Hampshire Cricket History

An Invitation
February 27, 2015, 4:13 pm
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Twice yearly since 1999 I’ve been joining fellow historians and enthusiasts at the Bat & Ball, Hambledon for a nice three-course lunch (with wine) and a series of eminent speakers. The next one is in March and should be very interesting but (unusually) there are a few spare places, so:

The Hambledon Club Luncheon at the Bat & Ball, Clanfield, Hampshire
Saturday 28th March 2015
Stephen Chalke will be speaking at our luncheon on the 28th March at the Bat & Ball about his new publication,Summer’s Crown: The Story of Cricket’s County Championship.
For further details regarding our booking policy, please go to:
Venue: Bat & Ball, Clanfield
Date: 28th March
Time of arrival: 12.15 pm for 1.00 pm start
Contact Lou on 023 9234 8131

All Change?
February 27, 2015, 1:21 pm
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Passed to me by my pal Bryan Cherry


Hampshire Stuff WIndies
February 27, 2015, 10:23 am
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Well not really, after all a couple of batsmen helped, but South Africa have just won another tight finish by a mere 257 runs with Imran Tahir taking 5-45 and Kyle Abbott 2-37.  I wonder whether a team might reach 500 in an innings before this competition is over?

Here and There
February 26, 2015, 4:49 pm
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I’ve been at the ground today and met lots of cricketers going to-and-from practice sessions. Interesting to see Owais Shah there too, although chatting over a coffee with Giles White, not practising. I have nothing firm to report.

I was there to oversee the updating of the Players’ Board (that’ll please Bob) and we’ve put up some more Arlott quotes (Kennedy, Jim Bailey, Arnold, Cottam, Malcolm Heath, Mottram and Bob Herman)

I’ve also read a newspaper report on possible future plans for English cricket including reverting to three-day Championship matches (fine by me as long as they increase the daily minimum overs), setting up a T20 Franchise and reducing the number of summer Test Matches (fewer chancesI guess for grounds like the Ageas Bowl). They are also discussing four-day Tests and reverting to 40 overs for internationals. Apparently it’s all on the ESPN Cricinfo Website although I haven’t checked yet

Hampshire Cricketer on the Box
February 25, 2015, 6:11 pm
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Radio Times SH

This new TV series begins next Monday – and includes an actor playing Arthur Conan Doyle’s loyal secretary AH Wood who played cricket for Hampshire, mainly in their second class days in the early 1890s but also once in the County Championship. There is a longer piece about this story in the forthcoming Hampshire Handbook.

Ireland v UAE
February 25, 2015, 11:35 am
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Tightest match, closest finish so far – a real cracker

Who needs these Associates?

Hampshire sign Italian South African Londoner
February 24, 2015, 5:30 pm
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I think

Media release today:

“Hampshire Cricket are pleased to announce the signing of experienced all-rounder Gareth Berg on a contract until the end of the season. The 34 year old, who spent seven years at Lord’s playing for Middlesex, will be available in all formats for the Club. Gareth Berg said: “Once I had the call from Giles {Giles White} showing an interest it put a big smile of my face because Hampshire is a massive club and I’m very excited to be here. I thought that it would be nice to stay at one club my whole career, but this is a great fresh start for me and hopefully I can perform well for Hampshire in the season ahead.”

After making his debut for Middlesex in 2008, the South Africa-born all-rounder quickly became a regular for the Club in all formats. Berg, who has played 15 Twenty20 matches for Italy, went on to hit over 4,000 runs and take 221 wickets for Middlesex, before shoulder surgery ruled him out for the majority of the 2014 season. Gareth Berg continued: “I’ve worked really hard on my fitness over the winter and from what I was told how the body would be, to how it actually is now, is completely different. As a sportsman you’ve got to work against the odds and my body is probably in the best condition that it’s been in three years.”

Hampshire Director of Cricket, Giles White said: “The immediate focus is to get Gareth fit and playing ahead of the season. We have agreed a deal that supports this and I am confident that he will play an important role at Hampshire this year. Gareth is the type of player that can influence games with both bat and ball and he will add balance and experience to the squad; it’s great to have him here.”

An Island Trip?
February 22, 2015, 8:45 pm
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I reported (below) the recent death of Brian Gardener who developed Newclose Cricket Ground near Newport (IOW).

I’ve been reading this weekend’s edition of The Cricket Paper where I was surprised to learn that Hampshire’s Stuart Robertson and other “Hampshire officials” are due to visit the ground this week to discuss the possibility of playing the 50 over match v Lancashire there on 17 August. I’m surprised, because Stuart attended the Members’ Committe meeting last Tuesday from which I also reported, yet no mention was made of this plan. I will try to discover if the news report is correct.

NZ and the Aussies
February 21, 2015, 12:10 pm
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They’re both visiting the Ageas Bowl this season and it’s perhaps a good job that so far, ticket sales are going well because after the last week it might be difficult to persuade people to shell out. I’ve only just learned that NZ were 12 runs short with nine wickets in hand when the umpires took everyone off for the innings break – how absurd is that? Many spectators on the ground left in disgust and apparently a number of post-work ticket holders, hoping for a fun evening, saw nothing. I wonder whether they get a refund?

There is here I think, an important issue about the relationship between ECB and the counties. The ECB have made many changes to county cricket in recent years in an attempt to create a stronger and therefore more attractive England side. They’ve had some Test match success but in 50 over cricket they remain hopeless, the only team of the ‘Big 8’ never to win a longer knock-out tournament since the first one in 1975

I know of relatively few members who supported the shift back from 40 to 50 overs last year, but the rationale is clear and this tournament is too soon to judge any benefits. But if there is no improvement very soon why should we pay to watch a less favoured competition with no tangible results?

(incidentally, for myself, I could enjoy 50 (even 60) overs under the old knock-out system but interminable ‘league’ games going on late into the evening is another matter – and last year’s crowds were poor, even for the final)

I suspect
February 20, 2015, 6:48 am
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it won’t be long now before Hampshire lose James Vince to England.

PS I watched the replay this morning, lasting about as long as my cornflakes. The studio discussion raised the interesting point that the weather in Australia is ‘iffy’ at the moment and England may be in danger if they are relying on beating the three minnows because they could lose a game to the weather (one point each) while any one of those sides could gain a point against the three big sides for the same reason.

Maybe it would save more misery!