Hampshire Cricket History

Just tell us what you think Mike
July 28, 2016, 7:47 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Mike Selvey writes in today’s Guardian about the England squad:

“… James Vince in particular can consider himself fortunate that they are being so charitable. The earlier championing of him by Trevor Bayliss appears to have been tempered by more ambivalence and thus far Vince has shown no sign he has learned anything about elevating his game to international standard. First and foremost, Test batting is about how many runs a batsman makes, not how he gets them. Vince is pleasing on the eye, as all off-side specialists are, but it is a temperamentally poor player who cannot recognise when he is being set up by bowlers, or worse, does recognise it but chooses to carry on in the same habitual manner.

To drive expansively and nick off once is forgiveable; to do it twice is asking for questions; to do it consistently is just amateur. He is becoming what cricketers know as a jazz-hat, a jazzer. It is not a compliment”.

No punches pulled there then, in one of a number of sad stories of Hampshire’s season. Briefly this is followed by his observation that Alex Hales is also facing a “testing time”. There seems to me to be a bigger issue here in that Vince and Hales are following Lyth, Compton, Ballance, Carberry, Robson and maybe others as specialist batsmen who are successful in county cricket but cannot shift up a gear. Only Cook and Root are specialist Test batsmen of quality (although Bairstow is a fine batting ‘keeper’) and Cook and Root never really played much county cricket – they were pretty much elevated straight away.

Broad and Anderson are from some years back and in recent years, the county Championship has produced very few Test quality players (Woakes seems a possibility). I thought it was supposed to be more competitive now? Perhaps the obvious answer is to keep cutting the number of games, so that England can become the only country in the world that runs two ‘first-class’ T20 competitions. That’ll sort out those five-day techniques.

(On which subject the Guardian also carries today a follow-up to yesterday’s Daily Telegraph story, sent in by Paul (see below). It suggests that “a number of chairmen” of counties “believe they must convene independently from Harrison, Graves and the ECB”. It doesn’t say which).


6 Comments so far
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I don’t know about this ‘jazzer’ term tho’ … it doesn’t seem to fit Mingus, Ellington, Davis etc. Maybe ‘Henley’ would be better?

Comment by pompeypop

You can’t really argue about Selvey’s views on Vince though can you? After all it was around about this time last year that a good few of us thought that, with a season’s average of 19, he was lucky to be in the Hampshire team.

Comment by James

It is an interesting article. The point I would make is about the age plays are first picked for England. All those mentioned above, Vince, Lyth, Carberry etc were first picked in their mid twenties or later. Root was first picked as a 21 year old, similar age to Cook who was 20.
I have long had a theory that to move successfully to the next higher level you need to do so before you stop learning at your current level. I suggest that once a player has become established in a county side, then if he is to move up to the England side he needs to do so within 2 years at the most. All the players listed above have had several years in their county sides before playing for England. Taking Vince as an example, he had been in the Hampshire side for about 5 years before making it into the England team.
I find it interesting that the two who were selected as 20/21 years olds are by far the most successful.

Comment by Bob Murrell

Your theory was certainly true in the case of Graeme Hick whose game stood still for all the years he was qualifying for England.

Comment by James

Good point Bob. On the other topic, The Times too carries the story today and identifies just two counties who are clearly supporting Graves/ECB – Warwickshire who already have a city team and (you guessed) Hampshire.

Comment by pompeypop

Just heard a discussion about it on Sky, generally the pundits agree with it. the main question I have is the size of the crowds. Warns mentioned an Assie Big Base domestic game that drew crowd of 80,000 plus. You would need three Lord’s plus the Oval combined to accommodate that sort of crowd. The Middlesex v Surrey T20 match at Lord’s this season had an English record T20 crowd of just over 27,000.
Also on attendance the article in the Telegraph said Somerset and Essex had 100% sales while Hampshire had only about 30%. Hampshire’s 30% would be at least as many as Somerset and Essex’s 100%.

Comment by Bob Murrell

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