Hampshire Cricket History

Formative Years
April 30, 2017, 6:57 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I first saw Hampshire late in 1959, watched them regularly from 1960 and was a member from 1961. But my 60s ‘swung’, so there were always other attractions, especially in seaside summers when anyway I preferred playing to watching.

So if I write about how the kind of county cricket I loved has virtually disappeared what am I referring to? 1961 of course, which were great days, but I was only 11 and I don’t suppose I really understood that much, although I have a clear image still of ‘Shack’, Roy Marshall, Sainsbury and the others.

Through the seasons of 1968-1970 I was often away from Hampshire pursuing a career as a musician and saw relatively little – and I seem to remember, only in Portsmouth – although my school friend Richard McIlwaine was simultaneously pursuing his dreams of a county cricket career, so I followed his progress. In the end he didn’t become the new ‘Shack’ and I never threatened Mick Jagger’s dominance, so I came back to Pompey, to my studies and in 1971 resumed watching county cricket regularly. I have a feeling it is those years of the early 1970s that were really the formative ones for me.

In 1971 Hampshire were a team in transition. Their recently appointed captain Richard Gilliat still had ‘old hands’ like White, Marshall, Livingstone and Sainsbury but also emerging younger players such as Turner, Jesty, Lewis. In 1971, Hampshire’s 2nd XI (including my pal McIlwaine) won their Championship, with key contributions from Lewis, O’Sullivan, Mottram and Murtagh. We didn’t know then where that would lead.

For the first team, 1971 began with a Sunday League match at Bournemouth where Hants restricted Notts to 122-8 and won by 6 wickets in the 33rd over. Cottam took 2-13 in his eight overs off the run-up restricted to 15 yards and Richards scored 69 – more than twice anyone else in the match. It was not untypical of limited-overs matches which, back then, were relatively low-scoring, not least because played on a variety of grounds and uncovered pitches.

Three days later the first-class season opened in the Parks on 28 April. The University side had JM Ward (Derbyshire) and MJJ Faber (Sussex) who in 1975 would conspire to ruin Hampshire’s chase for the title but that’s another tale. Faber scored 62 of the students’ 200 all out and there were wickets for Sainsbury whose match analysis was an incredible 40-21- 40-6.

Richards and the uncapped Greenidge opened with a partnership of 233, and a century for each, then Gilliat made 74 against his old side and Hampshire’s 386-9 dec was sufficient to win by an innings and 123 runs. Bob Cottam took 4-17 in dismissing the University for 63, which included a 10th wkt partnership of 16.

Then it was on to Southampton and the first Championship match, relatively early since it started on May Day. More stories of 1971 to follow …


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