Hampshire Cricket History


Ralph Prouton
November 4, 2016, 9:53 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Here’s another in the “I Remember You” series although I suspect few of us do – at least as a player. But we’ve been mentioning him recently and he is, with Alan Rayment, the last of our professionals to have played in the 1940s – a fact that surprised me, although perhaps because he played just once in 1949 (July) and then not again until 1951 v Oxford University. Incidentally Alan remains ‘Senior Pro’ because in 1949 he was playing regularly from early May 1949.

Ralph was a wicketkeeper, born in Southampton. He spent a couple of years on the MCC staff (1950/1951) and after Neil McCorkell’s retirement (1951) he had most of two years as Hampshire’s first choice, although Leo and David Blake also took their turns. He played 26 matches for Hampshire in 1952 with 59 dismissals (five stumped), then 17 matches in 1953 and just four in 1954, after which Leo became regular first choice ‘keeper (he had sometimes played as a batsman). In total, Ralph played 52 matches scoring 982 runs at 14.44. He batted in almost every position but experiments with him up the order were not that successful; nonetheless he scored five half-centuries with an HS of 90.

Ralph was a good all-round sportsman who was on Arsenal’s books with Jimmy Gray and Arthur Milton and then played for Swindon Town (16 matches). From 1957-1969 he was an Umpire in the Minor Counties competition, and after retiring from cricket, he taught at Downside School.

Prouton Holt Cannings.jpg

Ralph (centre) with Arthur Holt (left, cap) and Vic Cannings.

 

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4 Comments so far
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http://m.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/37858871

Here it comes!

Comment by Paul

Thank you for this. All new for me. So on the face of it, was it a case of Leo Harrison taking over essentially because of (slightly) superior batting skills?

Comment by Ian Laidlaw

Honestly Ian I don’t know – it was before my days although hopefully Alan Rayment will read this and comment. Leo had certainly been a promising batsman and Neil McCorkell was very much a batsman/keeper. I think quite rapidly Leo – an outstanding cover fielder – turned himself into a top keeper. By 1955 he was selected for the Players v Gents which was a real honour back then. Desmond picked any number of keepers when he first came (also DE Blake and Jack Andrews who were both amateurs) before settling on Leo.

Comment by pompeypop

The other thing is that 1954 was a real transitional season. A number of youngsters coming back from National Service, Marshall qualifying and players like Reg Dare, Charlie Knott, Ralph Prouton going, following recent departures of Dick Carty, John Arnold, McCorkell, Tom Dean, Jim Bailey – not quite all change but it paid immediate dividends.

Comment by pompeypop




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