Hampshire Cricket History

Meanwhile …
September 30, 2018, 2:59 pm
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Even if I’m a bit gloomy at times, there is of course a regular contributor to this Blog, the cricket Tweetsphere and Mr James’ Ball-by-Ball broadcasts, who was  missed off the awards on Friday night. She should have won as Hampshire’s most positive, most optimistic supporter (just pipping Bloggy), so, Jo – a bit like Her Majesty’s new Carrier – I nipped down the road yesterday and arranged to have a boat named after you, to reward and celebrate your undaunted cheerfulness:

HMS Summerton

Quite a Contrast
September 30, 2018, 8:57 am
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In much of my life I’m quite a cheery soul, but, despite my passion for it, these days I’m often a bit gloomy about Hampshire cricket (the ECB don’t help). I did my best this year, despite the stupidest fixture arrangements in the history of county cricket, and since I watched not one T20 match I missed the worst of the team. The Lord’s Final – and the semi final – were thrilling, and we did well enough to finish fifth in the Championship, although I was willing them to third, or perhaps fourth for the first time. But I don’t think Hampshire deserved more than fifth and, as things stand right now, I’m uneasy (does that mean pessimistic?) about 2019.

I was thinking about our last major trophy season, the double year of 2012. In the following spring, I wrote my editorial for the Handbook, and very positive it was. I noted that a year earlier we’d been relegated, after which we waved goodbye to eight imports (Cork, Lumb, Myburgh, Imran Tahir etc) but I wrote about the new generation, “I am optimistic that these young men are not far from the required standard … that can take Hampshire back to the top division”. I listed the ten players who appeared in 2012, having graduated from our “junior sides” – Adams, Terry, Vince, Dawson, Bates, Wood, Riazuddin, Griffiths, Briggs and Tomlinson. I wrote too of the pleasure in producing the Handbook “because it reflects a year of celebration and optimism for Hampshire Cricket” and sure enough, in 2014 we won Division Two. But many of those young men have gone elsewhere, in or out of cricket, and a good deal of my optimism has faded with them.

Vince and Dawson remain, plus Wood in white ball cricket, but the new generation of home-grown youngsters face an uncertain 2019. Those who appeared in the season just finished were Weatherley, Soames, McManus, Alsop, Taylor, Crane, and Scriven, while Organ, who played in 2017 was confined to the 2nd XI. Some of those players have been around a while without establishing themselves, a couple struggled with injuries, but not one can be absolutely sure of a place in the starting line-up in April 2019. I don’t write the editorial these days, but if I did it would be rather different from 2013.


Who Won?
September 29, 2018, 2:42 pm
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Did anyone go to the Awards Night? If so, who won what then? (Nothing on the website)

How’s That?!!
September 29, 2018, 7:39 am
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The final stats for wickets falling on the various grounds (alphabetically by county):

Chelmsford: P7 – 234 wkts. Average of one every 8.13 overs, or 11.81 in a day

Ageas Bowl: P7 – 212 wkts. Average of one every 7.95 overs, or 12.08 in a day

Old Trafford: P6 – 186 wkts. Average of one every 8.77 overs or 10.95 in a day

Trent Bridge: P 7 – 213 wkts. Average of one every 9.13 overs or 10.51 in a day

Taunton: P7 – 241 wkts. Average of one every 7.80 overs or 12.31 in a day

The Oval: P6 – 199 wkts. Average of one every 9.02 overs or 10.64 in a day

Worcester: P7 – 255 wkts. Average of one every 7.41 overs or 12.96 in a day

Headingley: P5 – 142 wkts. Average of one every 7.96 overs or 12.06 in a day

Worcester tops the list, followed by Taunton, Ageas Bowl & Headingley, all over 12 per day.

More stats follow in the Comments

How Much?
September 28, 2018, 6:05 pm
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There should be 96 overs bowled each day in the Championship, so 192 in two days, 288 in three days, or 384 in four days – minus a couple of overs here and there for change of innings. So it’s interesting to see how many overs were seen on average on each of the main grounds:

The Oval 299 per match; Headingley* 283 per match; Trent Bridge 278 per match; Chelmsford & Old Trafford 272 per match; Taunton & Worcester 269 per match; Hampshire 241 per match.

