Hampshire Cricket History

Grow Your Own
June 24, 2017, 9:03 pm
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Some facts (not opinions) further to the comments at the end of the previous post

Over the 20 seasons since Udal (a success) made his debut in 1988, by my estimation, Hampshire have given first team debuts to the following players who might be considered ‘theirs’. I have not included various other players such as P Whitaker, S Renshaw, T Hansen or R Hindley who played first for Hampshire but were not ‘developed’ by them (there are others like this). None of those 32 players achieved full careers as county cricketers. A few were ‘capped’ and enjoyed some success – but none managed full careers in the sense of (say) Udal:

R Cox, J Wood, S Morris, D Flint, J Bovill, , R Dibden, J Laney, M Garaway, D Kenway, L Savident, S Francis, C van der Gucht, A Sexton, I Brunnschweiler, L Prittipaul, J Hamblin, J Schofield, J Francis, J Bruce, C Benham, TG Burrows, DA Griffiths, H Riazzuddin, M Stokes, D Briggs, M Bates, C Wood*, B Howell, S Terry, A Rouse, T Barber, J Goodwin

These five might be considered the successes: C Tremlett (2000), J Tomlinson (2002), J Adams (2002),  J Vince (2007), and L Dawson (2009). However, Tremlett’s full career required him to move to Surrey after losing favour as a regular; Tomlinson was an excellent Championship bowler but hardly played in white ball cricket, and Adams left Hampshire 2nd XI after two disappointing seasons, spent three years at Loughborough University and then returned, eventually establishing himself in the first team.

Probables: M Crane, L McManus. Crane was turned down by his native Sussex and Surrey and when he first came to Hampshire, his school coach Raj Maru insisted that Hampshire’s coaches did not interfere. I’ve no idea how long that lasted

Hopefuls: B Taylor, T Alsop, J Weatherley. *I suppose in theory Wood is still a Hopeful?

Opinion alert: It’s possible that I am alone in considering that’s a not a very impressive record. If we think that those 32 players simply were not good enough to begin with, then the fault presumably lies in the identification and selection of so-called promising players. Don’t forget, too, that this list does not include all those other youngsters who have been contracted over the years, without playing for the first team (like Duggan and McCoy released today). Presumably either we can’t pick them, or we can’t develop them?


17 Comments so far
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If you were to agree with my assessment of the five successes it’s worth noting that in addition to Tremlett, who was not hindered by being son of a leading player, coach and Director of Cricket, two others, Adams and Tomlinson took the path through a University cricket side for three years. Those university sides are still going but at Hampshire at least we seem to prefer the fast-track option from ‘A’ levels to cricket. That seems to be working with Crane and McManus but I wonder how many of our ‘discards’ might have profited from that route?

Comment by pompeypop

There are so many parts to this excellent piece.

What a ‘career’ is, is a debate i have with all my cricket friends.

I believe some on that list definitely had a career as i said on the previous post.

I also agree with the comment.

Adams and tomlinson developed from the age of 25. Nowadays the expectation seems to be higher and younger.
Which is a problem.

Some of those players on the list are still doing well elsewhere after having been let go at an early age.
Rouse howell briggs etc.

Barber now has a 2 yr deal at middlesex and is bowling well apparently.

However the opinion alert! I don’t quite understand.
Surely when developingyoung players, you identify them if they have any attribute and skill, back them, give them opportunity and see if they become good enough.
I think hampshire have given plenty of time to certain home grown players to develop.
Vince, wood, dawson, Mcmanus , crane weatherley, taylor etc.

I would like them to give more time to even more of our youngsters however.

I hope Alsop is on top of that list!

Comment by Jimtom@fsmail.net

‘Opinion alert’ merely refers to the fact that I promised some weeks ago to stop expressing any more views but couldn’t stop myself in this instance, I shall now try my best to revert to silence. I agree entirely with the point about Vince, Wood, Dawson, McManus, Crane, Weatherley and Taylor and I very much hope you are right about Alsop.

Comment by pompeypop

Its the likes of Laney, Kenway, Benham, Hamblin, Bruce, Griffiths and Briggs that interest me i.e. players who appeared to have ‘made it’ with anything up to 100 first class games and then appear to have been ‘ditched’.

Comment by Peter Jeffs

One last observation from me then that really is it. For the first 50 years of my life (2000) Hampshire played cricket in my home city in the south-east corner of the county. There were clubs around here like South Hants (Portsmouth), US Portsmouth, Gosport (a Lord’s final) & Waterlooville that competed at the top level of the Southern League – now there is only Havant.

In addition, there were players from this part of the world who to some degree served as ‘role models’ to other youngsters – post-war, McCorkell, Barnard, Wassell, Jesty, McIlwaine, Rock, Ayling, Kenway, Prittipaul. It wasn’t a huge number and most were not ‘stars’ but it was a steady stream which pretty much dried up around the time we stopped playing in Portsmouth.

