Hampshire Cricket History

The Best Yet?
October 8, 2016, 5:09 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Comments on the question of ‘Hampshire’ are fabulous – bless you. Stephen says he’ll be Hampshire until he dies – I guess  my point is, I’ll be Pompey (although I’m absolutely not referring to football here). It’s Portsmouth, not Hampshire that most informs my sense of identity and Hampshire has never been very important away from cricket. I wonder if that is different if you live outside the big cities?

As for Hove and Lord’s, I’m simply talking about watching in environments I enjoy. I don’t particularly like the Ageas Bowl as a Championship ground (it is a magnificent big match stadium), whereas I like Hove (and Arundel) and the Lord’s pavilion very much.

But not for one moment am I imagining myself supporting Sussex or Middlesex. The only county side I’ll ever support is Hampshire but there is for me a difference between the old Hampshire County Cricket Club and Hampshire Cricket plc. In the final analysis, my experience as the Archivist has left me feeling alienated and uncomfortable in the current Hampshire environment, so I am imagining my late years as a county cricket supporter away from the Ageas Bowl.

But it’s a rather odd feeling.

Thank you all very much for those delightful contributions.


5 Comments so far
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My sense of identity is the reverse. I feel Hampshire first, everything else secondary. It was a huge shock to me when the bloody politicians moved Bournemouth, my home town, into Dorset. But my then I was already moving away. First to Cape Town, then Japan, next came Basingstoke and finally Hong Kong. Today I feel uncomfortable in Bournemouth – too many ghosts. I still have a flat about 100 yards from May’s Bounty, and love everything about Winchester, and indeed most of NE Hampshire.

I do agree about the change to HC from HCCC. The Rose Bowl is corporate, not family. I have yet to fall in love with it in the way I did with Dean Park, Northlands Road and May’s Bounty. Perhaps I am too old to?

Comment by Ian Laidlaw

Thanks Ian – one difference is that I have effectively lived my whole life in Portsmouth so the ghosts and I are happy together. One similarity – I’m almost 67 and maybe unwilling to change some things, although I think that applies far more to cricket than other important things in my life like music or art. And actually all I’m asking is “Hey cricket, leave my Championship alone”.

Comment by pompeypop

I remember attending a NatWest one day match at Northlands Road as Ealing and Hants, as it happened we sat adjacent to some folks who were Winchester and Middlesex. It made us smile.

On the train down was the seriously impressive Richie Benaud, who was cricket and its people.

Comment by StephenFH

Tricky questions! To make a very long story short, maybe County Cricket is in fact City Cricket, and always has been since the Earl of Winchilsea filched Hambledon’s best players to liven up the games at Islington, and then Lords. A landed country game got hijacked by the metropolitan elite, and just never changed its name, quaint nostalgia, C18th style?!

It [i] may [/i] be “everyone” is at the apogee of their alienation from both Pro Cricket and the Bowl. The ECB has alienated us all for a long time. Now we have the City T20 issue, and suddenly our Chairman is no longer persona non grata at the ECB but seemingly massively back in favour (an Elvis/Shergar type proposition not long ago), which [i] perhaps [/i] has the effect of combining the ECB and HC plc negatives, compounding both.

So, I’m guessing, but the odd feeling you have now will hopefully recede.

And wouldn’t it feel odd to be at Hove while Hampshire are on the field at the Bowl? When we were in Div Two and Sussex in Div One I did occasionally wonder about jumping ship, but I’m not sure I ever did (though I will miss a Bowl Champo day for the Lords Test).

I’m a bit hopeful (probably naively) that the outcome of the ECB’s obliteration of Durham is going to have the opposite of the desired effect. We’ll see.

Comment by Jeremy

One thought – surely they cannot send is to freezing M Taylor’s again? As a Life member I can at least expect to watch Hampshire next year from the Lord’s pavilion.

Comment by pompeypop

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