Hampshire Cricket History

December 30, 2018, 11:19 am
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We’re in that slow news, brief peace period when the media spend their time showing us stuff again from the past 12 months but also begin to make predictions and observations about the looming new year. If you spot anything interesting, let us us know.

Today’s Observer, amid predictions about technology, the arts and the B-word have written in the sports paragraphs the obvious point that the cricket year will be dominated by the World Cup and the Ashes. They add that this “offers the summer game a chance to either dig its talons back into the national consciousness or confirm its own shift to the pay-TV periphery”. There is nothing today in the Sunday Times.

Last week the Observer’s sister ‘paper, the Guardian (Friday) actually featured an editorial titled “Will a new game be the last gasp of the ancien regime in its ancestral home?” The article suggested that cricket “manages to be superficially buoyant and dramatic, while beneath the surface facing an existential crisis over what it is and what its future should be”. Referring to the Hundred, it ends by observing that it is a “brave, bold initiative perhaps, but this could be one of those ingenious cures that ends up killing the patient”. Meanwhile, on the same day Vic Marks ended his column with “Best to enjoy 2019 while you can”.

Incidentally I have helped various people/organisations with information and/or photos about Mike Barnard and I anticipate obituary notices in the Times and the Cricketer, at least. I contacted the Guardian stressing what I believe is his unique record of playing solely for his home-city/county clubs*, but they were not interested.

*Denis Compton is the only other one I can find, but unlike Mike played considerably fewer than 100 football matches. His brother Leslie was born in Essex.

All Gone
December 28, 2018, 5:22 pm
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I’m content to watch it on TV but here’s a message today from Peter Jeffs (thanks)

“I ventured on to the World Cup 2019 tickets site today and found to my amazement that all five matches at the Ageas Bowl are completely sold out. Only hospitality available. That despite prices e.g. South Africa v. India £235, £150, £115, £70. Even Bangladesh v. Afghanistan £55 …..”

(Someone obviously has Loadsamoney)

It’s a Record
December 26, 2018, 11:27 am
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Not particularly a Hampshire ‘thing’, but he did play for us, and it’s certainly a record to be proud of:

(BBC): “Dale Steyn has become South Africa’s leading Test wicket-taker by dismissing Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman in the first Test at SuperSport Park, Centurion. Fakhar edged to Dean Elgar at second slip to give Steyn his 422nd wicket and take him past Shaun Pollock, whose record had stood since he quit in 2008. Steyn’s haul has come in 89 matches, at an average of 22.60, while Pollock averaged 23.11 across 108 matches”.

Merry Christmas Bloggers!
December 24, 2018, 11:06 am
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Thanks for lots of fun in 2018

Boogie Christmas

A True Champion
December 19, 2018, 10:16 am
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I am VERY sorry to report the death of one of Hampshire Cricket’s finest men, Mike Barnard, who passed away last night. Here’s my piece from the A-Z.

RIP Mike

Barnard, Henry Michael (‘Mike’) (324) born Portsmouth 18.7.1933. Mike Barnard was a right-hand batsman, superb slip fielder and early in his career an occasionally effective medium-pace bowler. He played professional football and has one possibly unique claim – that in the top division he played 100+ matches for his home city side, plus 200+ first-class cricket matches for his home county, and in both cases without ever playing for another football league or Championship side. To some extent, this spilt career probably inhibited his progress in both sports, but he was a natural athlete – as a schoolboy he represented Hampshire under-19s at rugby union. He showed promise as a cricketer in 1949, when he averaged over 60 for Hampshire Schools, and in the following seasons he played for England Schools and Hampshire’s Club & Ground and 2nd XIs. In 1951, he signed professional forms in both sports, although almost immediately National Service called him away.

