Hampshire Cricket History


Fred Hyland
February 12, 2018, 3:53 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Stephen has reminded us that Keith Walmsley has discovered much more about him (previous A-Z). Alan Edwards kindly sent this summary:

“Thanks to Keith Walmsley, Fred Hyland is a mystery no longer. He devotes a whole chapter to him in his book Brief Candles (pub ACS 2012). He played his club cricket for Ringwood CC for whom he enjoyed an outstanding season in 1923 and another good one in 1924. Keith established that he travelled to Trent Bridge for the next match (after Northampton) and then played at Northlands Road for Hampshire Hogs against Harborne, before crossing to the IoW with the full Hampshire team for a 12-a-side match against the Island. For his eight day stint with Hampshire he earned £11 15s 4d (11.77). Keith feels he was in the side on merit and not just to make up the numbers.

He lived an itinerant lifestyle before living in Ringwood. He moved from Hampshire after 1924. By 1926, he was living in Norfolk where he played club cricket for East Dereham and later had a trial match for Norfolk at Lakenham. However, he never made it into the latter’s Minor Counties side. He also played for Broughty Ferry CC in Scotland. He settled near Northwich, Cheshire in 1935 for the rest of his life. He worked as a groundsman and ran various businesses, mainly related to horticulture and pets.

Keith states that, at 12 balls, Hyland’s is the shortest of all first-class careers*.

The article includes a graphic physical description and character reference from a man who knew him. He described Hyland as a “lovely man, whose acquaintance I valued”. There is also a photo on the front cover of the book.”

*I suggested to Alan that Cornwallis beats that, at least in the sense that he never took the field in his one match. To remind you, this is his biography from our A-Z:

Cornwallis, Oswald Wykeham (212 – Amateur) born Kent 16.3.1894, died Froxfield Green, Hants 28.1.1974. He was a right-handed batsman, who came from a family of cricketers, including his brother, Wykeham, who became the 2nd Baron Cornwallis of Linton and was an effective pace bowler for Kent. OW Cornwallis played first-class and other cricket for the Royal Navy and in mid-May 1921 he was selected by Hampshire against Kent at Southampton – quite possibly because his brother was in the opposition. Hampshire batted first, with Brown and CB Fry opening with a century partnership. At lunchtime, the two brothers were informed that a third brother, an army officer, had been killed in an IRA ambush. They left the ground and took no further part in the match. Cricket Archive records them as Absent Hurt but Absent is more appropriate. While Kent’s Cornwallis continued to play for the county until 1926, OW Cornwallis never appeared for Hampshire again, so he never actually appeared on the field – but he does appear in the team photograph taken at the start of that match. 

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5 Comments so far
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Although Oswald Cornwallis didn’t get on the field for his one Hampshire game he did play three first class games for the Royal Navy (1920-26) scoring 91 runs. So while he had a shorter Hampshire career than Frederick Hyland he had a longer first class career.

Comment by Colin Price

I haven’t actually read Brief Candles or Brief Candles 2 but I have seen reviews of them and other articles on the internet about cricketers who only played in one first class game.
In some cases the player never actually got on to the field. These were due to a combination of his team batting first and the weather stopping the game before his turn came or the game never starting due to the weather.
If Hampshire had opened the batting in Hyland’s match or the rain had come a few minutes earlier he would have been one of those players.

Comment by Colin Price

Many thanks Colin – good point about Cornwallis in particular. I have a very good friend (still in touch) who played in four matches for Hampshire, dismissing Mustaq M, Tony Greig, Graham Roope and Richard Langridge and shared a last wicket* partnership with Barry Richards which saved the follow-on. It’s a brief career but far more substantial than all these one match wonders – but he’s never been of any interest to anyone apart from me. There is a strange tendency to create ‘celebrities’ from people who did (almost) nothing. Is it time for a ‘four match wonders’ feature?

*(9th because Marshall abs inj)

Comment by pompeypop

Hampshire made three changes to the team that played against Northamptonshire from the previous game at home to Kent. Ronnie Aird, Geoffrey Lowndes and Alex Bowell dropped out and were replaced by Hyland, Norman Bowell (Alex’s son) and Thomas Smith. Hyland and Norman Bowell were making their first class debuts while Thomas Smith had played seven first class games in 1923 & 1924, all for Hampshire. Bowell and Smith played in the next game against Notts at Trent Bridge and that was the end of their Hampshire careers, although Bowell played one more first class game in 1925 for Northamptonshire against Dublin University.

Aird returned for the Notts game. 1924 was his only full season for Hampshire and the Northamptonshire game was the only one he missed. Alex Bowell returned after three games so he didn’t play with his son. Lowndes didn’t play again for Hampshire in 1924 after the Kent game.

Comment by Colin Price

Keith Walmsley suggests that at twelve balls Fred Hyland’s career was the shortest ever. There have been cases of players not actually getting on the field so having a career of zero balls. There have also been cases of players being selected for a game and being put on the team sheet but turning up late and the weather had stopped the game by the time they had arrived and that was their first class career. In 1908 T J Hearne was selected as a late replacement for Middlesex against the Gentlemen of Philadelphia. He arrived late in the afternoon of the first day to find that due to a treacherous pitch the match had already been completed in 91.3 overs.

The thought occurs to me that a player whose side batted first could have batted for less that twelve balls and then been out or the innings closed or rain stopped play and then the weather had stopped the opposition from batting so he never fielded. the problem here though is you would need to include the number of balls he was a non-striker for and this would not be recorded.

Comment by Colin Price




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