Hampshire Cricket History

Don Cartridge RIP
September 30, 2015, 10:39 pm
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Bob informs me of the death of Don Cartridge who played three games for Hampshire in 1953, mid-season v Oxford University and late season against Champions Surrey and Yorkshire both at Bournemouth. Don was a good club batsman for some years in the Southampton area but sadly failed at the higher level. He made 0 & 4 (dismissed by Colin Cowdrey) in the Parks, 2 & 0 (Ray Illingworth) v Yorkshire and Tony Lock dismissed him twice for a ‘pair’ in his final game. In recent years he generally came to the Players’ Reunions.

September 30, 2015, 3:25 pm
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Last year I invited you to write about your early experiences, thoughts about, hopes for cricket. I still have them all and some others. I published the first part in the Handbook this year and I have a hope to use them more.

I mentioned this new book I’m working on, which is about Changes to Cricket in my lifetime

Without necessarily doing lots of research/reflection I’d like to invite everyone who reads the Blog to tell me in particular the single most significant change in cricket since you first watched/[played/got involved – whatever. It would help if you identified your starting date (mine is 1959 so mine has to be since then)

I won’t tell you my nomination yet but I will eventually, I’d like to know your nomination

It doesn’t have to a good thing necessarily – it may be a bit of both – just the most significant. And it might be to do with schools, or clubs, or counties or Test Matches, on-field, off-field etc.

I’m asking for the one – but you can add others if you wish

I’ll leave this post in prime position for a day or two. All contributions gratefully received


That’s the Ticket!
September 29, 2015, 5:48 pm
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I know that most of you will be, like me, Guardian readers, but just in case you’re not, have a look at this really fine piece on-line and in today’s newspaper, where it has a different headline “Evolution not Revolution is needed in the English game”.

It’s a very wise piece from someone not only at the heart of English county cricket but also a man able to look at it objectively – and with the experience to compare English county cricket and Australian state cricket.

It’s a really good read:


And another thing …
September 29, 2015, 6:48 am
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Have you seen the final Championship averages yet? I’m sure they’re on-line but I have a copy from yesterday’s Times which has the usual minimums of ten innings and ten wickets

I looked at the bowlers, a list of around 130 in total – an average of about seven per county – from which I notice for example no sign of the very promising Adam Riley of Kent who, despite being an England prospect a year ago didn’t take ten wickets. Which led me to check out some other ‘top’ spinners:

There weren’t many.

There’s New Zealand Patel of course with 58 wickets at 25 proving spinners do work in the Championship


Middlebrook at Yorkshire with 17 at 25 – a promising youngster if ever … followed by Rashid with similar but slightly inferior average (29 wickets). Gareth Batty got 40 at 28 in Div 2 (another promising future) and his partner Ansari 44 at 31 – that does look good.

Simon Kerrigan (ex England) took 41 at 32, perfectly respectable but not quite the world beater of a few years back, Ollie Rayner got just 24 wickets at 33 and then our own Mason Crane who despite 10 at 34 each, wasn’t selected in three of the last four, Hampshire preferring Stevenson who took three wickets in three matches at 72 each. Might Crane have managed that? Samit Patel took just 26 at 34 each and he’s in the England side.

Danny Briggs is near the foot of the list with 19 at 37 just ahead of Liam Dawson with 22 at 39 and they’re both ahead of Kent’s other international spinner Tredwell (11 at 40).Sussex relied mostly on Luke Wells (23 at 38). Down among the ‘dead men’ are Taylor at Gloucs and Ajmal at Worcs!

I may have missed a couple but nothing notable I don’t think. It means that on average counties are picking one spinner at a time and up to six pace bowlers and very few of the spinners are contributing much. Apart from anything else it lessens the intrigue, pace and aesthetics of the game.

The obvious answer is to play as many games as possible at the start and end of the season, prepare batting/seamer-friendly pitches and cut the number of games. Then spinners can fulfil their mission to become limited-overs specialists.

That’s Just Not Cricket
September 28, 2015, 7:59 am
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Rod Queens Hotel

Rod:Sect Ticket

But it’s got connections with the Ageas Bowl and playing in Southampton and Pompey

The answers are in the first Comment

2015 Awards
September 28, 2015, 7:54 am
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Players’ Player of the Year and Fans Player of the Year: Gareth Berg

Bowler of the Year; Fidel Edwards

Batsman of the Year: Michael Carberry

Emerging Player: Mason Crane

Club Player: Sean Ervine

(No photos this year, as the season’s schedule left me too exhausted to attend)

Frank Tyson RIP
September 27, 2015, 1:21 pm
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Cannings V bowls Portsmouth v Northants

It’s not quite the perfect tribute to the great fast-bowler as he’s merely standing at the non-striker’s end but there is Frank Tyson, whose death was announced today, in this picture, at Portsmouth watching Hampshire’s Vic Cannings bowling to one of his team-mates. I’ve no idea who the batsman or short-leg are (see Comments) but the umpire is Laurie Gray who played for Middlesex.

