Hampshire Cricket History

A Blogger’s Tale
September 30, 2014, 4:35 pm
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Richard G & Jimmy A

Left (at Cardiff on Thursday) is Richard ‘Griff’ one of our Bloggers with a couple of Comments recently – here getting Jimmy to sign his Cardiff ticket. Richard is one of those AMAZING collectors who has some extraordinary and delightful stuff and he corresponds with me, Bob Elliott and Stephen S quite regularly about this & that. He lives up north and is involved in the delightful Wombwell Cricket Lovers Society (South Yorkshire) which I’ve visited a couple of times. There was a photo of Bob Elliott a few weeks back on here too, so you Bloggers are getting more famous!

I’m planning a project with you guys, linked to stories like this one of Richard or my memories on the post below of 1959. I’ll make sure all the end-of-season info is completed first and then all will be revealed.

Autumnal stats
September 30, 2014, 10:01 am
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(From the BBC)

“The UK is on course to have its driest September since records began, according to provisional figures released on Tuesday by the Met Office. The country received just 19.4mm of rain up to 28 September, about a fifth of the normal level.

It has also been one of the warmest Septembers in the past century. The Met Office holds rainfall records going back to 1910. Before this year, the driest September was in 1959, when 23.8 mm of rain fell.”

In fact 1959 was a fabulous summer throughout whereas 2014 wasn’t always that – the only Ageas Bowl first-class match to escape a weather interruption was the Test Match. I remember 1959 very well as it was the first season I played proper, organised school cricket and the first time I saw first-class cricket (Hampshire v Surrey at Portsmouth). But this one ended up being as memorable!

September 29, 2014, 5:06 pm
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From our website – late Monday afternoon:

Hampshire Cricket are delighted to announce fast-bowlers Jackson Bird and Yasir Arafat have signed to play for the Club during the 2015 season.

27-year old Bird will join the Club for the first three months of the season and will be available in all formats. The right-arm fast medium bowler first turned heads after an impressive debut season for Tasmania in 2011-12, finishing as the Sheffield Shield leading wicket-taker. The 27-year old, who averages just 20 with the ball in First-Class cricket, went on to make his Test debut for Australia in December 2012.

Experienced fast-bowler Arafat, who played for local rivals Sussex in 2014, will feature in the Royal London One-Day Cup and NatWest T20 Blast for Hampshire. The 32-year old has a wealth of experience in one-day cricket having played in several countries’domestic tournaments around the world. Arafat took 33 wickets in one-day cricket for Sussex in 2014, averaging an impressive 20.8 with the ball.

Close of Play
September 29, 2014, 9:44 am
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“Already I scent the rain in the air and the wind howling across the Severn, bringing with it the cathedral chimes it has torn to shreds. And I feel for my mackintosh again.”

John Arlott wrote those as the final words of his account of the glorious summer of 1947 (Gone to the Cricket). Our season finished before tea on Thursday but I was lucky enough to share bits of that evening and the next morning with the players and coaches and then there were those various events at the ground on Saturday (below). Even yesterday, away from cricket, I spent the afternoon performing at a folk festival in Southsea and then walked along the seafront on a beautiful early evening which might have been high summer.

But this morning there is drizzle and chill in the air and a newspaper with no cricket scores or fixtures. There will be some limited-overs stuff this winter but I can’t say I care terribly about that, so the winter will be a matter of reflecting with satisfaction on the perfect outcome; promotion – which was always the priority this year.

I’ve been running this Blog for a few years now and this year it has really moved on with regular correspondents and some (silent) followers. Blogs only work when people join in so many thanks – I shall keep it going through the winter with news and history which remains its principal purpose. I shall start trawling through this year’s Posts and Comments to write the season’s account for the Handbook while Bob Murrell polishes off his many detailed statistics.

Members’ Chairman Terry Crump is launching his Blog too at: hampshirecricketmad.wordpress.com

Enjoy the close season, thanks for all the interest and comments and keep watching. I won’t go away.

