Hampshire Cricket History

January 31, 2016, 11:09 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Will Rhodes of Yorkshire on the BBC site today:

“Every side goes into every season wanting to win every game they play and we see that as a realistic goal … We believe we can win the treble but it will be a massive task. Warwickshire came close in 2014 when they finished second in the County Championship, won the T20 and were runners-up in the One-Day Cup. They proved it can be done.”

Well actually Will they didn’t “prove” that at all did they? In fact on the evidence you offer they merely proved that it can’t be done

As for winning “every game”, no side has done that since the formalisation of the County Championship in 1890, so in what sense is it “realistic”?

Maybe cricketers should stick to rest and golf …

Today abroad
January 30, 2016, 5:38 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Scotland, including a few county players (among them Brad Wheal) have been stuffed by Hong Kong again in a T20 that was actually T10 – they’re not very good are they?

Liam Dawson (48 and two wickets) did well but England Lions lost to Pakistan A, skipper Vince managed just 3.

In Dubai’s T20 stuff: Heath Streak is playing for Leo Lions, Rory Kleinveldt plays for Capricorn Commanders and Michael Carberry is next in for the Sagittarians.

England U-19 didn’t play today

For The Record (1)
January 29, 2016, 12:06 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

There are about three months to go before the season starts and I’ve started to organise various check-sheets of records to carry with me on match days – principally for first-class matches. It occurred to me that I could post some here, and invite people to check, comment, add etc, to ensure they are correct. I’ll try to post something most days.

So two sets of figures to begin with. First up, Hampshire’s best wickets-for in an innings:

9-25         by RMH Cottam v Lancashire at Old Trafford, 1965

9-26         by AEG Baring in 1931

9-30         by D Shackleton in 1960

9-33         by AS Kennedy in 1920

9-38         by CA Connor in 1996

Then down the list a little, the only nine wickets instance in this century:

9-93         by AD Mullally in 2000

Plus some impressive eight wicket hauls:

8-4         by D Shackleton at Weston-Super-Mare in 1955

8-11         by AS Kennedy in 1921

8-21         by A Jacques in 1914

8-23         by JA Newman in 1927 (16-88 in the match, Hampshire’s best ever)

In the 21st century, two men, David Balcombe 8-71 in 2012 and Alan Mullally, 8-90 in 2001 have had eight wicket hauls for Hampshire at the Rose/Ageas Bowl. Four men, all overseas bowlers, have taken seven in an innings (Warne, Clark, Bond, Tahir). Balcombe is the only instance since Tahir in 2009.

Around the World
January 28, 2016, 9:38 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Sean Ervine is playing for the Libra Legends and in Dubai today they crashed to defeat by 78 runs to the Gemini Arabians – they probably found themselves in two minds whether to attack or defend. I’m looking forward to the Scorpio team who will surely be dangerous right down to the tail while I guess the Pisceans will be particularly good at running from both ends, and the Capricorns should be the tightest bowlers but might be a bit cautious with the bat. Sean’s team were stuffed! 20 overs and losing by 78? In a Test match that might be the equivalent of losing by about 800! Sean hit 22 but was played as a front line bowler and went at more than 14 per over. Michael Lumb played for the losers too. I guess soon there will be a T20 tournament somewhere in the world every week. I can’t wait!

Brad Wheal took a wicket earlier in the week but Scotland lost by 109 runs (50 overs) to Hong Kong (!) and although England Lions lost a 50 over game today by 6 wickets (47th over) Vince and Dawson both did OK again: Vince 32 in an opening partnership of 60, Dawson run out 20 and 1-34 in 10 overs. Dawson is somewhat prone to run outs isn’t he?

In the U-19 World Cup, England started with a very easy win v Fiji – no, make that stupidly easy (371-3 v 72 all out) and are playing West Indies later tonight.

PS England U-19s won again, quite easily, but with no significant contributions from either of our young spinners – Mason Crane took one wicket


Define Positive
January 26, 2016, 8:47 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

(Written after 40 minutes play this morning)

There’s no question that England have done well to win the Test series in South Africa and well done to them for that. The leading performers have been Root, Stokes, Finn and Broad. Bairstow has batted well at times but is not yet a Test class wicket-keeper. Moeen Ali is ok and his bowling might get better yet.

After that?

