Hampshire Cricket History

Best of Pals
February 28, 2017, 11:49 am
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.