Hampshire Cricket History

March 30, 2010, 4:15 pm
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The Hampshire side v Warwickshire at Edgbaston 1922. Hampshire all out 15, followed on and won by a substantial margin. This is the second such occasion (see below) – and the most recent? (Watch this space)

The Most Exciting?
March 25, 2010, 8:19 pm
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Hampshire’s website carries an article by Neil Evans about the ground developments, Royals franchise etc describing this time as “arguably the most exciting period of Hampshire’s illustrious history”. Well this site is all about history and there’s nothing like sport to encourage a good argument so …

I don’t wish to suggest that these are not interesting times since they certainly are but I’d love to hear what others think. Clearly any judgements of this kind depend on many factors – not merely facts but memories and experiences. For many reasons I’d like to nominate the Championship win of 1961 as the best of the lot, but while I saw that team, I was too young to appreciate it fully.

So for me the most “exciting period” is quite simply from the start of the 1973 season through to the penultimate game of the following year when Hampshire were easily the finest Championship team in the country. The end of 1974 was a soggy disappointment but it doesn’t alter the fact that Gilliat’s side were magnificent and in the end, nothing can beat the excitement of what happens on the field. Every day I expected them to win – usually with ease – and I’ve never known that feeling since in quite the same way.

What period would you nominate?

(picture above v Derbyshire at Portsmouth 1973)

Another Site to Visit
March 25, 2010, 9:38 am
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There’s another Blog of broader cricket interest but maintained by a man originally from Hampshire. Read here about the Hampshire of ‘Shack’, Roy Marshall, Jimmy Gray etc

In the Beginning
March 24, 2010, 7:49 am
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The Hampshire side that took the field for their first County Championship match v Somerset at Taunton in 1895. They won that first game after following-on. Hampshire have achieved this on two other occasions – do you know when?


Overseas Players
March 23, 2010, 8:43 pm
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60 years ago Roy Marshall created such an impression at Hampshire that he became their first overseas player of modern times, although South African CB Llewellyn had played very effectively from 1899-1910. Oddly, Hampshire’s RM Poore played for South Africa against England in South Africa in 1896 simply because he was stationed there in the British Army – he was born in Ireland.

Antiguan Danny Livingstone played through the 1960s and held the catch that won the first title. The instant registration of overseas players began in 1968 with Barry Richards joining Hampshire and two years later Gordon Greenidge, born in Barbados but raised in Reading, followed him. Andy Roberts came from 1973 by which time others like Larry Worrell, John Holder and Dave O’Sullivan had also represented Hampshire.

This year Hampshire have signed three official overseas players: Ajantha Mendis (Sri Lanka), and  Shahid Afridi & Abdul Razzaq from Pakistan, for Twenty20 plus South African Neil McKenzie (as a ‘Kolpack’). Previous Pakistan players have included Aqib Javed (1991) and Wasim Akram – Mendis will be the second Sri Lankan (after C Vaas) and there have been a number of West Indians, Australians and Southern Africans. There have also been Hampshire players born in Germany, Holland, Japan, Shanghai, USA, Maraciabo – but oddly never an Indian cricketer.

The only exceptions have been a number of British cricketers who were born in India in the days of the Empire including Beadle, Bradford, Cadogan, Evans, Hesketh-Pritchard, Wynyard and CR Young who, at 15 is the youngest man ever to have represented the county.

But while Tendulkar, Ganguly, Laxman, Shastri and others have graced the English county game, not one has ever come to Hampshire.

Alan Edwards (Editor Hampshire Cricket Society Newsletter) asks about the value of “differentiation” between players registered as overseas and those like John Holder or Cardigan Connor, born abroad but “counting as English”. This is absolutely right – especially pre-Kolpack – when men like Holder and Connor were living and working in England and not representing the country of their birth, whereas someone like David O’Sullivan came from New Zealand specifically to play cricket professionally. These days someone like Neil McKenzie can do that without counting as ‘overseas’. Incidentally off-spinner Larry Worrell (a relative of the great man) had been in the Army in Britain.

March 23, 2010, 7:50 pm
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Some additions (plus original list) from Alan Edwards (HCS):>

It’s 10 Years since we played our last matches at Northlands Road, Southampton and Portsmouth and our initial (2nd XI) matches on the two Rose Bowl grounds

It’s 25 Years (1985) since Mark Nicholas took over as captain and Hampshire finished as runners-up in the Championship. In the penultimate match, Roger Harper hit the final ball for six to give Northants victory

It’s 30 years (1980) since we were last bottom of the Championship – the only time since 1905

It’s 35 years (1975) since we won our first limited-overs title, the John Player Sunday League.

It’s 40 years (1970) since Gordon Greenidge made his first-class debut for Hampshire and 60 years (1950) since Roy Marshall played his first match in Hampshire and scored a century for the West Indies. Neville Rogers replied with one for Hampshire.

It’s 50 years since Derek Shackleton recorded his best bowling figures of 9-30 v Warwickshire at Portsmouth

It’s 55 years (1955) since Hampshire finished third in the County Championship for the first time.

It’s 100 years (1910) since CB Llewellyn (see overseas above) completed a Hampshire ‘double’ – the first time any Hampshire player had done this entirely in Hampshire matches. Incidentally the last time was Jim Bailey in 1948 although Peter Sainsbury came very close in 1971.

It’s 110 years (1900) since Hampshire first played West Indies (not first-class)

It’s 130 years since a Hampshire side (XVIII) first played (and lost to) the Australians

It’s 235 years (!!) since John Small scored the first century for Hampshire (often then known as Hambledon) – 136 v Surrey in 1775

More to follow – but please add your own

March 23, 2010, 7:24 pm
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This Blog is part of Hampshire Cricket Heritage – an independent group that works with Hampshire Cricket at the Rose Bowl on all aspects of the history of Hampshire cricket. We will use this Blog to update information about the history, new records, anniversaries and other matters of interest. My name is Dave Allen, I am Hon Curator at the Rose Bowl and I maintain the site .