Hampshire Cricket History

Full on and Farewell
May 29, 2017, 7:37 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

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.


24 Comments so far
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What an absolute shame, no disaster. You have done so much for Hampshire cricket in numerous ways and will be sorely missed by most of us. I can understand your decision and sincerely hope that I will not lose you as a friend and continue to see you at Bat and Ball and maybe a Sussex or Kent ground. Leave the past and enjoy life, Dave.

Comment by Stephen Saunders

You’ve explained your views very well, Dave.

Many thanks for providing this blog. I have never got around to reading all the annual summaries you produced. Is the website disappearing or will it be left around without any updates?

Comment by Dave Pople

To me it’s the fact that you’re clearly not a curmudgeonly negative traditionalist that makes you’re well argued criticisms so important, and interesting (not to say, reassuring, that those of us who feel likewise aren’t entirely insane).

I didn’t find a post titled “Brilliant Game”, starting with “Terrific result” merited the comment offered, but there we are.

Your posts have often sparked off long enjoyable trains of thought, as have many of the comments, so my life won’t be enriched by losing them. What a pity.

Comment by Jeremy

(thought I’d throw in one last rogue apostrophe 😉 )

Comment by Jeremy

A massive shame as this blog has been a must read every day for me and I will miss reading it.

I will also miss the other commenters here as the discussion is always interesting.

Thanks Dave

Comment by Ian

Many thanks Dave for the time and effort put in; surfing this way has most certainly help rekindle a dormant interest in the game in the last couple of years or so.

If I remember correctly John Arlott’s book How to Watch Cricket
begins with the observation that the purpose of watching is to take pleasure, so after a break hopefully the pleasure will return.

Comment by stephenfh

I have been following this blog for a number of years now and I will also miss reading it and the comments of others.

Thank you, David, for your efforts for so many years. I wish it was April 1.

Comment by Martin

I am so sorry to read that you are discontinuing this blog, although I am a more recent reader I have known you for more years than I can remember.
I believe that no-one at present involved has given more to Hampshire cricket in a totally voluntary capacity.
I also fear for the future of the game.
It has been great to know you and can confirm that you are not a miserable old fogey.
All the very best and hope to see you in the future, (possibly at Hove).

Comment by John white

That’s a shame Dave, I certainly echo the other comments. You will be missed!

Comment by Paul

OMG. Has he gone already, I mean, will he even read our comments now?
I couldn`t possibly let Pompey Dave dissappear without a word or two or even three.
I could suggest that he uses his time saved from cricket to help Mrs A maintain that garden !
I could spread gossip that he is standing as an independant in the election representing the ECP…Independant Cricketing Party!
I could demand he reveals who this troublemaking Ageas is !
Perhaps I should just offer honest thoughts and like most others on here express sadness at the huge loss cricket will face without Dave Allen being involved in it. Certainly Radio Solent`s cricket commentary is far less exciting without the late afternoon spot Dave commanded. His off-the-cuff competitive questions always gave food for thought not to mention his deviation into things musical.
One of his best qualities, amongst a zillion others, is his ability to turn a potentially disasterous event into something entertaining and rewarding as has been the case with my Area Supporters Association events as he “saved the day” many a time.
Hopefully the Hambledon Club will still see Dave involved in some way.
Being a Pompey local I guess I should go to see his bands perform and if he needs a washboard player then I`ll join in.
To say thanks for everything cannnot fully express my gratitude along with us all on here.
ps Mrs S wanted to know what she can read each morning now, I suggested she tends the garden !

Comment by Brian Scrimshaw

Your blog Dave was my window into the background of what was happening at Hampshire Cricket. I am very sorry that you have drawn the curtain. Living in Hong Kong, your blog is simply irreplaceable. Many thanks for all the enjoyment.

Comment by Ian Laidlaw

This is all very sad. Hope you come back soon, Dave.

Comment by Bob Elliott

I would just like to echo all the above thoughts. Living in Surrey some distance from The Rose Bowl (I use that name very deliberately) I have found this blog very informative and I will miss it very much.

For what it is worth my thoughts are that it is Dave’s blog and it should most certainly reflect his views and his opinions which he has presented with reason and courtesy. To the best of my knowledge he has always allowed opposing opinions to be posted and it is to his credit that discussions here have been very civil.

I would very much hope that after a period of reflection Dave continues with this blog as it is very clear that despite his current unhappiness with the corporate direction of Hampshire Cricket he still has a deep love of the playing side of Hampshire County Cricket Club (and I use that name deliberately too).

I would also respectfully suggest that those who find this blog tedious look elsewhere.

