Hampshire Cricket History

Winning & Losing
July 11, 2017, 5:17 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

We’ve been alerted to Rod Bransgrove’s public statement about Kolpak signings. On the BBC it includes the following:

“Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove would have no qualms about signing more Kolpak players if it improved the club’s prospects of winning trophies … “The primary consideration must be to get the right balance in the squad to develop young players and win things.”

It’s no secret that one of my concerns about Hampshire Cricket plc is their failure to develop their own players. In the statement, Rod Bransgrove mentioned Liam Dawson and James Vince who at county level at least are clear successes. But Liam made his debut 10 years ago and James in 2009. Currently, we have brought through a fine young wicketkeeper-batsman and a leg-spinner, who probably should have ended up with Sussex.

The point here that interests me is about the “prospects of winning trophies”. We could win two more trophies this season, but it’s early days in the T20 and while we are stronger than for many years in the Championship, it’s not obvious that we will end up as Champions for the first time in 44 years. If teams invest in ready-made imports, should they be expected to win trophies?

Winning promotion in 2014 was a fine effort, but the last time we won a major trophy, we promptly won a second, and that was in 2012 – a while ago now. Can you remember how many home-grown players featured in those two sides in the T20 and CB 40? I’ll tell you in the first Comment.


5 Comments so far
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In the T20 Final, we imported Ervine, McKenzie & Katich from abroad, and ‘Carbs’ came from Surrey/Kent. But we also had Adams, Vince, Dawson, Bates, Wood & Briggs – plus ‘Dimi’ who was at least half home-grown. That seems to me a reasonable balance.

In the Lord’s Final there were two changes – Danny could not play because England wanted him for training (!) & ‘Dimi’ was injured, so import Kabir Ali came in, but so did David Griffiths. So of 13 Double Champions, seven-and-a-half were ‘ours’.

In my Introduction to the 2013 Hampshire Handbook I pointed out cheerfully that Hampshire had selected no fewer than 10 home-grown players in the season – I added Tomlinson, Riazuddin and Terry, plus one more ‘half’ in Balcombe.

Oh Happy Days!

Comment by pompeypop

One immediate thought in reply to the question if teams invest in ready-made imports, should they be expected to win trophies is that there are only three trophies to be won and if most counties bring imported players straight into their first teams there aren’t enough trophies to be won. So I think the answer is not necessarily.

Comment by James

Of course Rod only mentioned Kolpaks. Since those 2012 trophies there have also been inland signings like Coles, Wheater, Smith, Topley, and this year Holland, Hart, Salisbury, Sole & Dickinson Maybe my question should be relative, since some sides (currently Worcs are a good example, always Yorkshire) don’t follow Hampshire’s currently preferred route.

Comment by pompeypop

Mind you Yorkshire have taken Willey, Brooks, Plunkett, Hodd, Kohler-Cadmore and Ballance from other counties (albeit Kohler-Cadmore came up through the Yorkshire age-group system) plus re-signing Sidebottom so they acquire quite a few of their players from elsewhere as well. (And strangely are able to do so despite being very heavily in debt!).

Comment by James

James makes a fair point about Yorkshire, although their signings tend to cover considerable demands from England, which historically we haven’t had, and in the case of Plunkett, Willey and Ballance contribute to England. Signing Bailey, Abbott, Rousouw, Edwards and perhaps now “more”, isn’t quite so helpful.

The question of debt is interesting. In the early years of this century, Hampshire signed expensive ‘stars’ like Warne, ‘KP’, Clark, Clarke, Katich, Mullally, Crawley, McKenzie, Wasim Akram, Lumb etc. The the ground, hotel and golf course became a real financial burden; so they switched to a youth development policy which paid dividends in 2012. Then they did deals with Eastleigh Council and Ageas, completed the hotel and switched again to signing the ‘stars’. When they can afford it, the latter seems the preferred course.

Comment by pompeypop

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