Hampshire Cricket History

Coronation Cricket
March 20, 2018, 10:23 pm
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The Hampshire side line up for the start of the second day v Northamptonshire at Bournemouth in June 1953 – the end of the month which began with the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth (n.b. the flags and bunting on the pavilion).

I’m fond of this photo, because it shows DE (David) Blake, the Southsea dentist, as wicketkeeper, with Leo playing as a batsman. Dick Carty, Cliff Walker and Reg Dare are there too – and Alan – but no ‘Shack’. I think he must have been injured, because he played in the next game, and in the previous one he’d bowled 55 overs v Glamorgan, taking 9-77 in the first innings. The match was drawn, after rain washed out the final day.

1953 v Northants


A-Z M1
March 20, 2018, 4:06 pm
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Back in business, and three Pompey lads:

Maartensz SGA (194 – Amateur) born Colombo (Sri Lanka) 14.4.1882, died Woking 10.9.1967. He was a right-handed batsman and wicketkeeper, and while not always available, played in 12 first-class matches for Hampshire in 1919, when Walter Livsey was still stationed in India, and George Brown was often used as a bowler. He scored 283 runs at 18.86, with a best of 60 v Middlesex at Lord’s, and dismissed 25 batsmen (four stumped). Otherwise he played cricket in many interesting locations – before the war, he played cricket in Singapore, Penang, Kuala Lumpur, and Hong Kong, and after his season with Hampshire, returned to the east to play until 1929, when for a few years back in England, he played in non-first-class matches for MCC and Incogniti, as well as MF North’s XI in the Netherlands. John Arlott (1957) wrote that he was “far above the usual standard of amateur wicketkeepers … and a useful straightforward bat”.

 McBride Walter Nelson (241 – Amateur) born Croydon 27.11.1904, died Ealing 30.1.1974. He was a medium-pace bowler who was educated at Westminster School and Oxford University where he played first-class cricket from 1925-1927, but won his ‘blue’ only in 1926 – in the following year he won a football ‘blue’ as a goalkeeper. For Hampshire, he played 31 matches mainly from 1925-1928, with two final matches in May 1929. He scored 405 runs at 13.96, and took 24 wickets at 37.54 with a best of 3-36 v Lancashire at Old Trafford in 1928 – despite which, Lancashire won by an innings. He played subsequently for Dorset.

 McCorkell, Neil Thomas (263) born Portsmouth 23.3.1912, died South Africa, 28.2.2013. During the 1920s Hampshire’s regular wicketkeeper was Walter Livsey, while they could also call on the extraordinary all-rounder George Brown, who would stand in for Livsey, and ‘kept’ for England. Livsey retired after the 1929 season, by which time Brown was in his forties, so they needed a new wicketkeeper. McCorkell learned to play in school and church teams in Portsmouth and was spotted in a match against Hampshire’s Club & Ground side in the city. He played in the second match of the 1932 season and thereafter was pretty much a permanent fixture for twenty years – broken by the war. During that first season, he dismissed 68 batsmen and was awarded his county cap. In 1933, he made his first half-century (v Yorkshire) and two years later he was promoted to open the batting; there was a gradual improvement in that aspect of his game, and later that season he made his maiden century v Lancashire at Southampton (154*) followed by a second v Northamptonshire at Bournemouth. When his career ended after the 1951 season, there had been 17 centuries, all in the Championship, and including in those days, a rare double century, 203 at Gloucester in that last year. Towards the end of his career, he sometimes played as a batsman.

In total, in his 14 playing seasons, he scored 15,833 runs for the county at 25.87 and dismissed nearly 700 batsmen, with a higher percentage of stumpings than any of his successors in the Hampshire side. Only Bobby Parks has more for the county and John Arlott (1957) said of McCorkell that “he kept equally well to fast bowling and slow and, season in, season out, missed very few chances”. He passed 1,000 runs in nine seasons with a best of 1,871 in 1949 and was perhaps an early example of the current fashion for ‘keepers’ who can bat. It was sometimes felt that he was unlucky never to win a Test cap, although he was in the Players side v the Gentlemen at Lord’s in 1936, and toured India with Tennyson’s side in the winter of 1937/8. At the end of the 1951 season he retired and moved to South Africa to pursue a coaching career, after which he enjoyed a very long retirement, becoming just the second Hampshire cricketer from their Championship days, to reach his personal three figures. It is a salutary thought that since McCorkell, very few Hampshire cricketers have come from Portsmouth to pursue a career of any length with the county – and any that have, were privately educated.

 McDonell Harold Clark (144 – Amateur) born Wimbledon 19.9.1882, died Inverness, Scotland 23.7.1965. McDonell was a leg break & googly bowler and lower-order batsman, who went to Winchester College and Cambridge University where he played from 1902-1905, winning his ‘blue’ in the last three years – there was also a ‘blue’ for golf. From 1901-1904 he played in 13 matches for Surrey, then in 1905 toured North America with MCC, before he played his first match for Hampshire in 1908. He was a school-teacher so never available until mid-July, but he played in some first-class matches in each season to 1921, with 10 in 1909 & 1920 the most regular – for Hampshire he scored 1,747 runs at 16.17, with six half-centuries and took 263 wickets at 22.43, with a best of 7-47 v Somerset at Southampton in 1914 (11-104 in the match). John Arlott (1957) described him as “the keenest of cricketers”.

