Hampshire Cricket History

Happy New Year Folks!
December 31, 2017, 8:44 am
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I hope 2018 will bring much pleasure to you all. You know that for me, the past 12/18 months have been a bit turbulent in a cricketing sense, and it’s no exaggeration to say that the thing that has kept me connected to cricket more than anything else, has been this Blog.

So thank you for that; I am very grateful, and I hope you will all keep blogging.

On to the Gs – or maybe the G’s!!

A-Z (F4)
December 30, 2017, 11:31 am
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The end of this section – and one major figure

Fry, Charles Anthony (345 – Amateur) born 14.1.1940, Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire. A batsman, Charles was the third generation of his family to play for Hampshire (see below), appearing in five first-class matches for Hampshire in 1960 at the end of the Oxford University term. He went to Repton and then won his ‘blue’ over three years 1959-1961, scoring two first-class centuries, but his brief period with Hampshire was not particularly successful, with 134 runs at 16.75 and a best of just 38 on county debut at Trent Bridge. In 1962, he played in one championship match for Northamptonshire. His last first-class match was for Free Foresters v Oxford University in 1968. He was President of MCC in 2003.

Fry, Charles Burgess (147 – Amateur) born Croydon 25.4.1872, died London 7.9.1956. As a county cricketer, Fry’s finest achievements were with Sussex for whom he played 236 first-class matches from 1894-1908 (captain 1904-1908), but even in his relatively short time with Hampshire, 44 matches from 1909-1921, he was an outstanding performer; he moved counties after taking up a post in the Hamble River on the training ship HMS Mercury. Beyond that, he is one of the most remarkable figures in British sporting and social history, sufficiently talented to have been a triple ‘blue’ at Oxford University in cricket, football and athletics, and only missing a rugby ‘blue’ through injury. In football he went on to represent England and Southampton FC (in a Cup Final) and once held the world long-jump record.

He played in 26 Test Matches for England with two centuries, captaining them in the 1912 Triangular series v South Africa and Australia – by this time he was also a selector. For Hampshire, his first-class average of 58.90 exceeds all their other major batsmen, Mead, Marshall, Richards, Greenidge, Smith etc. and included 14 centuries (two doubles) and 15 half-centuries in 72 innings. His highest score in first-class cricket for any side was 258* for Hampshire v Gloucestershire at Southampton in 1911, having scored 123 & 112 v Kent at Canterbury in his previous two innings. He played most frequently for Hampshire in 1911 & 1912 (37 matches). After the war there were two matches in 1920 and seven in 1921. In November 1921 his magnificent first-class career ended with two matches for the Europeans in India. In later life he was India’s representative at the League of Nations, he became a cricket correspondent, and was once invited to become King of Albania – he declined.

Fry, Stephen (217 – Amateur) born Portsmouth 23.5.1900, died London 18.5.1979. He was the son of CB and father of CA; a batsman, occasional wicketkeeper and occasional captain. He played in 29 first-class matches for Hampshire spread between 1922 and 1929-1931, scoring 508 runs at 10. 58, with one half-century, 78 v Warwickshire at Edgbaston in 1929, when he opened with George Brown in the second innings. His last recorded match was for MCC v India Gymkhana at Lord’s in 1934, not first-class.

Fynn, Charles Garnet (258 – Amateur) born London 24.4.1897, died Bournemouth 26.8.1976. He was a leg-break & googly bowler who played in nine matches for Hampshire in 1930 & 1931. Before the war he had been a young fast bowler but injured in conflict, he was told he would not bowl again. Instead he converted to spin and at the age of 33, had a remarkable first-class debut, taking two wickets in his first over v Lancashire, the eventual Champions. His best figures of 3-92, came at Canterbury in 1930, a season when he took 10 wickets, but there was only one more in the following year. He enjoyed subsequently a full career in Bournemouth club cricket, being one of the founders of Bournemouth Amateurs, and in recent years his son Lionel, also a good local cricketer, produced his father’s county cap, showing he was so rewarded, despite a modest first-class career.