Comment by James

Not so fast….. hold your horses….
It was inevitable that the withdrawal of cricket from the outer grounds to the Rosebowl would eventually result in less county players coming through from grass roots and the club starting to look elsewhere for players, sponsorship t20 etc. Just at the point of the stage moving on or back for that matter, the debate should hot up, not cool off on the different ways forward.
As a great fan of this blog where else is there to hear the different points of view? Not the Echo or the News. So let the dust settle, saddle up and ride back into town Dave. This is where it starts not finishes. Yours sincerely Chas.

Comment by Chas C

I’m also saddened by this news – thank you Dave for the interesting topics you’ve raised. The Hampshire Cricket History blog has been one of my three daily sites for news about teams I follow.

The blog has created a community of commenters (and silent readers). I’ve never met any of you (other than Dave briefly) and I’m not sure where we go now to exchange news, banter and diatribe. After we stop visiting the blog we’ll no longer be in contact unless we decamp elsewhere.

Do any of you frequent any other Hampshire fan forum? I don’t recall one being referenced here. Some of the other counties have active forums. Viewfromtheboundary.com has a sub-forum for each county – Glamorgan’s is active, Hampshire’s is defunct. There are also dedicated forums such as EssexOutfielder.co.uk. and unofficialsussexccc.freeforums.net/

I could create one somewhere if there is interest, but to thrive such forums need a steady contribution of news and opinion, a moderator or two, and of course frequent visitors.

Comment by Hedgehog

Like the other commenters I will greatly miss the blog. It has been a valuable source of information and a forum conducted with welcome civility. Dave, I hope your enthusiasm can be rekindled and this is au revoir rather than adieu, but anyway thanks for all your efforts and all the best for your future pursuits.

Comment by Ian White

A very sad day and, as all the others have said, the end of the blog will leave a big hole in our daily pursuits.

It has kept me in touch with Hants from a distance and your help and friendship over the years is irreplaceable. I have spoken before about all the voluntary work you have put in to make the Pavilion such a hospitable place for visitors and it will not be the same, although the memories will linger on.

As you know, I tend to use the reciprocal facility quite a lot – Kent, Sussex and Essex grounds being more covenient for travelling- so I do hope to see you perhaps at Hove, Arundel, Canterbury or even Guildford (Surrey v Essex 9th-12th June).

Thanks for everything, Dave and enjoy all that you and Mrs A are planning. ‘Play up Pompey.’

Comment by Dave Wilson

Going to miss this Blog a lot .. Good luck Dave and best wishes for the future and hopefully will bump into you for a chat soon.

Comment by Dave Eckett

Dave, as a more recent reader can I just say that this blog has very quickly become a “must read” for me every day. Thank you and all the best for the future.

Comment by moggahooller

Dave, many thanks for all you have done over the years. You will be sorely missed by many of us at The Bowl. May I wish you and Mrs A all the very best in all your other activities.

Comment by Bob Murrell

Dave, interesting news item down under that might send a chill through ECB and City Based Cricket aspirations http://www.news.com.au/sport/cricket/cricket-australia-reveals-the-big-bash-has-lost-33-million-over-its-first-five-years/news-story/04e15a632db26d7e8a39deee31020384

Comment by Ron Griffiths

Dave like may others I read this blog daily. I always look forward to reading your articles, I also enjoy reading the comments section. I will miss it greatly. Thank you so much for your efforts & all the best. Steve

Comment by Stephen

Dave, my/our very good friend – I am relieved! Sad of course, given ALL your devotion to Hampshire CCC over so many years; of your time, your skills, energies and passion for the game of cricket and your county. And thankful too, for the ALL you have given to so many friends and fans.
But in the ‘now’ relieved because I/we were becoming concerned about the possible effects on your health caused by your. growing, and understandable, frustrations. Your experience and wisdom must have been whispering, “it is time to let go of the rope in this tug ‘o war, young Dave”. In April last year you launched your excellent book, ‘Forever Changes’. I’m rootin’ for you and Mrs A to launch into ‘Enjoy Your Changes – The Now – The New – The Adventures!’ Warm wishes, have fun, Punchy..

Comment by Alan Rayment


Just caught up with your blog – what a shock.
I’ve been a big fan for the last year or two and what I’ve always enjoyed in particular is the knowledge that the views expressed are from a well-rounded, knowledgeable human being. Not enough of those around sometimes!
it is extraordinary how the game is currently being run and I don’t blame you for taking things to heart.
BUT, I hope you will change your mind sometime soon.
Many, many thanks.

Comment by Henry Thompson

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