Hampshire Cricket History

Quite a Contrast
September 30, 2018, 8:57 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

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.


3 Comments so far
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I feel very privileged to have seem the likes of Riazuddin, Bates and Briggs in their formative years, they were wonderful cricketers, and at the time absolutely committed to Hampshire cricket. If nothing else your comments remind me of the very thin line between success and failure at every given point in time.

Comment by Paul Vince

Yes indeed Paul. It’s good to see Danny enjoying a pretty good season at Hove.

Comment by pompeypop

Picking winners from amongst the youngsters is so difficult. I’ve seen quality performances this year from Weatherley, Soames, Alsop, Taylor, and Crane, so I hope some of them make it – assuming recurrence of their injuries don’t bring a speedy end for some of them. As Paul says, injury, or being in the right or wrong place when an opportunity arises, can make a huge difference.

Comment by Bloggy McBlogface

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