Hampshire Cricket History

Best of Pals
February 28, 2017, 11:49 am
Filed under: Uncategorized


In today’s Times, Ian Botham reveals that Rod B encouraged him to take on the Chairmanship of Durham, adding “Rod’s one of my closest friends”

The article opens with Botham expressing himself “firmly behind” the proposals for a new T20 competition, adding “I cannot believe that any chairman of any club cannot see the benefits”

However, the article goes on to identify “some staunch opposition from other county chairmen”, saying that Essex, Surrey, Kent and Sussex (at least) intend to vote against it. John Faragher of Essex says of other counties, “I believe they are voting purely on financial gain and not for the longer best interests of cricket”.

So do I, especially in respect of county cricket, although it’s a certainty that Rod will vote for it.

PS There’s more Botham here too: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/39106668


Winters way back
February 27, 2017, 4:34 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Modern cricketers have 12-month contracts, and many, including younger uncapped players, spend their winters abroad, playing and coaching in the sun. But it wasn’t always like that. Here are three great Hampshire County cricketers, all of whom played in the first game I ever saw, working at their winter employment in 1957


“Switchboard, can I help you?” – Jimmy Gray

PJ Sainsbury.jpg

Checking the statistics – Peter Sainsbury

D Shackleton.jpg

Baking the pastries – Derek Shackleton

And even Shack’s wearing a tie for the great British Bake Off

England A
February 27, 2017, 12:08 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Sri Lanka beat them in the unofficial ‘Test’, scoring at better than five runs-per-over after tea, having bowled out England. They lost a few wickets along the way and Leach got two cheap late ones, both stumpings, which, with the run-rate, suggests batsmen giving it the charge

There are now five (sort of) ODIs to follow – let’s hope Tom can get some runs, if picked.

Meanwhile England play their final warm-up game, starting at 1.30pm our time today. Will Liam play and seal his place in the ODI side?

Me and Bobby (busted flat?)
February 26, 2017, 6:28 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Send our commiserations from along the coast. You played very well, and deserved more

But why didn’t you wear yellow & blue?


February 25, 2017, 9:23 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

33 overs and five balls and two finger spinners have taken all ten wickets to thrash India in their own backyard by 333 runs! Makes you wonder about England’s spinners even more.

Meanwhile, in Sri Lanka, Jack Leach, the English slow-left-armer that a lot of people thought should have gone to India is bowling against Sri Lanka ‘A’ and currently has figures of 9-0-53-0.

Never mind, Graves and Strauss are doing everything to ensure we can compete in IT20s

Then & Now
February 24, 2017, 1:02 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

There is a very interesting juxtaposition of two major articles on the sports pages of today’s Times. On page 66, Johnny Bairstow acknowledges that the kind of IPL money being paid for Tymal Mills (etc) “naturally … changes some people’s outlook”, while Jos Buttler says that although the 2005 ‘Ashes’ series was the “big thing” for his generation, were he that bit younger, he might, like Mills, concentrate on T20, adding “Test cricket is facing some big challenges”.

On the page opposite is the story of Bobby Stokes who is featured in a book subtitled “the man from Portsmouth who scored Southampton’s most famous goal”. In the article, Giles Smith describes how people from Pompey “are not meant to win the FA Cup for Southampton”, yet Bobby never encountered any problems around his home city and indeed, having won the cup, he returned home to Paulsgrove to “banners hanging off the houses, people in the streets”. I particularly like the idea by Mark Sanderson, who wrote the book of Bobby as the man who “crosses the divide between the two cities and sort of debunks it”. Sadly, I don’t think that impact has lasted too well – there is still too much (sometimes malicious) nonsense about ‘skates’ and ‘scummers’ in both cities, but the other part of Bobby’s story that appeals is the relative modesty of the hero and the ordinary life he lived, albeit ending tragically young. Fortunately most professional sportsmen from that era, survived more contentedly.

The comparison between the two eras is stark, exacerbated by the sacking today of the football manager who achieved the greatest miracle in modern football just nine months ago. That is a consequence of excessive rewards, huge salaries, signing fees and the rest – and now it’s coming to cricket, to which can be added the increasingly probable replacement of the greatest form of the game, with something far more trivial. At least football is still eleven versus eleven over 90 minutes.

Tom Gone
February 24, 2017, 8:17 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Alsop that is. He’s playing in the second unofficial ‘Test’ in Sri Lanka but made just 13. That’s his eighth innings this winter with England Lions in various matches. He’s had a couple of 40s, and in total 144 runs, so I guess not what he would have hoped for.

Meanwhile in the real Test Match, it’s India’s turn to bat like England. I wonder if Mr Pigot is flying out right now?

PS: Are you watching it? In this game, India are possibly the worst close catching side I’ve ever seen in Test cricket.

Today at the Test
February 23, 2017, 8:16 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Later this morning Mrs A is catching a boat to the IOW and I’m walking to the university, for my one work session these days. It’s not looking like much of a day to be out there, battling ‘Doris’, and Mrs A, who is not as fond of the sea as I am, is imagining all kinds of disasters!

For now, it’s rather nice to be sitting at home with a cup of coffee watching a Test Match on TV. It’s pretty even so far, but interesting that with the retirement of Adam Voges, there are no ex-Hampshire players in the Australian side (and of course there cannot be any playing for India). I don’t think that’s happened for a while (Watson, Bailey etc).

PS: Evening session. The batsmen are wearing green tops, but batting like England – except for the Englishman (actually Renshaw played for Hampshire didn’t he?)

(Today’s title courtesy of John Arlott)

PC plod
February 21, 2017, 9:07 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

A couple of years back I did my first ball-by-ball for Southampton Hospitals on a women’s international match at the Ageas Bowl. TMS had a couple of former women internationals there as summarisers, so I was able to ask whether they thought we should change any terms such as ‘Third Man’ since Third Man (my favourite position incidentally) clearly wasn’t – if you see what I mean

They said no, just use the normal terms, which we did. No fuss. Today however the issue has been raised (BBC website): “An Australian cricket administrator wants terms like batsman, 12th man and third man to be dropped to encourage more women and girls to play the game. Western Australia Cricket Association chief executive Christina Matthews wants them replaced with gender-neutral names like batter, 12th and third”.

If the point about encouragement is accurate, that’s fine with me, and where it applies only to the women’s game, I think it’s women’s business to decide and tell us blokes. I’m comfortable too with a term like ‘batter’ or ‘twelfth’ which are often used already; we don’t, for example, say ‘bowlman’. What’s not clear from the report is whether she wants that change to be across the board, or only in women’s cricket, although she seems to acknowledge that any change is unlikely to speedy.

And what will happen to Wisden’s quarterly ‘The Nighwatchman’?

I’m Worried
February 21, 2017, 2:27 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Apparently Hedgehog is not familiar with Craig David – how will he know whether to buy tickets? Well I hope this might help him, and indeed anyone else out there who is not sure.

It does help to get up and shake your hips to this, and I have chosen it deliberately and especially to all my pals in Southampton, as not only is it Craig from the city, but the group Artful Dodger are from there too.