Hampshire Cricket History


John Hampshire RIP
March 1, 2017, 2:15 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I suppose most people who followed cricket in the 1960s & 1970s will remember John/’Jackie’ Hampshire, whose death has been announced, as the inappropriately named Yorkshireman who scored a century on Test debut, but couldn’t sustain that promising start.

For anyone who knows their Hampshire CCC history, however, he was the opposing captain for that fateful ‘match that never was’ at Bournemouth in September 1974. It was abandoned with not a ball bowled and cost Hampshire their second consecutive, third and quite possibly last-ever Championship title – surely the worst three days in the club’s entire history?

Here the two captains disagree over whether there is any chance of playing (Gilliat, blazer, Hampshire, sweater) and in the event, the rain returned anyway. The other irony is that despite similar weather, the quicker-drying ground in Pompey meant they did play a meaningless, truncated Sunday League game between the scheduled first and second days at Bournemouth.

hampshire-gilliat-1974

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8 Comments so far
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Incidentally, I pinched the photo, by Patrick Eagar, from the 1975 Hampshire Handbook. There have been more of them since of course, but I have no indication that there will be a 2017 edition.

Comment by pompeypop

Maybe there will be a dumbed-down twenty page version for those with limited concentration spans?

Comment by James

I checked on his Test record. After that debut century, the first ever at Lord’s, he played seven more matches and managed just two more half-centuries. Those eight games in total however were spread over six years and two months, and he never played through a full series of three or more matches.

Comment by pompeypop

Remember it well, spent time helping Fred try to dry the pitch and surrounds.
It looked as if we might have started on the last afternoon only for it to rain again as the players were taking the field.

Comment by John white

I was there too. Fred Kingston is on the right. It was utterly depressing.

Comment by Ian Laidlaw

I remember John Hampshire for a wonderful century he scored at Portsmouth in the early 60s on a difficult pitch and windy conditions in which the ball was moving every which way. In that context, it is still one of the best centuries I’ve seen.

Comment by Alan Edwards

No luck at all with the weather that year.

The final day of the first match of the Bournemouth week was also lost when in a position to press for victory and Hants also denied by the weather in the match before that against Glamorgan at Northlands Road, despite a memorable effort by Bob Herman at the end.

Yorkshire would probably have been difficult to beat on a slow DP pitch if the game had been played; it was the weather in Southampton that year as much as that in Bournemouth.

Comment by stephenfh

I was a member in 1961 and 1973, but on both occasions missed the decisive day, so in 1974 made careful plans to travel the 50 miles from Pompey to Bournemouth each day by train. I was there on a beautiful sunny evening, day two v Somerset who were 90-4 in their second innings, still 51 behind Hampshire’s first innings. What’s more, that was something of a recovery, led by Jim Parks (46*) but I learned from him many years later he had a broken hand (courtesy of Andy Roberts) and was not going to bat on day three. A victory was almost certain, but the sun of Thursday evening turned to days of rain. I travelled on Friday but not thereafter (I was an impoverished student). Having seen Hampshire win two titles in my first dozen years as a member, It never occurred to me then that I would never see it again. I guess it could be worse – current fans of Derbys (presumably), Gloucs, Northants and Somerset have never done so.

Comment by pompeypop




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