Hampshire Cricket History

“We meet for another cricket summer”
March 27, 2016, 10:15 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

That’s the title of the opening chapter of John Arlott’s Cricket Journal for the 1958 season. It’s the first year I can recall watching Test Matches on television – possibly the first year we had a TV at home. John published another three Journals over the next three seasons and they fit my cricketing life perfectly: 1959 my first game of organised cricket and first visit to watch County Cricket; 1960 my first season of watching County Cricket regularly and 1961 my first year as a Hampshire member. These passages from the opening page of each journal offer a sense of how it was back then – it’s rather different in 2016 with the domestic season starting on Wednesday (30 March) as England compete in the T20 semi-final in India.

1958 –  18 April: It is hard to think of cricket while this biting wind howls and tugs; but the season is in fact upon us … The professionals on the county staffs have been at it for a fortnight already. In weather too cold for any catch to be comfortable they began their Easter chore – the ‘junior members’ nets’.

1959 – The start of the cricket season cannot be categorically marked in any almanack or calendar. It has no specific date … it is something which happens – once every year – inside every cricketer … Every April they are filled anew with that hope that springs … even in the non-bowler who goes in at number eleven for his village”.

1960 – Tuesday 26 April: “Tomorrow … the first class cricket season of 1960 begins with a solitary fixture, Cambridge University v Surrey … To people all over the country it is a symbol – represented by the re-entry of cricket scores into their daily newspaper reading”.

1961 – 21 April: the Australians arrived at Tilbury. Tuesday 2 May: their three-day match at Worcester was washed out by heavy rain

Aus 177 (85.3 overs) & 141 (63.3) v Worcs 155 (69.1) & 56-4 (34.2) = 529 runs in 252.3 overs, a rate of 2.088 runs per over, and most wickets for Coldwell, Mackay and Horton.


9 Comments so far
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On the subject of the coming season the membership details on the official site suggest there is one change to last year’s cricket reciprocal agreements with the Northants agreement being replaced by one with Glamorgan (with a £5 charge applying).

A shame as far as I am concerned as I used the Northants agreement a couple of times but probably lost due to their financial situation.

Comment by James

I was told that Northants have fewer than 200 members. I find it hard to believe but no idea who might know.

Comment by pompeypop

Have you received your membership packs yet?

Comment by Paul

Not a thing yet Paul.

Comment by pompeypop

Turned up today woo woo

Comment by Paul

I was told that they were being sent out last week, although I haven’t had mine yet

Comment by ageas

One of my favourite books in my cricket library is John Arlott’s 1958 Cricket Journal, inscribed “For Bill Frindall, dispatches from before his scoring days: Good luck, John Arlott”. When I saw this in a catalogue a couple of years ago I had to have it, because it was Bill Frindall who introduced me to John Arlott at the Oval in 1970: a great thrill for any Hampshire enthusiast. And, of course, the book records what was then Hampshire’s highest-ever Championship finish.

Comment by Jonathan Lord

Lovely story Jonathan. Two of my JA Journals have inscriptions to Roger Bannister but I’ve no idea whether it’s the ‘running’ RB. I never met John – I would have loved to. My predecessor Neil Jenkinson got invites to Alderney and everyone seemed to like John. Bill Frindall incidentally did once play for Hampshire 2nd XI (in Bristol)

Comment by pompeypop

I can remember asking JA for his autograph as a boy at Dean Park; a little bit of courage needed as a serious, even brooding presence carrying a bottle of red came out of the cowshed cum press box.

He was a model of kindness and courtesy

Comment by StephenFH

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