Hampshire Cricket History


Jubilee Lines
May 28, 2022, 3:03 pm
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I thought over the next week or so I might offer some snippets of Hampshire’s history against key dates in Her Majesty’s 70 years. I was chatting to a younger friend about the Jubilee recently and it led me to discover that I’m one of around 15% of the UK population born before she succeeded her father in 1952.

When it comes to making sense of today’s county and England cricket, being part of that 15% seems to me increasingly significant. My first memory of England on TV was against New Zealand in 1958, I first saw county cricket in 1959, I first went regularly (Portsmouth) in 1960, and in 1961 I was a junior member and travelled to Southampton for the first time (v Kent). By then I was playing cricket for the first time in a school XI wearing full whites – and we never played a limited-overs format, and only ever in ‘friendlies’ (no competitions, no medals).

On Thursday 22 August 1963 I went to my first Test Match, England v West Indies at the Oval where I saw ‘Shack’ make a magnificent 0* from four balls. I do remember the black & white screening of the first Gillette Cup Final a few weeks later although Hampshire had lost their first ever game, midweek in May at Bournemouth, and I hardly noticed. The Final was not exactly a thriller; scheduled for 65 overs per side, Sussex were all out for 168 after two balls of the 60th over and beat Worcestershire 154 all out (63.2 overs). Overall then 322 runs and 20 wickets in 124 overs.

It did not seem slow of course – what did we know? Life continued much the same for my first ten years of watching county cricket and there was just one more Test Match day at Trent Bridge v South Africa in 1965 when Graeme Pollock hit his famous 125 from 145 balls – that was sheer luck, I was on holiday. Playing at school continued much the same and I don’t think I saw either of the two Pompey Gillette Cup matches in the 1960s because I was playing.

Then, after ten formative years of Championship and Test cricket, the Sunday League appeared and while I quite enjoyed it, from the start it felt a bit short, rushed. There was no ‘one day’ international cricket yet, and I didn’t play limited-overs league cricket until 1976, after I finished my student cricket days, so for me first-class county and Test cricket (in whites) was the natural order of things – we just played a single day, single innings version of that.

As a consequence, I’ve never quite ‘progressed’ to the full magic of the short stuff in fancy dress and I doubt I ever will, although I’ve enjoyed our 40/50/55/60-over Lord’s Cup Final triumphs. Those of us who were born in the days of the old King, grew up with a game that is greatly changed and if you came to cricket, watching and/or playing, after say 1970, the ‘natural order’ probably feels very different (?)



Gubbins Turn?
May 28, 2022, 8:52 am
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Would you change anything on Monday? Nick Gubbins will be back from the tourist game

He did not however play in any T20 matches last year. Before joining Hampshire his T20 average was just 14.71 with one fifty in 39 matches for Middlesex (SR: 117.31).



Middlesex T20 (Home)
May 27, 2022, 8:38 am
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If you’re going, may the sun shine on you and I hope you have fun.

For each of the T20 games I have written up a brief history against those opponents, so currently, matches v Middlesex at home. You can find it on the club’s website:

https://www.ageasbowl.com/cricket/news/dave-allen-20-years-of-middlesex-at-the-ageas-bowl/

PS The later post about membership/tickets/entry was only for my information so many thanks to you all but I’ve removed it so that we can focus on tonight’s game. Add any comments you wish.



Things Get Better Baby
May 26, 2022, 9:25 am
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I think you followed my ‘disappointment’ about the 2nd XI stats (not the scorecards) in this year’s Handbook. I’ve made a couple of suggestions for dealing with those to the powers that be but have yet to get a response. I’ve been helped enormously in getting the correct versions by Don Starr and he has been chatting with Tigger so I am delighted to share with you all this message from Tigger:

“Don Starr asked me if it was possible to add the 2nd XI stats for 2022 to my website.

I have now done it. The 2nd XI Championship and 2nd XI T20 are available from the EXTERNAL LINKS** drop down (items 6 & 7). The 2 T20 matches played yesterday are not yet available on CricketArchive but I’ll add these as soon as they are available”.

**Green Box, top left hand corner

Brilliant!! Many thanks.



Imagine
May 26, 2022, 7:21 am
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For a moment that I decided to attend a T20 match – unlikely of course but imagine. Would my Life Membership get me in or would I have to purchase a ticket? Apparently some people need passports (another country?)



Hampshire Represented!
May 25, 2022, 6:52 pm
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BBC: “Sir Dave Brailsford and Dan Ashworth are among those who will take part in the England and Wales Cricket Board’s high performance review”. I’ve never heard of them but apparently one rides a bike (me too) and the other is from footy.

But the great news is that one of our most famous former overseas players is also part of the review – he’s bound to look after our interests: “Figures from within the game that will be involved are men’s managing director Rob Key, Durham director of cricket Marcus North … (etc.)”



Struggling?
May 25, 2022, 7:57 am
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Scyld Berry Daily Telegraph online

Header: ECB must redress the county system to ensure the struggling sides do more to encourage local cricket to thrive.

Dave: Berry has written a piece about the desperate struggles of Leicestershire in the County Championship. He has a point but when he describes Leicestershire’s failure to work with its local city communities it stops being an argument about “struggling” sides

Berry: “For the last decade Leicestershire have been plumbing the depths in first-class cricket – note, not white-ball – and the current edition of Wisden speaks of “the miseries of recent years.” 