 McGibbon CE (199 – Amateur) born Portsmouth 21.4.1880, died Hamble 2.4.1954. He played in just one match for Hampshire in 1919, v Yorkshire at Dewsbury – the only match Hampshire ever played there – scoring 0 & 1* and taking 0-10 as one of ten Hampshire bowlers in a Yorkshire score of 401-8 declared. Hampshire lost by an innings.

 McIlwaine Richard Johnston (362) born Portsmouth 16.3.1950. McIlwaine was a pace bowler, who while at Portsmouth Grammar School was highly promising, appearing in representative matches for the Public Schools and Southern Schools. He left school and joined Hampshire’s staff in 1968, while from 1969-1972 he also trained as a teacher, alongside his summer contract. He made his debut v Northamptonshire at Bournemouth in 1969 and shared a last wicket partnership with Barry Richards (127*) to save Hampshire from following-on. He played in four Championship matches in two seasons, 1969 & 1970, and his victims included Tony Greig, Mushtaq Mohammad and Graham Roope, but after that he played in the 2nd XI until 1972, and for Hampshire v England Women in 1971, before pursuing a teaching career.

 McIntyre, Arthur Seymour (210 – Amateur) born Hartley Wintney 29.5.1889, died Nottingham 14.3.1945. He was a batsman who played in 28 matches for Hampshire from 1920-1923, with a highest score of 55, batting at number nine, v Yorkshire at Sheffield in 1921, and an average of 11.46.

(Below) “Good Luck – and Thanks”. Neil McCorkell captains Hampshire on his final appearance in 1951, Desmond Eagar wishes him well. (from our new acquisitions, again)

Eagar, McCorkell

Talking of Barbers
March 20, 2018, 7:06 am
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Which Jo and I were in the Comments on the previous post, here’s a rather delightful photo – from the recent acquisition – of our former captain, taking care of his image:

Ingleby-Mackenzie haircut

And here’s a fine snap from our on-the-spot reporter (Jo again) of Tom Barber demonstrating why we knew he’d never make a replacement for Michael Carberry (and no, he did not trouble the scorers, although he took a wicket)


Top Score! (and other news)
March 19, 2018, 8:35 am
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I checked the match below played between Middlesex and Hampshire at Lord’s and discovered it was the first of the season – beginning in thoroughly civilised fashion on Saturday 8 May. Hampshire lost, but Alan Rayment top-scored in both innings, with 40 & 65. In the first innings he succumbed to the left-arm unorthodox bowling of one Compton, stumped by the other.

The story of this new Archive is one you might recall. We combined what remained in the Hampshire Cricket Heritage account with a generous donation from Stephen Saunders, bid for and got four large scrapbooks kept by EDR Eagar of Hampshire in the 1950s. They are full of fascinating things, and in my keeping for now, until we transfer them to the Ageas Bowl. So expect more …

Cricket Archive is still not functioning properly so I’m getting on with the A-Z as well as I can – but not yet possible to publish.

My final, rather disappointing, thought about the retirement of that Surrey batsman. As a Hampshire player he represented England in Tests more than anyone else, ever. It looks like being a long time until that record falls!

Good Shot Sir!
March 18, 2018, 7:42 pm
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I have a brand new source of quite delightful, not-so-brand-new photographs and other items. I will tell all tomorrow, but here’s one to be starting – one of our own ‘Bloggers’ and a man whose first major cricket ‘home’ was Lord’s. He is Alan Rayment – batting there against Middlesex, with Bill Edrich at slip and Leslie Compton keeping wicket.

Rayment AWH v Middx

Here’s another from the same source, with Alan walking out far left to field v Leicestershire in 1954. It’s an intriguing picture to me because a few years later I was so used to Hampshire picking the seamers at Portsmouth, yet here they have Reg Dare and Mervyn Burden. We might consider it worked, since Hampshire won by an innings, but in fact ‘Shack’ had match figures of 8-52 and Vic Cannings 10-83. The other two went to Jimmy Gray and Reg Dare, but our two spinners only bowled 20 overs.

Leics Portsmouth 1954

March 18, 2018, 10:21 am
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So here I am, snowed in (sort of) for the day, and thinking I’ll really get to grips with my A-Z

And the Hampshire links on Cricket Archive have collapsed again – which isn’t great considering they now charge!

Nice Story
March 17, 2018, 8:30 pm
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One of our guests today was Andrew Wingfield Digby, who was quite delightful

Andrew Wingfield-Digby

He told me a lovely story, but also one that revealed the complexity of getting cricketers to talk about their careers – this experience is one that has become increasingly familiar to me over the years.

His story was about his final match for Dorset which happened to be v Hampshire in the Nat West in 1992, and he told me how he was rather looking forward to facing Malcolm Marshall (!) – although his team-mates did persuade him to wear a helmet for the first time. He arrived at the wicket with Malcolm bowling at one end and Raj Maru at the other; it was Raj’s over he faced first – and Raj bowled him immediately without scoring, so he never faced Malcolm!

Nice story, so I came home to check the scorecard on Cricket Archive, and discovered that he had mis-remembered. The story is entirely true, except that it happened in the Nat West in 1987, not in 1992. In the later match, he didn’t get in to bat, although he bowled well, with figures of 12-2-37-1, while ‘Shack’ junior returned 12-4-34-0.

In the 1987 match, Steve Malone dismissed Gordon Greenidge without scoring, after which Chris Smith and David Turner scored centuries; Hampshire posted 304-2, Dorset 95 all out.

It’s not at all the first time I’ve had a conversation with a cricketer who seemed to remember clearly something that didn’t quite happen, or perhaps not then, or not in that way.