*The Headingley figure (five games) includes the Essex match which was abandoned with no play. Over the four matches that had play, the figure is just 226.

It means that in 2018, only the Oval averaged more than three days of cricket per match – and only by 11 overs (perhaps an hour of play, including those changes of innings).

Mr Grumpy
September 28, 2018, 2:44 pm
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Today’s Times reports that Colin Graves failed to turn up to present Surrey with the Div One Trophy yesterday despite being on the ground, because a meeting of County Chairmen led to a “significant disagreement (about) … the amount of money the ECB is thought to be spending on its new hundred-ball tournament”. Apparently Graves was “left angered” by the argument.

There was a hint that Graves made one response which might have been an offer to resign – while one of the Chairmen (not named) said the meeting was “very heated”.

There is a also a suggestion that the original projection of a £30m profit has now been revised to £5m.

Incidentally, I think we might adopt Matthew Engel’s name for the new competition on here – “The 16.4” (?)


September 27, 2018, 3:43 pm
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In 2017, Hampshire finished fifth with three wins, three defeats and eight draws. They obtained 24 batting and 36 bowling points, to a total of 148. Middlesex went down with 146 (Somerset 147). Essex were 72 points ahead of everyone (10 wins)

In 2018, Hampshire finished fifth with four wins, five defeats and five draws. They obtained 16 batting points (five fewer than Notts, next lowest) and 39 bowling points (one behind the highest, Lancashire). Their total was 144. Lancashire were relegated, and Notts stayed up, with 133. Surrey were 46 points ahead of everyone, with 10 wins.

In Divisions One & Two, 2018, 21.43% of matches were drawn. The next lowest I have found so far was in 1920 (24%). Since two Divisions were introduced in 2000, this is only the second year that fewer than one third of matches were drawn – there were 28.47% in 2011. In seven seasons since 2000, the figure was above 45%; three of those above 50%.

Bonkers to the End!
September 27, 2018, 11:30 am
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It’s 12.29am and – after a 10-minute break – the Essex openers are about to face their first ball of the game’s fourth innings. If a wicket falls first ball, they’ll all walk off again. If no wicket falls for six balls that will be it – lunch.

Stick with me – when this game finishes, I’ll update all the result/ground stats.

In & Out
September 27, 2018, 6:24 am
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What do we know? Donald turned up, and Barker is willing –  Jimmy and Sean have gone, Topley’s contract is up.  What about Dickinson, Sole, Hart, Organ, Scriven, Soames (not yet contracted)? Will we be signing anyone else – particularly batsmen? Who’s available? I know nothing and working with Kevan this week, neither did he.

A lot of people have moved already, including Alex Lees (Yorks to Durham), Ben Raine (Leics to Durham), Liam Norwell & Craig Miles (Gloucs to Warwicks), Matt Milnes (Notts to Kent), Jordan Clark (Lancs to Surrey), Chris Wright (ex-Southern League from Warwicks to Leics), Ben Duckett (Northants), Ben Slater (Derbys), Joe Clarke (Worcs) and Zac Chappell (Leics) all to Notts,  Jack Brooks (Yorks to Somerset), Liam Plunkett (Yorks to Surrey), Matt Pillans (Surrey to Yorks), Josh Poysden (Warwicks to Yorks)

Not with a Bang …
September 26, 2018, 4:08 pm
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Well batted Lewis, well bowled Fidel (below), but that’s it, all over now, on a near perfect late September day. Everyone seems to agree that had we been offered Div One safety and a Lord’s Final triumph back in April, we’d have said ‘thank you very much’, yet there is an uneasy and frustrated feel at the end. An odd season then, in many respects.

Personally it was a bit special. Two years ago today, I retired from my official post as Hon Archivist in a flurry of misery and acrimonious exchanges, which spoiled last season. At that point, feeling very disenchanted, this Blog did more than anything to keep me ‘connected’ until, after the end of the season, I had coffee with Rod Bransgrove on his initiative and things began to be resolved. I’ve ended this year, with the new book, the Blog flourishing and a role around the place, with far fewer responsibilities.

So I’d like to thank you ‘Bloggers’ for keeping me going, cheering me up, and helping me to care again. I’m not going anywhere ‘Blogwise’ but I’d like to wish you all a very happy and healthy close season – and a return next April to watch some cracking cricket.

Last Day 2018