Hampshire Cricket History


An Alarming Precedent?
August 10, 2018, 9:20 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I don’t know why this popped into my head tonight but it did, and if I don’t share it I might get anxious –  you wouldn’t want that, would you (?)

In the mid-summer of 1992 we won a Lord’s Final, beating Kent.

In the mid-summer of 2018 we won a Lord’s Final, beating Kent.

For the rest of 1992 our form was pretty lousy, and we didn’t win another thing for 13 years. During that time, many of our efforts were focused on the new ground and most of the cricket was pretty mediocre.

From 1992, we did try to address that by signing new players. Those who came from other counties were (in chronological order) Martin Thursfield, Martin Jean-Jacques, Matthew Keech, Winston Benjamin, Norman Cowans, Giles White, Paul Whitaker, John Stephenson, Stuart Milburn – there were more, but I guess that’s enough? Meanwhile, of the first 15 players (from 1992) who did not come from another county, four were awarded county caps: Jason Laney, ‘Dimi’ (via London/Australia etc), Will Kendall (Oxford University) and Derek Kenway. Of those, only Dimi’s career was long enough to win him a benefit.

PS: One win in the first 11 games makes this now the worst Hampshire ‘start’ in T20.

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1 Comment so far
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If there is any real implication in this coincidence – and there might not be – it is that in both cases the success came as a good side was reaching the end of its time together. In the late 1980s/early 1990s players like Chris Smith, Gordon Greenidge, Nigel Cowley, David Turner, & Stephen Andrew departed. Others who played in the 1992 Final, like Malcolm Marshall, Mark Nicholas, Paul Terry, Bobby Parks, soon departed and while Adi Aymes & Shaun Udal came through, the premature loss of Jon Ayling was a terrible blow. Overseas players then came and went, some better than others.

In the current side, Adams and Ervine are following Carberry out of county cricket and the replacements – signings like Rossouw & Northeast or youngsters like Alsop & Weatherley aren’t yet consistent enough. On the bowling front, is Abbott approaching the end? Fidel must be close to it, and to what extent will Crane and Topley (ever?) be fully fit again? How good are Holland, Stevenson, Hart – is Taylor’s ankle(s) a permanent problem? Who is the best wicketkeeper and is he good enough?

Maybe it will all work out ok – but the lesson from history (the 1990s) is that relying on instant signings from elsewhere is not always infallible and most worrying, of those youngsters pressing for a first team place (named above plus McManus), only Taylor and Weatherley are actually from Hampshire.

Comment by pompeypop




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