The match was in August 1956 and Frank had a pretty good game. He scored 27* in Northants’ 178 all out, then took 4-49 as Hampshire slumped from 133-2 to 166 all out. Malcolm Heath bowled him for nought in the second innings of 148, which should have left Hampshire 161 to win. Sadly the bad weather (common in 1956) meant there was just time for three overs and four balls as Hampshire closed on 9-1 after Vic Cannings (out for 6) and Malcolm Heath made up one of their less likely opening partnerships. Alan Rayment who looks in here occasionally played and scored 33, in a match where only Des Barrick (62) reached fifty – Alan also took 1-8 at a pace slightly slower than the Typhoon!

Friday Afternoon
September 27, 2015, 8:00 am
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Was odd for me. There was the elation of the result from Headingley and my brief post which brought so many lovely Comments. I was working on something when it all happened so I let it sink in, had a cup of tea and around 4pm sat down to read the Cricket Paper. And – as Jeremy mentioned – there was a large article based on an interview with Rod Bransgrove basically pursuing the same line of needing to reduce the championship etc etc. It was a complete damper for me in a season when, despite the thrilling finish, I really have become disenchanted with county cricket.

I decided not to share the misery for a couple of days but on the other hand while this battle (and it is a battle) continues I’m not willing to be quiet. So, if you want to read the interview get last Friday’s copy of the excellent Cricket Paper.

And if you’re interested, with apologies for another long one, I’ve written a reply which they may or may not publish, as follows:

“As a Hampshire member for over 50 years your interview with Rod Bransgrove was a disappointment in what should have been a celebratory weekend. You began by quoting again from the PCA about the load on players and there is a case for reworking the fixtures, but consider these facts: Michael Carberry was the only Hampshire player to appear in every competitive game in 2015 and that worked out at 89 days in 24 weeks – an average of 3.7 days per week. Hampshire used 23 players in the season and a number, mainly bowlers, played principally or only in the T20 and 50 overs contests. Only one regular bowler averaged three days per week – Gareth Berg – while 15 of the 23 averaged less than two days per week. In those 24 weeks there were just nine when they played more than four days in the week and just one when they played six, a home Championship match and with a number of team changes, two T20 games (home & away).

Yet somehow those facts lead to the threat to the County Championship despite the fact that from my extensive communications with members there is no desire for it. Most of us have no objection to changes in the shorter forms some or all of which we enjoy but we have committed long-term to the form, which the players say they value most highly. You show the usual photograph of one man all alone surrounded by empty seats while ignoring the fact that many of those seats were paid for pre-season by members who may not attend every match, and who still pay if it rains all day. Rod speaks of the support of his committee for his ideas at Hampshire but I think he means the Directors. Hampshire Cricket plc is no longer a members’ club and therefore has no ‘committee’ running its affairs. There may be as he says a bigger “potential market” out there but it’s a strange business model that wishes to take a punt on that, at the expense of the people who care most about your product and who demonstrate that caring from their wallets every year, well before the product arrives! There are a lot of people in Hampshire relieved to see the Sussex defeat saving us from relegation, but a great many of us support their views about retaining the Championship as it is.”

(Words in bold merely indicate a new paragraph – sometimes, spacing gets messed up when I cut-and-paste into the blog)

Smarter & Younger!
September 26, 2015, 8:47 am
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Spencer 1

This is quite long but it has an interesting punch line

As you know by now I love coincidences – and I don’t believe they are just that.

This is Spencer watching Hampshire v Lancashire, Monday 17 August this year. You may recall that was exactly 56 years to the day – even a Monday – after my first visit to watch Hampshire (v Surrey, Portsmouth, 1959)

I’d been toying with writing one last cricket book – not specifically focused on Hampshire, not necessarily even on the first-class game, but considering all the changes that have occurred since I first watched it in 1959 – just before the introduction of limited overs cricket, the abolition of amateurs and professionals, the start of the South African crisis etc

I had the idea of imagining myself relating this tale of 55+ years to a young boy or girl about the the same age as me when I first went. Then Monday 17 August occurred and I enlisted the help of Greig from Hampshire Cricket in the Community

You’ll know that they arrange for visits from the colts sections of local clubs to limited overs matches so I asked him to find me one boy or girl visiting for the first time on that day. Greig took me round to meet some of the adults from East Woodhay CC in the north of the county and they suggested Spencer. I met him and his mum & dad and explained he didn’t have to do anything much, but that I would keep in touch, sending him drafts and using him as my ‘subject’. The writing has been progressing while I’ve been listening to Kevan’s commentaries – now I have lots of spare time.

Everything seemed fine, they were happy, Spencer was the same age as me, it was his first visit, he’s fond of cricket. Spencer’s dad wrote down some bits of information, contact details etc and because I’d checked the age, he wrote down Spencer’s birthday.

Spencer and I were born on the same day – 56 years apart!

That’s a Relief!
September 26, 2015, 7:38 am
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The cricket of course

But a few weeks back Big Pete (one of the ‘senior’ autograph collectors) observed that my hair was getting rather long

Without thinking, I told him it was staying uncut until Hampshire were secure in Div One

Might have become a bit unruly if yesterday had gone wrong!

Still now I can have it sorted out and be nice and smart for a rather celebratory lunch with the Portsmouth Area Supporters next weekend:

DA 9:15

(Still looking grumpy too!)