Any England players in the making? Well, no. They were all enticed away from Grace Road long ago. County champions in 1996 and 1998, the player exodus began with Stuart Broad, Harry Gurney, Darren Stevens, Luke Wright…” (Dave: They do however have the England under-19 spinner Rehan Ahmed who has signed for Southern Brave I think)

“The root of the problem is that Leicestershire CCC became completely disconnected from its surroundings. Ten years ago and more, the county was happy to sign players from other counties and other countries. Cricket within the city of Leicester was ignored …

(Dave: rather like cricket in the cities of Southampton and Portsmouth. In 2022 Hampshire have fielded 13 men in the Championship, one of whom was born in Hampshire while eight have come from ‘elsewhere’ – overseas, other counties. Of the five we developed, Vince and Dawson came through more than ten years ago, leaving Weatherley and Organ plus Crane in one match. Meanwhile around the country, McManus, Alsop, Crane, Came, Dale and Scriven, all brought through our age groups are now or have been on loan at other counties)

Berry’s proposal is “a First Division of 12 counties and a Second Division consisting of the other six first-class counties and the strongest five or six National Counties, as the Minor Counties have been re-named. They would play 10 first-class games of three days’ duration per season, consisting of 110 overs a day: so many because then, given time-limit penalties, every team would have to use two spinners”.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/cricket/2022/05/24/no-runs-no-wickets-little-hope-do-leicestershire-deserve-survive/



Gubbins gone
May 24, 2022, 6:53 am
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Only temporarily (I hope) but presumably won’t be in the Hampshire side for the first T20 match against his old team on Friday because he’s in a County Select XI squad (England hopefuls?) to play the New Zealanders at Chelmsford starting on Thursday – although it’s a squad of 12 so, assuming it’s first-class, one will be omitted and perhaps released:

County Select XI squad: Jack Blatherwick (Lancashire), Michael Burgess (Warwickshire), Ben Compton (Kent), Ben Gibbon (Worcestershire), Nick Gubbins (Hampshire), Tom Haines (Sussex), Lyndon James (Nottinghamshire), Ryan Patel (Surrey), Liam Patterson-White (Nottinghamshire), Jamie Porter (Essex), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Dom Sibley (Warwickshire).



The Way It Is
May 23, 2022, 12:41 pm
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I’m having a strange season. For some years I’ve been raging against the machine/the dying of the light, making cynical comments about the Big Bash and angry ones about the Hundred/ECB – I even wrote and published a book – but I’m not doing any of that much this year.

As a Hampshire member I received an email recently inviting me to “Be part of our biggest moments this summer!” by which they meant simply Southern Brave and the Hundred, while in the past few days the Hampshire website has a post which starts “2022 is shaping up to be a huge year at The Ageas Bowl” and then lists in this order: two England matches, Southern Brave, the Hundred Eliminator, the Vitality Blast, the ‘El Classicoast’ fixture, the “mouthwatering” double-header also featuring the Vipers, the Vipers’ 20 & 50 over matches, the (men’s) Royal London Cup and finally the LV= County Championship. We might win that for the first time in 49 years but you wouldn’t know from this.

In past years I’d have been ‘cross’ but I find – and it’s not deliberate – that I’m increasingly indifferent. It just seems to me the way it is now and I’m the one out-of-step. A lot of non-cricket people know me as a cricket ‘fan’, yet I look at that menu and have to acknowledge that I care very little about any of the first six or so items, while even the RL Cup is a pale shadow of its former self. So am I really just fond these days of cricket history?

On Saturday I was listening to Kevan talking about the distinct possibility of there being just five home Championship matches next year and I wondered if that happens whether I would bother to go regularly any more – recently I gave the Gloucestershire Saturday a miss because I didn’t feel like it and I never once regretted it.

Whatever happens, in some ways the oddest part of this whole business is that it feels to me (suddenly) as if I don’t really care – cricket has a future without me and increasingly it seems I have a life without depending too much on it.



It might as well rain
May 22, 2022, 7:45 am
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Until mid-June?

I don’t mean it of course, no wish to be a spoilsport for those of you with different tastes but here we are almost mid-way in a period of one away (and as it happens three-day) Championship match in five weeks. Time to take stock perhaps. Are we on our way to a third title, not least since the other likely sides will probably suffer from Test Match calls?

I went back to the last three occasions when we challenged from the off for the title (it was a bit of a late show last year) although on each occasion we finished second. The comparisons are not straightforward given the different number of matches played but our six so far this year constitute around 43% of the final total. Here then some figures:

2022 (43% = 6 matches) We have won 4 (66%) and lost one

2005 (43% = 7 of 16 matches) We won 4 (57%) and lost one

1985 (43% = 10 of 24 matches) We won 3 (30%) no losses – three-day games

1974 (43% = 9 of 20 matches) We won 6 (66%) one loss – three-day games, uncovered pitches

In 1974 those six wins included four consecutive by an innings. We were quite simply the strongest side that year, our hopes entirely wrecked by the weather (and one daft afternoon in Wales). In 1985 we lost just two games, one after a double forfeit and the penultimate game when, with nine down, Northants’ Roger Harper hit the final ball for six to win it. Had he been dismissed, we’d have won and then – who knows?

So, reasons to be cheerful as I return to hibernation. Enjoy the funny stuff.