Neither Cook nor Anderson have been on top form but it would be difficult to assert they are in decline yet. Otherwise, despite the success, there have to be serious doubts about the Test Match class/futures of Hales, Compton, Taylor and Woakes. Those four play Championship cricket as regularly as anyone in the England side and I have seen all of them perform superbly against Hampshire in recent years.

You could conclude from that the Championship is useless and may as well be dismantled completely. Or you could conclude that it is not good enough any more and needs to feature more top cricketers on better pitches (start with pace and bounce, turn by third day) and at better times of the year.

PS All the pundits this morning said that England would be “positive” today

England losing – Hampshire winning
January 25, 2016, 5:22 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Test looks dodgy and it’s interesting that the players not performing are by-and-large those from Championship cricket, not the longer term Central Contracts.

Meanwhile England Lions and U-19s have both lost, BUT

Lion’s Captain James Vince top scored with 102 and Dawson added 41 to his 1-44 in eight overs …


U-19s Captain Brad Taylor top scored with 41, added to 2-25 in 10 overs. Mason Crane scored 12 but had 0-55 in eight overs – the only one from Hampshire to have a disappointing day

How Big is Big?
January 25, 2016, 12:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

One of the arguments in favour of a ‘Big Bash’ style competition in England is that it attracts huge crowds in comparison with the English T20

Yesterday’s Final had a crowd of around 45,000 but we know the MCG holds twice that many, so presumably everyone who wanted to go did so

The population of Melbourne is around 4.5 million. In other words the crowd was the equivalent of one in every hundred of the local population.

The population of Southampton is 250,000. If you add that to the population of Portsmouth, the bit in between and the outlying areas you get maybe 750,000

At one-in-a-hundred that would give a crowd of about 7,500 at the Ageas Bowl which is what we get currently for most ‘ordinary’ T20 matches, let alone a Finals Day

There is a very interesting interview with Somerset’s Chairman Andy Nash in the current Cricket Paper in which he warns against the move to city-based franchises.

Have we seen the future?
January 23, 2016, 9:59 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

See this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/35374444

There is no question that it is what is favoured at Hampshire and I shall be amazed if this is not the way we go after the counties meet the ECB in March.

I make frequent reference here to my ‘other’ life within popular music. As it happens, it has never been ‘pop’ top twenty stuff that I’ve cared much about, so I’m pretty used to the idea of what I do love being marginalised. When it happens in cricket I’ll be ready for it – as was once said of Brian Johnston, summers will never be the same.

Cooking nicely
January 23, 2016, 7:59 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

It was good to see Jimmy Cook on TV last night, talking with some pride about his ‘little boy’ – century on Test debut

Jimmy had a brief, unhappy spell as Hampshire’s coach following the death of Malcolm Marshall. I was on the full Committee in those days and while I did not interview him, we all approved the appointment. Sadly the captain, some senior players and one or two influential supporters did not. They wanted Paul Terry and there were even remarks made at an AGM. I think they made life virtually impossible for Jimmy and Terry appeared eventually. It was not Hampshire’s finest moment.

I don’t think anyone can know whether Jimmy would have done a good job but I felt very strongly at the time that Hampshire needed an ‘outsider’, and some fresh thinking. We were a poor side back then and continued to be so for a few years. For fifty years, we had had a succession of internal promotions as coach: Arthur Holt, Leo Harrison, Geoff Keith, Peter Sainsbury, Tim Tremlett, Richard Hayward and Malcolm. After Jimmy left, we reverted to type (Paul, Tony Middleton, Bobby Parks and Giles White) until the more recent appointments of Craig White and Dale Benkenstein. In some ways though, perhaps the major influence on the players and the club as a whole was another ‘outsider, Shane Warne.

Or a future Dale?
January 21, 2016, 10:11 am
Filed under: Uncategorized


This is from the sports pages of today’s Guardian. It’s an entirely good story about England’s cricketers going into the South African townships and the administrator of this township club said it was ‘a special day (which) … the kids will remember for the rest of their lives”. I’m sure they will and I wish them well.

A few weeks ago I reported the departure of Sean Terry which, following Chris Tremlett’s retirement, means no one born in Southampton is likely to play county cricket next year (and neither were exactly ‘inner city’ kids) while it’s more than a decade since the last one from Pompey (Prittipaul). A couple of clubs in my city do their best but mostly with the ‘posh’ kids from the fee-paying schools. United Services in the poorer dockyard area dropped its colts a couple of years ago.

So when will the England players visit the poorer areas of our inner cities?