Goodbye and Hello (?)
September 29, 2014, 7:57 am
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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The 2014 squad back in April. We know that Michael Bates and David Balcombe are leaving and although it’s not appeared in the press, so too is Ruel Brathwaite. Their details have been circulated to other counties but so far, rumours of their next destination are I believe, just that. Tom Alsop and Brad Taylor are missing from that group but will probably appear there next year, so too I think Basil Akram. The departures will free up salaries and the hunt is on for a quick bowler or two – one from overseas. Again, there are rumours but no confirmations.

PS Good news for David Balcombe: http://www.kiaoval.com/surrey-sign-david-balcombe/


17-year old off-spinner Brad Taylor and promising young fast-bowler Basil Akram have signed development contracts at the Ageas Bowl. Taylor is tipped for a bright future at the Club after becoming the youngest Hampshire player to appear in the first team since 1867 last season. 21-year old Akram turned heads with performances for the Hampshire Second XI this season and made his List A debut for the Club against Yorkshire at the Ageas Bowl in August.

The Arlotts
September 29, 2014, 7:29 am
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Robert, John’s youngest son, unveils the John Arlott board with brother Tim watching. John is next to Harry Altham and Desmond Eagar – at some point I shall add a smaller piece on the wall about them as the authors of our first official history.

Arlott unveilingArlott unveiled 2

And here are John’s two grandsons with the board

Arlott grandsons

The Lady with the Ladder
September 29, 2014, 7:26 am
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Lou ladder

I quite deliberately arranged for the two new boards to go up late last week and they were covered with paper. I’d have preferred Weds afternoon to get to Cardiff earlier but that wasn’t possible. So my wife Lou and I checked them being installed and then drove down on Thursday. The early finish meant a spare day in Cardiff with a trip to their indoor market to buy material and ribbons after which an early drive home and some work for Lou to create the curtains and rosettes. A lovely job – and it’s a good thing I wasn’t doing that bit!

We Will Remember Them
September 28, 2014, 7:15 pm
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Richard Gay and his sister Josephine unveil our new Honours Board, recording the 29 Hampshire cricketers who gave their lives in the First or Second World War:

Hons Board veiled

Josephine & R GayHons Bd revealed

Josephine & Richard Gay 2

A Happy Event
September 28, 2014, 9:40 am
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At 5pm last night, before the dinner we had a double ceremony in what is now to be known as the Arlott Atrium with the unveiling of a tribute to John and also the unveiling of a new Honours Board to the 29 Hampshire cricketers who died in the two World Wars. There will be more photos later but this is a rather nice shot of Timothy Arlott, John’s son and biographer saying a few words before he and his brother Robert (right) unveiled the tribute:


Among the people in the photo are a number of former players whose names are on the walls in quotes from John, including in the front row Alan Rayment Denis Baldry, David Blake*, Bob Stephenson, behind them Mike Taylor and Bryan Timms while Alan Castell can just be seen ‘behind bars’. The two boys seen either side of Timothy are John’s grandsons. There are a number of Committee members and Vice Presidents including Andrew Renshaw, editor of the recent Wisden book of WWI obituaries and Peter Marshall who worked with John. Both are former editors of the Hampshire Handbook. Standing left with Andrew is Stuart Robertson of the Ageas Bowl – he is planning a special Arlott event for members at the start of next season.

*David Blake’s brother John was a Royal Marine Commando, killed in action. John’s name is the last one on the new Honours Board

Leo, Alan, Tim

Leo Harrison (left) and Tim Tremlett (right) are hidden in the photo above, but here they are with Alan Rayment after the unveiling. Behind, Ann Gammie talks with Richard Gay who are both descendants of RWF (Wilfred) Jesson one of our WWI casualties (left is Jim, Ann’s husband)

Player of the Year
September 28, 2014, 8:06 am
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At the Awards Dinner last night his team-mates voted Will Smith Players’ Player of the Year. James Vince won the batting award and James Tomlinson and Matt Coles shared Bowler of the Year


‘Tommo’ looked at his brand new best!


More later folks – (busy day today)