Hampshire Cricket History

A New Beginning?
April 28, 2017, 9:17 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It’s early days, but …

I keep thinking about how to make sense of my relationship with county cricket, given the events of the past couple of years.

I don’t mind a T20 competition between all 18 counties, but I don’t care about it, and I’ll never do anything to support the new rubbish.

For decades I told myself that what I really loved – and it is the right word – was first-class cricket. I really did too, but a light went out last year and I realised I’d been kidding myself for about the past 20 years. I did love it, but it hardly resembles that old object of my affection any more, and I see no prospect of that ever returning.

So I’m left with limited-overs, knock-out cup matches which started in my fourth year of watching county cricket, although it was a couple more years before I saw a game live. Over the years I’ve been put off limited-overs by the endless ODIs about which I care very little, but at the county level, over the 55 seasons, I have seen some very fine games, not just the Finals, but others, with great performances even, to offer one example, Barry Richards’ magnificent century v ‘One Day Kings’ Lancashire at Bournemouth (August 1972) despite our defeat.

I suggested below it’s the closest to the club cricket many of us played, and I’m suddenly finding a new interest which has been enormously stimulated by our game yesterday – not least that in 50 overs we seem more willing to play ‘our own’ guys in that competition – and even more by the two matches today. Somerset’s win was fantastic – and quite resounding in the end; while Leics have just beaten Lancs scoring 311-7 with just four balls remaining: 625-15 wkts in fewer than 100 overs, a thrilling finish, and in many games (like ours yesterday) spin bowlers being important, which is a rarity these days in the Championship.

I wonder whether I can sustain this new enthusiasm?



4 Comments so far
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The Somerset chase was remarkable – can’t be that often the score from 22-5 gets multiplied more than ten fold, in any cricket. Trying to recall any prior brought this game to mind


.. where Glam 2’s chased 450 from 86-5 (Adil Rashid’s brother was trialling for us, along with Shafayat, who made 219*).

And the question of how far we kid ourselves is a very interesting one! I see SKY seem to prefer the IPL to our stuff…

Comment by Jeremy

That is a remarkable card (and a remarkable find) although I’m afraid you can’t access it unless you’ve paid up for Cricket Archive now – and even then it requires logging in etc. As for the kidding myself, I guess that’s a triumph of hope over reality, although I agree with Alan Edwards that it is possible to watch good Championship cricket occasionally. But over recent years I’ve watched at least 30 and probably more like 40 days each year and few are memorable, with too many uninteresting draws (often three innings matches) relatively little bowling variety, flat pitches and the same old (new) ground for Hampshire match-after-match. I thought I could not imagine a world without regular county cricket but that was merely a failure of imagination – solved partly by ECB’s removal of my favourite format from much of high summer.

Comment by pompeypop

I had the scorecard link saved, and was a bit surprised when it just came up when I clicked on it – so hoped it might work for others.

Sadly your CC remarks are exactly on the lines I’ve been feeling recently. Somehow it seems harder to pretend it matters when all the powers that be so relentlessly disparage it (“Cult” etc).

On the Somerset runchase, when they were 22-5 I think the D/L par score was about 147!

Comment by Jeremy

Vic Marks has three pieces in today’s Observer, one on Ansari, one on the looming ODI ‘series’ v Ireland, and one titled “Fans silenced in race to make T20 noise”. He is, as often, amusing, suggesting Graves sounds “almost prime ministerial” about the recent constitutional changes approved by “an overwhelming majority”. Marks adds that ECB didn’t really win any argument because once you offer people millions they tag along. But he then suggests “many current fans” (adding playfully “probably more than 48%”) are feeling “alienated by the decision, as we sleepwalk towards summers with two T20 tournaments dominating June”.

Comment by pompeypop

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