Hampshire Cricket History

Overseas Players
March 23, 2010, 8:43 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

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.

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