Hampshire Cricket History

Thank You
May 30, 2017, 6:27 am
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The Comments on the previous post are more than kind and I am very grateful to you all.

I have a proposal. I am determined to maintain my vow of silence and abstinence, but I realise that my decision is rather sudden and perhaps not quite fair for that, so

Just prior to each match for a few weeks at least, I’ll post a title that says something like “2 June v Warwickshire”. I will make no observations and say nothing, but it will allow you to add comments through the game, say anything you wish, add 2nd XI scores etc

In the meantime, I am very happy to talk to anyone who would like to set up a similar Blog and help where I can. On WordPress it’s not difficult. You can email me at


And thank you again

Full on and Farewell
May 29, 2017, 7:37 am
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I got back from a gig last night to read the Comments. I suppose inevitably I was struck by Ageas describing my views as “tedious”. I should say incidentally that I know Ageas and when I was around at matches we would have perfectly amicable conversations. He is most certainly entitled to his opinion.

So what to make of it? Firstly I wouldn’t want anyone to imagine that I’m taking a “side-swipe” at the new city-based T20 or (crucially) the continuing dismantling of the county championship. It’s not a “side-swipe” it’s a full-on criticism.

I’ve been running this Blog for over seven years and it was never intended to be the voice of opposition but, for me at least, that’s what it has become. Given the management structure at Hampshire since it became a plc it seems to me ok that someone in a private capacity has the right to state the contrary view, for all that it achieves nothing.

But maybe as Ageas suggests, that’s enough

It might surprise those of you who know me only through this Blog, that I’m a very happy guy with a pretty exciting life. Lots of gigs in two bands, a new book coming any day now, preparing an exhibition for the Portsmouth Guildhall in late summer, happy home life (great garden thanks to Mrs A), good health, sufficient money etc – really these days, hardly a problem in the world (none of these things incidentally, cricket-related).

So everything is fine – except cricket, which I have cared about passionately for over 50 years and to which I have devoted considerable energies (and money) over that period. But now I’m dismayed by what’s happening, alarmed for its future and particularly disappointed that while my county has often led the way towards this brave new future, there has been little opportunity to put the contrary view. It must be obvious that it makes me very unhappy.

I have tried to find a different way of engaging with cricket this year through the Blog, occasional visits, a club game or two, listening to Kevan’s commentaries but actually Ageas is right, “it’s tedious”. I don’t care any more, I’ve merely been pretending, and it’s time to walk away and enjoy everything else, as I do, with a smile.

So, with a heartfelt thank you to you all for the past seven+ years and my best wishes to you all, this is it. I shall retain my Life membership of Hampshire and maybe one day I’ll rekindle my enthusiasm, but I realised last night that the only answer for me is a complete break with cricket for at least the time being – including this Blog.


Brilliant game
May 28, 2017, 2:08 pm
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Terrific result

Crazy tactics? Maybe Bailey is the new Warne?

City-based T20s? Hah!

Home & Away
May 28, 2017, 9:28 am
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Assuming it stays dry enough to get a result in this intriguing game at Taunton, by this evening (28 May) not only will our 50-over season be finished, but we shall have completed 35% of the Championship season

In three away matches we have failed to secure a single batting point, despite which we might manage a second victory today. Whatever happens today, all three away games will have ended in victory for someone.

At home, in both matches we passed 400, taking all six of our batting points, and we had some hopes of victory until the final day – but both were drawn

PS ‘Interesting’ that Hampshire’s bowling has started with their ‘off-spinner’ …

PPS Terrific morning, enthralling match, but the rain is moving in from the channel and at 1.15 (lunch interval) it’s arrived in Pompey

I Really Hope
May 27, 2017, 5:53 pm
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That all those people who believe that the only future for cricket is through T20 have been paying attention to what’s been going on in Taunton and at the Ageas Bowl today.

With luck we might get another intriguing day in Somerset tomorrow


Feeling Distracted?
May 27, 2017, 2:33 pm
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Utterly bizarre stuff going on at Taunton – who knows which way it’s going?**

Meanwhile, I’m getting ready to go out soon for an early evening Bank Holiday gig for non-sports lovers, so I had better reveal what I believe to be the answer to my quiz and then give you an easier, related challenge.

Since Nottingham Forest v Luton Town in the FA Cup Final of 1959, I believe there have been just two further finals without a side from either London or Lancashire (sometimes both). Today, it’s London v London

Can you name the two Finals?

**84-0, became 140-6 and is now 204-6.

A Thought
May 27, 2017, 7:49 am
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But less of a distraction.

I send stats/history stuff to Kevan J still by email and just occasionally we chat about what’s going on. We’ve just been conversing and I said this:

“Thank goodness for Abbott – to date this season I reckon simply one of the finest periods of all-round play ever for Hampshire, especially judged against what’s happening around him.”

It’s quite a claim, I might challenge myself to find others, but he really has been fabulous.

A Distraction
May 26, 2017, 8:09 pm
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I guess if you’re going to the ODI tomorrow, you won’t need one, and maybe Hampshire will bowl on the second morning as they did last week at Chelmsford.

But in case we need to think about something other than Taunton, here’s a fiendishly difficult question for any footy followers out there on FA Cup Final Day. I won’t see tomorrow’s game as I have a gig but that’s OK, although for decades I loved FA Cup Final day – especially as a kid

The first one I ever saw (on TV) was in 1959: Nottingham Forest 2 Luton Town 1 (my mum was a Nottinghamshire girl)

And the question? There is something specific about that match which (I am reliably informed) has only occurred in two other FA Cup Finals since then – and it will not apply tomorrow. What is it?

How Good?
May 26, 2017, 3:41 pm
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A new thread, but the same topic. Hampshire disappointed in the 50 overs stuff and were horrid at Chelmsford but there is a view that this is disappointing after the good start in the first three Championship matches.

I don’t dissent from the sense of some encouragement in the early days, but there were ‘signs’:

v Yorkshire (away) we were bowled out first, for fewer than today. In the second innings, Adams easily top-scored but he’s not wanted. Yorkshire scored almost double our first innings but we won because Abbott (typically) was terrific at the end (7-41).

v Middx (home) five men scored between 50 and 99 (including Abbott). We led by 82 but had we managed to dismiss Middx a second time (we couldn’t) would we have scored over 200 to win? In four of our seven Championship innings this year we haven’t got close to 200. (Abbott 56 & match 7-146)

v Yorkshire (home) my only visit so far was probably our best day – we were terrific. However, having forced the follow-on, Yorkshire finished 175 ahead with four left, so again how sure can we be that we finished on top, against those guys? (Abbot match, 4-85)

Given that we are approaching a third of the Championship season over, Abbott (v Essex 5-58) looks certain to be player of the year, but he could use some support!

PS: Bowlers making something of a fight of it and Dawson has three in an innings for the first time this season

PPS: Latest BBC forecast suggests the rain tomorrow will be overnight, showery and gone by start of play, but it could be wet on Sunday (if it lasts that long – the match that is).

One Change
May 26, 2017, 9:56 am
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And only one. The 10 fit players from Chelmsford are given the chance to redeem themselves with Topley in for Edwards and the one local lad Adams still on the bench. As Bob reports, we’re batting – presumably, since they tossed, what we wanted.