with eight-ball overs. Probably the most significant change came in 1935 and reverberated down the years; it was a change in the lbw law, allowing the batsman to be out to a ball which pitched outside the off-stump.

In 1936 Derbyshire caused a surprise, winning their only Championship title, while in the 21 years between the World Wars only they, Middlesex (1920 & 1921) and Nottinghamshire (1929) broke the dominance of the two ‘Roses’ counties. In 1949, Middlesex and Yorkshire were the first joint Champions and in 1951, Tom Dollery was the first professional captain to lead his team, Warwickshire, to the title. When Devon applied to become the 18th county in 1950, Wisden proposed extending the Championship to two divisions of 12 teams with promotion and relegation.Surrey’s 23 wins in 28 matches in 1955 was the highest-ever proportion.

In international cricket the South Africans first played Test Matches in England in 1907 and two years later they, England and Australia formed the Imperial Cricket Conference. In 1912 the three teams played a nine Test Triangular Tournament, won by England under the captaincy of CB Fry. India, New Zealand and West Indies joined the ICC in 1926 and all played their first Tests in England in the inter-war period. There were no Test Matches in England in 1927, the last time that has occurred; in 1948, matches against the Australians were the first in England to be played over five days. Following partition, Pakistan toured England for the first time in 1954. TMS was launched in 1957, although radio cricket broadcasts had begun in the 1920s, while in 1938, the BBC televised England’s Test against the Australians at Lord’s.



Forever Changes
October 25, 2020, 9:36 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I was looking at that book the other day, thinking it needed updating. But I never felt it quite did the job I wanted it to – it rambled frequently, or went off at tangents and lost the polemical thrust I had intended. I thought it needed to be very much more factual and focused – a clear account of all the changes that have occurred over the past 60 years, principally to English county cricket and less frequently, broader events which had repercussions.

But do I want to publish another cricket book? Probably not, especially at a time when there is no guaranteed ‘captive’ audience for self-published short runs. So the obvious thing is to shift to the Blog and see where it takes me. I’ll start tomorrow – it struck me that if I was to do one year every day, I’d finish by Christmas, but maybe I’ll take it slowly!

So tomorrow I’m going to look back from 1960 to 1900, and then it’s onwards. As ever, I’ll be delighted to receive lots of comments – we’ll see where we end up.



Prestigious Possibility
October 24, 2020, 9:20 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It seems that the way the Ageas Bowl handled this year’s international fixtures is paying dividends. The Daily Telegraph’s sport supplement today suggests, “The World Test Championship final is set to be played over six days next summer, with the Ageas Bowl a potential surprise venue”.



Thank You Very Much
October 23, 2020, 2:36 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

If anyone would like the complete list of players debut numbers – starting with Robin Smith in 1982 – and the (almost) complete list of their shirt numbers, please email me:

dave.allen@port.ac.uk

(N.B. It’s only a word document – I’m still a novice on Excel!)