Hampshire Cricket History

Ervine’s Day
May 11, 2010, 4:37 pm
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Sean Ervine leaves the field after scoring 237* – his highest first-class score – against Somerset to lead Hampshire to 512 all out at tea on Day Two v Somerset. This virtually ensured that Hampshire would at least avoid defeat in their seventh competitive match of 2010.


Ervine’s Day (2)
May 11, 2010, 4:35 pm
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Sean Ervine reaches 200. His eventual score of 237* was the 15th highest First Class score for Hampshire and the second highest for the county at the Rose Bowl (John Crawley 311* in 2005). It was also the highest score ever by a number seven batsman for the county.

He joins Hampshire’s other double centurions Carberry, Lumb and Adams in the current squad and only Adams (262*) has made a higher score. In addition to those innings for the county, Neil McKenzie made a double century for South Africa and Dominic Cork for Derbyshire.

Twenty-Twenty ‘Vision’
May 10, 2010, 7:17 am
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2010 is the eighth year of competitive T20 cricket between first-class cricketers and in that short time it has come to dominate all other forms – specially since the establishment of the IPL which has just completed its third season.

But cracks and controversies have begun to appear in recent weeks. It began in mid-April with accusations of spot-fixing large bets on IPL matches and was followed by allegations of money-laundering which have led to an enquiry by the Indian Government and the suspension of IPL Chairman Lalit Modi. Then there was a bomb blast in a match at Bangalore before a match involving Kevin Pietersen (Royal Challengers). The semi finals were then moved to Mumbai.

On 27 April, the World (not Sport) section of The Times ran a full page article on the ‘crisis’ and noted that Hampshire’s new franchise partners Shane Warne’s Rajasthan Royals are one of two IPL teams cited for “irregularities in (their) ownership” – one of the charges against the suspended IPL Chief Lalit Modi. This Times article by Jeremy Page (page 27) suggested that the current “saga” may be “calling into question not only the IPL’s future but also India’s credibility as a host of international sporting events, as a place to do business and as an aspiring democratic superpower in Asia”. Whether this is accurate and whether it will have any impact on the franchise and the Hampshire Royals we must wait to see. On the same page, one of the newspaper’s cricket writers, Richard Hobson suggested that it “feels more like a reality check than a death”.

On the following day the Times ran a story that the English counties want to generate more income through more bigger games in the form of a “new star-spangled competition”. Then on 5 May came news that some counties – notably those with Test Match Grounds were exploring Hampshire’s lead in establishing world-wide franchises. Derek Pringle in the Daily Telegraph, reported that the ECB’s Chairman Giles Clarke had warned that those counties “proposing” franchises “risk being banned from cricket”.  The uncertainty for us in this report is that Hampshire are not “proposing” anything – they have already made the arrangement – but Pringle did note that Clarke’s move “has essentially prevented counties from following the example of Hampshire”.

On 7 May the Times ran the headline “Modi accused of planning to destroy English game with new rebel league” and the Daily Telegraph reported that three counties had met Lalit Modi in Delhi where “It was alleged (Modi) told them a city franchise scheme in England would be backed by the IPL”. The Guardian identified the three counties as Yorkshire, Lancashire and Warwickshire. Yorkshire’s Chairman Colin Graves said “We have nine Test grounds and only seven Tests a year. We have to find ways to fill these grounds outside the England team”.

On 9 May the Sunday Telegraph reported that “despite a letter to the contrary” the ECB “have not taken legal action” against the three counties. ECB Chairman Giles Clarke suggested that the leaked version of a letter Was “not the formal version” but only a draft. Meanwhile, today (10 May) Modi is due to launch his defence against the IPL allegations.

On 11 May, during Hampshire’s match with Somerset at the Rose Bowl, the BBC website ran a story that Somerset chief executive Richard Gould had angrily criticised suggestions that his county should combine with others as part of a new Twenty20 league. Gould claims it has been suggested to him that Somerset should join up with Glamorgan and Gloucestershire to form a Twenty20 team based in Cardiff. …”We thought this was being wholly arrogant,” he told the club website. “We are just getting fed up with the Test match grounds chasing cash to pay off their own debts”. Versions of this story also appeared in the broadsheet newspapers.

May 8, 2010, 3:50 pm
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The last time Hampshire lost their first four matches in the Championship they were drawing to the end of the worst period in their history as they finished bottom in 1900, 1902, 1903, 1904 and 1905. Looking back we can see however that improvement was imminent – indeed despite this awful start (a record until this year) they finished in a halfway position.

In the previous season a young man who had moved from Surrey played in one match scoring 41* and 0. He began the 1906 season playing against his former county and began with another ‘duck’ – not too encouraging perhaps except that his name was Phil Mead and when he retired 30 years later he had scored more runs for Hampshire than any player ever scored for any one side in the history of first-class cricket.

His opening partner on that first day was Alec Bowell who was a fine county batsman from 1902-1927 and Hampshire also gave a debut to a fine pace bowler John Badcock who had a very strange career. In 1906 he took 96 wickets (24.81) and in the next two seasons 49 (26.08) and 67 (26.17) but after 1908 never played again. He took a post managing a London cinema.

By then, Mead had been joined by Jack Newman, Alec Kennedy and George Brown and Hampshire became one of the stronger sides, although not yet challenging for a title. In 1906 other key players included EM Sprot, EG Wynyard, CB Llewellyn, AJ Hill and the promising wicket-keeper Jimmy Stone who  replaced the former captain Charles Robson. Hill was the first Hampshire-born, Hampshire player to represent England and there have only been two others – both still playing for London counties.

May 8, 2010, 12:49 pm
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It’s been a gloomy start to Hampshire’s season but across the country, the matches have been more interesting. There have been 18 First Division Championship matches to date and 12 of those (66%) have been won/lost.

This compares very well with last year when over the whole season only 40% of matches ended in positive results. We cannot know whether the current rate will continue but at present only one season (2005 – 68%) since we split to two divisions (2000) has exceeded the current 66% in Division One and most seasons have been significantly lower.

Why? There may be a variety of reasons including moisture in early season pitches, few rain/light delays, the banning of the heavy roller once the match starts and the change of points, giving victors greater rewards.

May 4, 2010, 8:30 pm
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The Hampshire players balcony and new West Stand – Sunday 2 May

May 4, 2010, 8:08 pm
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Here is the new East Stand on day one of the Championship match v Nottinghamshire (4 May). Click on the picture to see a larger version. While you can’t really see him, somewhere in the middle is Michael Carberry on the  way to the terrific century that took Hampshire to 300