McCoy was born in Portsmouth, raised over the hill at Purbrook CC, and now plays with Havant, so I hoped he might signal a little local success. If you look at the list of the best players we’ve raised ourselves in recent decades they’re pretty well all from north Hampshire, Winchester, the Isle of Wight or across the borders. There are towards one third of a million people around my bit of Hampshire and it’s feeling increasingly like a cricketing wasteland. I think that’s very sad.

Comment by pompeypop

So many good points above and so much that I agree with.

Two further observations. Firstly I see we have named the following thirteen man squad for the Somerset game: Adams, Dawson, Rossouw, Vince, Bailey, Ervine, McManus, Berg, Abbott, Topley, Wheal, Salisbury and Holland. I assume the first nine will be as in this list with the last four contesting two places with no Crane. This means that despite our dreadful batting this season (see Ron’s post on the previous thread to see just how bad this has been) the only change to our top six is likely to be Dawson (yet to score a Championship fifty this season) in to open instead of Carberry. Meanwhile Alsop continues to be overlooked since scoring 40 in his only Championship innings of the season two moths ago. No chance for a youngster whilst we re-arrange the deckchairs on The Titanic?

Secondly (and even more importantly) please Dave don’t apologise for or stop posting opinions. They are leading to some very interesting discussions!

Comment by James

I’ll second that.

Please don’t stop. It’s a brilliant and passionate blog.

Very sad about portsmouth/south east cricket i agree.

I really hope hampshire can find some.

Comment by Jimtom@fsmail.net

I wonder why Dawson can return from England duty (not playing today?) but Crane cannot (playing today?)

Comment by pompeypop

Crane is in squad for Lions v SA on Wednesday Dave. SA last game before Tests

Comment by Ron Griffiths

Thank you both very much. I’m finding it all a bit complicated at the moment. I suppose perhaps I do really care, despite everything I’m saying … (???)

Comment by pompeypop

I think you have hit the nail on the head Dave. When you support a team, be it cricket, rugby, football or whatever you can’t just stop caring. You can get totally peed off with the players, the coaches, the management, the league, the governing body, the gatemen ……. but you still keep supporting the team.

You just can’t help it!

Comment by James

“There must be some way out of here
Said the joker to the thief …”

Comment by pompeypop

Could the lack of independent schools in Hampshire have contributed to the dearth of locally-raised cricketers? As state schools no longer play cricket the game relies overwhelmingly on the independent sector but it seems the likes of Winchester College or Churcher’s College never produce Hampshire players (though Churcher’s has nurtured England rugby and football internationals) and Portsmouth Grammar School’s production line has apparently broken. Or do the promising cricketers from these schools increasingly choose alternative careers? Even with a promising Hampshire career ahead of them some of the young players listed above (e.g. Bruce, Rock) preferred to take a different path. The question is whether or not such trends are more prevalent in Hampshire than other counties.

Comment by Ian White

It might be Ian. In the last decade Chris Morgan and Jake George from Portsmouth Grammar have been on Hampshire’s staff without playing first team cricket. I think that the last first team Winchester College boy to play for Hampshire was Barry Reed about 50 years ago (?) and at the same time Keith Wheatley came from Lord Wandsworth College and Michael Bates went there too. Churchers? I’m not aware of anyone. Jimmy Adams came from Sherborne, Mason Crane from Lancing and James Vince from Warminster, which I think are all fee-paying (none in Hampshire).

What is interesting is that despite the pessimism about state schools, as far as I’m aware, Briggs, Dawson, Taylor, Tomlinson and Wood (at least) all went to state schools

Comment by pompeypop

Quite a sad list, a lot of broken dreams.

Reminds me of a remark at the Solent Forum – I don’t pick the team, I pick the guys that pick the team.

I wonder what would happen if we had spent the money we spend buying Saffers on development? Most of the SKY money over 20 years has gone to the Players, and yet the ECB blame the counties for not producing players, so they spend (however many millions it is, £10mpa from memory) on their Loughborough set up to screw it up themselves.

Crane is a good point – what now he’s in ET’s grasp?

Seems better to me to have facts that lead you to conclusions, opinions, than the reverse (the ECB approach!).

Comment by Jeremy

Re facts, having trawled through the backgrounds of the playing squads of the 18 FCC at the beginning of the season, Hampshire are or were not a long way off average in terms of the % of England qualified players or those who went to state/independent schools.

Quite why the county doesn’t produce more players, whether playing for Hants or someone else is still a bit of mystery (although this blog is working on it :)).

Comment by stephenfh

Interesting – cheers Stephen. It’s a bit like Peter Pan – you have to believe! Do you believe?

Comment by pompeypop

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