Hampshire Cricket History

DJ Rock
February 7, 2017, 2:49 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Another in the “I Remember You” series

Rock DJ.jpg

This news photo shows David Rock batting for HCCC 2nd XI v the Royal Navy at the US Ground, Portsmouth. He was a Pompey kid, his dad, Don Rock was big in local cricket and David went to Portsmouth Grammar School, just down the road from the USG. He was an outstanding schoolboy cricketer, playing for England Schools and I think captaining them and touring India.

He made his debut for the Championship side in 1977 without any great success, but in 1978, with Barry Richards departing mid-season he scored 114 v Leicestershire at Leicester and 106 v Notts at Basingstoke and looked to have a promising future.

He was thereafter somewhat inconsistent although his Southampton best was 91 v Sussex and in 1979 he scored 104 v Warwickshire at Nuneaton. At the end of that season he played against Kent at Bournemouth when the visitors scored just 282-7 dec yet won by an innings. Rock scored 3 & 8 – the latter in a partnership of 40, as Hampshire subsided from 40-1 to 82 all out (Underwood 8-28)

He returned for the following season but before it began, decided to retire. For a few years he played for South Hants TC (Portsmouth CC) in the Southern League, but apparently after one game he took a lift from his skipper, and got out of the car telling him to keep the kit. As far as I know, he never played cricket again, although I saw him once in the early 1990s watching Hampshire from the Rugby Club bar at the US Ground.


8 Comments so far
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Can remember Ted Dexter doing a stint in the Hospital Commentary Box at Northlands Road when he was batting and commenting on his potential for England, I believe he thought cricket a rather uncertain occupation and headed off into a career in finance.

Comment by stephenfh

And I remember John Arlott being very positive about him.
I was quite surprised to find his batting average was only19.
Didn’t he become an accountant?

Comment by Henry Thompson

I think he worked (maybe still does?) in Pompey for the Water Board, Gas Board or similar – in Finance. His first-class (and List A) career was inconsistent but three thoughts: firstly on the playing front, we were still using uncovered pitches, and counties were very strong in terms of regular leading overseas and England Test players, secondly, like my contemporary and his predecessor at PGS, Richard McIlwaine, he knew unlimited success at every level below first-class but struggled somewhat there, and thirdly, these were not then days of security or significant financial remuneration for county cricketers and those two both had decent educations. Richard went into teaching in the private sector. Ultimately however, I have a feeling that both had exhausted their enthusiasm for the game early in life. Richard too effectively turned his back on cricket and became a top squash player. Might Hampshire have done more with both – local boys with ability?

Comment by pompeypop

I saw him play a few times in his early days with Hants and thought he looked a class act with plenty of potential. I was both sorry and surprised when he announced his retirement.

Comment by Dave Wilson

He did a stint working working over the road from your tea rooms (when it was an antiques shop) in a place called Corralls ! I worked there for the first half of the 70`s and knew him whilst he must have been doing a spot of out-of-season work around 1972/3 ish.

Comment by Brian Scrimshaw

It’s a small world – but he’d still have been at school then, so I guess a holiday job? (Born April 1957 so probably left school in summer of 1975?)

Comment by pompeypop

Crikey time flies and I guess you must be right. I may have been a year ish out on my dates but I left there in 1976 so 1975 would have been the latest. Nice guy though.

Comment by Brian Scrimshaw

Dave was my cricket coach at the Easter coaching sessions held at PGS. Unfortunately, not even he could do much with my meagre talents.

He was a decent goalkeeper in the local leagues for the likes of Gunmounting and Leigh Park United. He’s in the Leigh Park team photo that’s featured in Sunday’s Sports Mail.

Comment by neil m

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