True Story
December 29, 2017, 8:18 am
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In his later years I got to know Charlie Knott (HCCC 1938-1954) very well. I used to visit him at home and hear many tales of the past.

One was of his debut in 1938, young, naive, a club bowler from Southampton Parks cricket, bowling at Canterbury. In his first spell the ball came back to him in a clearly altered state and he asked the nearest fielder what had happened. He was told to be quiet and bowl – but he said it never happened to him again.

Such practices weren’t invented recently – and since that was pre-war, not by Pakistanis either.

After One Ball Today …
December 29, 2017, 12:43 am
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… the pitch looked unplayable, so I decided to stop up and watch England romp to an innings victory.

Now it’s the Drinks Break and the Aussies are 44-0 off 13 overs, so with no proper spin bowler, I think I’ll go to bed …

We could have told them!
December 28, 2017, 6:09 am
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England 448-8: Jackson Bird 29-4-108-0

A-Z (F3)
December 27, 2017, 12:39 pm
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Fowler, Robert St Leger (228 – Amateur) born Co. Meath Ireland 7.4.1891, died Co. Meath, Ireland 13.6.1925. He was a right-handed batsman and off-break bowler who pursued a military career while playing first-class cricket for various sides, including three matches for Hampshire in 1924, but he is best remembered for a two-day schoolboy match at Lord’s in 1910, captaining Eton v Harrow. He scored 21 in Eton’s first innings of 67 all out and 64 in their second innings of 219 – both times top-scoring. He also took 4-90 in the first Harrow innings of 232, and when they batted again needing just 55 to win, Fowler took 8-23 as they fell ten runs short. For Hampshire he scored one half-century, 51, on his return to Lord’s v Middlesex, and took four wickets, including 3-68 in the return match at Portsmouth. He played most frequently for the Army, including a best of 92* v MCC and 7-22 v Royal Navy. He was appointed to captain MCC to West Indies in 1924/5, but the tour was postponed by one year, and Fowler died age just 34 in the interim.

Fox, Dr Thomas Colcott (Pre ’95 – Amateur) born Broughton, Hants 13.6.1849, died London 11.4.1916. He played two matches for Hampshire in 1875, scoring 10 runs in four innings and taking 0-26. In the 1870s he played other non first-class matches for the Gentlemen of Hampshire and in the following decade for Incogniti CC.

Francis, John David (456) born Bromley 13.11.1980. John Francis and his older brother Simon were promising Hampshire cricketers around the turn of the century, both having developed through their age group sides. John played for Loughborough University and British Universities but after a short career at Hampshire, he and his brother both moved to Somerset before leaving the first-class game. John was a batsman who played in 17 matches from 2001-2003, scoring five half-centuries with a best of 82 at Leicester in 2002. While his Hampshire career coincided with the difficulties experienced by many young batsman on the new Rose Bowl pitches he was particularly successful in List A matches, scoring 818 runs at 40.90, including 103* from 87 balls v Northamptonshire in late September 2002 as Hampshire won with three balls to spare. He played at Somerset regularly from 2004-2006 but after just three first-class matches in 2007 and April 2008, his career ended, age just 27. In 2013, back in Hampshire, he played for St Cross.

Francis, Simon Richard George (440) born Bromley 15.8.1978. Simon, older brother of JD, was a pace bowler who came through Hampshire’s junior sides, represented England under-19 and played at Durham University. He played first-class cricket for Hampshire from 1997-2000 and in the 2nd XI for one further season, before moving to Somerset where he played from 2002-2006, and then briefly for Nottinghamshire in the following season. In 14 first class matches for Hampshire he took 24 wickets at 45.79 including a best of 4-95 in a thrilling match v Surrey at the Oval in 2000. Hampshire, chasing 266 to win were 173-9 when Francis joined Mascarenhas; he scored 30* and Hampshire reached 263 before Mascarenhas (59) was caught-and-bowled by Alex Tudor and Surrey won by two runs. He ended his first-class career, not yet 30, with 136 wickets – in List A matches he enjoyed little success until he joined Somerset.

