Hampshire Cricket History

Good News
March 31, 2016, 5:22 pm
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Surprising as it might seem, I rather enjoyed today’s semi-final and I’m delighted by the results of both games and by the women’s result today. Why?

  1. If T20 success leads to a revival of West Indies cricket that will be good news. From my first season watching Hampshire we had two Caribbean cricketers and over the years a good few terrific ones.
  2. As I was suggesting a couple of days ago, countries don’t need big money T20 Franchises to perform at international level. The IPL and Big Bash countries are gone and India were pretty lucky to get as close to the Final as they did

So now I’m looking forward to the ECB enjoying what’s happened, shutting up, and focusing on improving the County Championship. It’s a certainty …

(isn’t it?)

Incidentally I know Chris Gayle hit 100* v England and is considered a ‘superstar’ but he was out cheaply today to a nasty heave across the line to a full toss. Apart from that century, his last eight T20 innings have been (in reverse order): 4, 5, 20, 6, 0, 37, 0, 60.

(De) Press (ing)?
March 31, 2016, 2:16 pm
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These days the Cricketer is a bit mixed but the April edition is worth a read for anyone interested in the future of county cricket. There is also a preview of the forthcoming season, county-by-county and the Hampshire review seems quite positive until you reach the prediction – Hampshire to finish bottom (and Durham going with them).

Meanwhile today, Andrew Gale is interviewed in the Guardian and says that his county faces its “toughest” challenge in seeking to retain the title. He suggests Surrey and Lancashire are unusually strong for promoted sides, Warwickshire are enhanced by Bell and Trott, and Middlesex are “up-and-coming” with particularly good bowlers. He adds you “can’t write off Durham” and “you never know with Nottinghamshire”.

Somerset? Not mentioned. Hampshire? Ditto …

Mind you, we didn’t have a chance in 1973 either.

 Vic Marks wrote in today’s Guardian that Jason Roy is not one of those cricketers “who suffers from paralysis by analysis” and that “this helps him be so effective in the shortest form of the game”. It seems to me that a similar situation applies to those of us who watch – the analysis is usually retrospective rather than in response to any given moment, partly because each significant moment is accompanied by a racket and partly because everything happens so quickly.


“Here we go, here we …”
March 31, 2016, 9:14 am
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Exactly 50 years ago, the 1966 English first-class season began on Wednesday 27 April with matches at Fenners and the Parks (Essex and Glamorgan). On 30 April Middlesex and Hampshire were the next to visit the students, while MCC met the Champions Yorkshire at Lord’s.

Today the start in England (there’s already been MCC v Yorks) is four weeks earlier, minus one day, because in less than an hour the 2016 first-class season gets underway with five University v county matches. It’s a good job the sun is shining.

Incidentally, my new book (among other things), catalogues the endless changes made to English cricket over the past 50+ years. Probably the maddest of the lot occurred in 1966 when in about half of all the Championship matches, the first innings was limited to 65 overs – utterly barmy!

Have a look at this game against Somerset for example:


On a happier note, it was also the season that two very fine Hampshire players appeared for the first time, David Turner and Trevor Jesty.

Man Down
March 30, 2016, 9:16 pm
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Berg G .JPG

On Twitter, BBC Solent Sport have reported that Gareth Berg, Player of the Year 2015, needs a knee ‘op’ and will be out from between six-12 weeks. Meanwhile, Ryan Stevenson seems to be struggling with his back – at least he did not go to Barbados or play in this week’s game v Kent. Jimmy Adams has his foot in a cast, while Chris Wood might or might not be up to regular four-day games. All of which leaves opportunities for some younger players (Wheal, Crane, Taylor) and maybe a return to the first team for James Tomlinson. It’s not the ideal start though.

One for Bob (E)
March 30, 2016, 6:10 pm
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He met up with the unlucky Charlie van der Gucht recently and yesterday we met Raj Maru in the Pavilion watching a bit of cricket in his school holidays. Here are the two of them leaving the field at Northlands after playing for Hampshire Cricket Board in a (NatWest?) knock out match against the full Glamorgan side about 15 years ago. Charlie bowled rather nicely I seem to remember …

Van der Gucht, Maru HCB .jpg


Stop Press
March 30, 2016, 4:22 pm
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(Do you remember Stop Press?)

Hampshire made 254-6. Kent just past 100 have lost wickets to Wheal, Tomlinson and McLaren. Did it rain there (it is now in Pompey)?

I’m watching England. It was looking boring until two batsmen went in consecutive balls but England should still win easily. The women were disappointing this morning – at one point a win seemed possible but …

PS England were superb, especially after a difficult start – for a neutral it was a T20 ‘non event’ really

PPS Assuming an unchanged side on Sunday, is this unprecedented? The 15-man England squad includes three Hampshire players (and their former physio). Has any club ever provided 20% of a World Cup squad in any team competition, none of whom played in the Final?

Atherton agrees
March 30, 2016, 9:04 am
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A couple of days ago I suggested any claim that England’s T20 chances were inhibited through the lack of an IPL/Big Bash-style Franchise were disproved by the team’s current success and the struggles of Australia and India. Even if England make no further progress they have met what Michael Atherton (Times today) describes as their “realistic hope” of a semi-final place.

Atherton concludes his piece by saying, “If they do progress, given the relative lack of success in franchised domestic leagues, it would be a poke in the eye for those who insist success cannot come without such exposure”.

On that basis alone, I hope England win the tournament, although it seems almost certain they will do so without any Hampshire players.

Incidentally, I’m at home today so no photos or updates from the Ageas Bowl. It seems that scores will appear on Hampshire’s website and Twitter.

March 29, 2016, 3:42 pm
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Kent’s Charlie Hartley bowls and the ball appears to be striking his left shoulder but is actually speeding to the square off-side boundary, just after Michael Carberry, the batsman, had reached his half-century. I like this photograph because it confirms the ground’s sponsor and shows today’s spectator (might we start a ‘Spot the Fan’ competition?)

I spent some time in the Archive this afternoon then departed before the M27/Pompey rush-hour and the forecast downpour. The latter has yet to materialise. If anyone (eg Bob Elliott) has a later score than around 120-2 that would be appreciated …

PS: 5pm, pouring in Pompey

March 29, 2016, 12:06 pm
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Hampshire 83-2: Carberry 34*, Wheater 0* (Smith ct gully for 31). The sun is still shining.

My old mum …
March 29, 2016, 10:21 am
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First ball

Always said “Bad start, good finish”.

I hope she was right. In this picture, Michael Carberry plays the first ball of the season gently into the covers – dot ball.

A couple of balls later, he called his partner Alsop for a quick single, Alsop wasn’t quick enough and in the first over Hampshire are 0-1.