Hampshire Cricket History

The Verdict
April 20, 2018, 7:03 pm
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No Colville or Willis but …

Jonathan Agnew (BBC): “Whether adjustments like this will attract the new audience the ECB is seeking remains to be seen. At the moment, the interest among existing cricket fans is lukewarm at best”.

Fans (BBC): Some have described it as “needless”, “a gimmick” and “simply ridiculous”; others think it is so madcap “players should wear clown outfits” and “the stumps should be made out of jelly” (while) those in favour say it is “trying to appeal to a new, younger audience” and will “attract more women and girls to the game”.

Vic Marks (Guardian) “However good the marketing men and women, I don’t think anyone is going to care … the broadcasters – especially the BBC – need to be off air by 9pm so their schedules are not disrupted. One suspects the last factor is the one that counts … the ECB now prostrates itself at the knees of the broadcasters, even if this means prostituting the game … They are hawking a gimmicky new game involving teams who at the outset will prompt no loyalty from the fans in the cities, let alone those ignored in the shires”.

The Times headline: “100-ball plan is all about money – not cricket”

Steve James (The Times): “To call the new format ‘a simple approach’ in the press release was plain silly. It is not simple … When it was presented to the chairmen and chief executives of the 18 counties yesterday, it was apparently received with barely a word of complaint or disagreement. Why? … Is this a step down the road to T10 on a regular basis?”

Jon Couch (The Cricket Paper): “Exciting plans … to revolutionise English cricket in 2020 have been given the thumbs-up by county chiefs … the proposals have received overwhelming support from the ECB Board, broadcasters and players alike”.

Meanwhile, yesterday I bought my copy of the new book by cricket reporter Stephen Fay, and social historian David Kynaston, called Arlott, Swanton and the Soul of English Cricket 

I fear it’s too late.


Hard Work (?)
April 20, 2018, 2:51 pm
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(Great jazz-funk track by John Handy)

I’ve been in the (art*) studio today where WiFi is non-existent, so just home at 3.45 to see the score. I guess the Hampshire over-rate is dodgy since they’re still short of tea, and apart from Leics, bowling at Sussex, where four wickets have also fallen, all the other games have seen between seven and 14 wickets already. It’s hardly a surprise that the batsmen are comparatively ‘in’ at the Oval.

*My pal Ken thought music studio, but I paint every Friday.

Can anyone tell me about Berg? Is he injured?

PS: Well that shows what I know! Extraordinary collapse – well done Hampshire.

PPS: Not a typical Oval pitch then, but still the fewest wickets to fall in the Div One games, even with the last ball.

April 19, 2018, 5:58 pm
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I’ve had a very kind. very wise email from my good friend Trevor McArdle, who, with Lawrie Prittipaul, created and is still promoting CAGE CRICKET (for which HOORAY!)

He read the previous post and among among other things, said:

I think with each shift of the pieces I empathise with your pain more and more. I feel there’s no point getting angry or arguing over this though, as Mark Twain once said, ‘’Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience’’

Cheers Trevor

So, on with tomorrow, and, courtesy of Tigger, the appropriate stats. If you’re going, enjoy it:


PS – did you notice that the first Worcs innings and the second Hampshire innings both last 66.2 overs? It’s a miracle!

PPS – I had thought about a trip to the Oval, but here’s a shot of my kitchen this evening

FullSizeRender (15)

Fewer Balls – More BALLS
April 19, 2018, 3:18 pm
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Thanks to Paul for this alert, from the BBC site. With apologies to Henry II, for slightly misquoting, “Will no one rid us of this meddlesome shower?”

“The England and Wales Cricket Board wants to introduce an innovative ‘100 balls’ format into its new eight-team, city-based tournament. The concept could see innings consist of 15 traditional six-ball overs, and a final 10-ball over. That would be 20 balls shorter than traditional T20 matches.

Those devising the competition believe a 100-ball ‘countdown’ would attract new audiences and be popular with broadcasters. The proposed approach was presented by the ECB to the chairmen and chief executives of the first-class counties and MCC on Thursday. ECB’s chief executive officer Tom Harrison said: “This is a fresh and exciting idea which will appeal to a younger audience and attract new fans to the game.”

Dad’s Army
April 18, 2018, 4:13 pm
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Interesting piece by Michael Atherton in today’s Times, about how young Indian cricketers are ahead of their peers in England. Apart from Harry Brook, named in the (non-playing) Yorkshire squad, not one cricketer in this week’s Championship matches, played in last year’s England under-19 side. At Hampshire, former under-19 guys like Alsop, Taylor and Weatherley, let alone last year’s (Scriven?) aren’t playing.

Atherton  listed the average age of the 10 sides that started the first round of Championship matches and guess which side was oldest? Hampshire (30.38) were the only side to top 30, although Notts, Lancs & Warwicks were all in the 29s. The youngest? Gloucs with 26.07, then Worcs 26.4, Sussex 27.27, Northants 27.83, Middlesex 27.85 & Kent 28.43.

(I hadn’t noticed before, but eight of the 10 sides have been in Div 2, either this season, last season, or both – given that Essex & Yorks didn’t play).

PS The ‘paper also reports a new Working Party, considering various proposals for 2020 including making the 50-over tournament a straight knock-out, and including the Minor Counties. Interesting – why didn’t we think of that before?

Also, they’re considering the Conference system in the Championship apparently supported by “a majority of counties”, plus the schedule for the new T20 eight-team competition, to consider whether the Championship should be played alongside it, “rather than in the margins of the season”.

Meanwhile, ‘Talksport’ has outbid TMS for commentaries on England’s overseas winter games in 2018/19.

Same Again? (with a Cap)
April 18, 2018, 6:35 am
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Fidel was capped on Monday morning. I missed it – I guess I was eating my bacon sarnie in the Atrium.

The ‘papers weren’t very excited about covering our game, apart from the Times, which had a full report from Steve James who reckoned we looked pretty good. He noted the extra pace of Abbott & Edwards giving us the edge over the Worcs guys and thought our batting looked good after the openers. He didn’t specify anything about Adams & McManus but I’m not convinced that the latter is a good long-term bet. We’re off to the Oval now where often 500 plays 500; if so, will McManus want a 10-minute break then in again? More pertinently however, I reckon he’s a very good number 7 – he’s not Nic Pothas but the nearest we’ve ever had and has played some fine innings there, so maybe best left alone.

In which case, unless Amla is now to open I’m not sure about the solution, assuming they are determined to keep picking Rilee. I was surprised that Steve James included him in praising our batting, but maybe the ‘pro’s’ see something I don’t (yet?). It happens.

More from yesterday
April 17, 2018, 8:05 pm
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Thanks to that Bloggy chap for this