Frederick, Sir Edward Boscawen (106 – Amateur) born Shropshire 29.6.1880, died London 26.10.1956. He was a slow-left-arm bowler who played at Eton  and in his early twenties, five matches for the very weak Hampshire sides of 1903 & 1904. He took nine wickets at 36.77, including 3-44 in a heavy defeat v Leicestershire in 1904, while his 32 runs for the county came at an average below seven. He played non first-class cricket for a variety of sides including MCC, Eton Ramblers, Sandhurst College, the Royal Fusiliers and the First Army Corps (at Aldershot).

Frederick, John St John (Pre-69 – Amateur) born London 6.1.1846, died Camberley 10.9.1907. He was the uncle of EB Frederick and played for Oxford University 1864-1867 and for Hampshire between 1864-1869, although only once after 1866. He was principally a batsman although he bowled fast round-arm. In five matches for Hampshire he averaged 17.10 with a best score of 44 (& 39) v Middlesex in a 10-wicket defeat at the Antelope Ground in 1864. His last recorded match was for MCC in 1888.

Freemantle, Frederick William (78) born St Mary Bourne, Hampshire 27.6.1871, died Stockbridge 12.9.1943. He was an opening bowler who played two matches for Hampshire in August 1900 without taking a wicket. On debut he batted at number 10, but promoted to open, scored 26 in the second innings. In the next match he scored nought and two and Hampshire lost both games.

Frere, Henry Tobias (Pre ’95 – Amateur) born Odiham 27.9.1830, died Westbourne 15.8.1881. He played a first-class match for Hampshire v All England in 1850, and played in Hampshire County Cricket Club’s inaugural first-class match v Sussex in 1864, as a consequence of which, Alan Edwards (2014) has written a very full biography. He was described as a fast round-arm bowler and in six matches for Hampshire, took six wickets and scored 92 runs at 10.22 each, with a best of 23. After playing first-class for Hampshire for three seasons he appeared once for Sussex, probably due to domestic circumstances, and he also played for various Gentlemen’s XIs. Edwards records that in non first-class cricket he was particularly successful v the All England XI with 35 wickets in nine games. In 1873 he played at Southsea for the East Hants Club v the United South of England XI, in whose side WG Grace made his first appearance in Hampshire – Grace scored 49 & 11 and took 4-42 and 8-53 against the 22 players of the home side, in a drawn match.


Good Plan!
December 27, 2017, 6:58 am
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Off to Australia where our top batsmen Cook and Root will score runs, and our top bowlers Anderson and Broad will take wickets.

It can’t fail!

Keeping Busy
December 26, 2017, 3:43 pm
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There are a couple of Hampshire-related stories in the Christmas Cricket Paper. On the back page, Jimmy Adams suggests in interview that James Vince can establish himself for a long career in the England side, while the interviewer, Richard Edwards observes that “Vince has always looked the part for Hampshire”. I’m not sure regular Hampshire fans would agree with “always” – maybe ‘often’?

Inside, Derek Pringle writes about a recent comment from Steven Finn, “bemoaning the fact that county cricket had ground him down”. Pringle compared Finn’s 290 overs last season with a couple of examples from 1985: Malcolm Marshall’s 688 for Hampshire and John Lever’s 720 for Essex.

In fact, Finn has never bowled 300 first-class overs in an English season, and I think I have a better comparison still: in ten seasons from 1960-1969 (age 24-34) Hampshire’s genuine fast bowler ‘Butch’ White, averaged around 800 overs per season and twice exceeded 1,000.

The facts and figures tell their own tale. It is time for modern cricketers to shut up.

No Crane
December 25, 2017, 10:01 pm
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Still at least we have another South African.

Bah, Humbug!

December 24, 2017, 7:09 am
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Not Charlie Parker, just news from the 4th Test. At least one feathered flyer ‘from Hampshire’ is expected to play at Melbourne, Jackson Bird who replaces the injured Starc. Let’s hope he’s as impressive as he was in his days at the Ageas Bowl!

Meanwhile there is talk of Crane flying in to rescue the English cause – we’ll know just before Santa sets off tonight.

White Xmas