He made his Hampshire debut in 1952, on his 19th birthday but with little success and in 1953, there was another unsuccessful game in Portsmouth, while at Christmas he made his football league debut. The 1954 cricket season was his breakthrough, beginning with a last-minute call-up v Middlesex at Southampton, when, batting at number 10, he came in with Hampshire 48-8 and top-scored with 39. Hampshire lost but he followed this with 24* in the second innings. One week later, he came home to Portsmouth v the Pakistanis, scoring just two as Hampshire took a small lead in a low-scoring game. They then lost Rogers and Marshall (his only ‘pair’) and were effectively 29-2, before Eagar and Horton added 64. Barnard arrived at 71-3 and stood firm as he and Gerry Hill added 91* for the seventh wicket, Eagar declaring when Barnard reached his first century (101*). The Pakistan target was 261 but after Barnard dismissed both openers, they made no effort, closing on 86-4 in 53 overs, Barnard 10-3-18-2. He would only take another 14 wickets in his first-class career, but to Hanif Mohammad he added victims like Tom Graveney, Don Kenyon and Ted Dexter. There were two further half-centuries that season, but 1955 was a real breakthrough for him as a batsman – and also notable for both his teams. In 1954/5, he played 30 matches for ‘Pompey’ who finished 3rd in the First Division, then passed 900 runs with another century (116 v Leicestershire at Bournemouth) as one of the 13 regulars who took Hampshire to third place for the first time. It was a thrilling season, with his unfashionable county led only by the two heavyweights, Yorkshire and Champions Surrey. Over the next few seasons Barnard would compete with Rayment, Pitman, Flood, Baldry and Livingstone for the batting places below the very fine top three of Marshall, Gray and Horton. Whenever there was a doubt, his slip catching could be decisive, and he finished his Hampshire career with 312 catches in 276 matches.

He scored a century v MCC in 1956 and another v the Indians in 1959, while with 123 v Australians in 1964, three of his six first-class centuries were against the tourists, and only two came in the Championship. After a modest 1960 season, and having left football, he began 1961 in the side, but lost his place to Dennis Baldry, as Hampshire sought their first title. Apart from one game deputising for his injured captain v Sussex at Portsmouth, he was not recalled until Derby on 12 August, and then embarked on the finest and most important few weeks of his county career. There, his 45 helped Horton add 91 in a victory, after which at Southampton, he made his second Championship century, helping Hampshire to full points v Warwickshire. Returning to Portsmouth he had a half-century in an easy victory v Leicestershire, then 77 in defeating Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge. After an oddly unimportant meeting with the Australians, Hampshire went to Bournemouth knowing that victory would bring the first title. After Derbyshire took first innings points, Hampshire needed quick and substantial runs, and Roy Marshall obliged of course, but on the third morning it was the stroke-play and swift running of Sainsbury and Barnard, adding 99 in just over an hour, that enabled Ingleby-Mackenzie to declare and Shackleton to weave his magic. Shortly after 4pm on 1 September 1961 Hampshire had won county cricket’s greatest prize – and a rather delightful curiosity was that in the match that clinched the 1961 title, Mike Barnard scored 19 & 61.

His average of 28.73 that season was the best of his career, and in the next few seasons his aggregates were 1,114 runs in 1962 then 980, 814 and 958. By this time, he was often opening with Roy Marshall in the Championship, but in 1966, there were fewer matches, no half-centuries, an average below 15, and Mike retired, taking a testimonial and embarking on a coaching and teaching career. Before that, he had also taken part in the earliest limited-overs, knock-out cup matches, starting with a heroic 98 in Hampshire’s first match, a narrow defeat v Derbyshire in 1963, overall, he scored 315 runs, at an average barely below 40, and in his Hampshire days, he outscored Roy Marshall in the Gillette Cup. As his new career took shape he prepared to take over Hampshire’s 2nd XI in 1969, but just before the season began, a serious coach crash robbed him of much mobility. After he recovered somewhat, he coached at the School of Navigation in Warsash, was a regular commentator with BBC Radio Solent, and for the Southampton Hospitals. He also took up bowls, worked on drug testing with the Sports Council, organised the reunions of Pompey’s footballers and Hampshire’s cricketers, and bore his injuries with incredible fortitude and cheerfulness. His career never reached the heights it promised, but he will be forever one of Hampshire’s very few ‘Champions’, and for his outlook on life, one of their bravest and best of men.

A Very Stylish Gent
December 19, 2018, 8:09 am
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I’m assuming some of you will recognise the all-rounder with the ice cream, but the header refers to the other one – apparently he was a steward at Northlands Road but I don’t recall him at all. The photos came from Richard McIlwaine, from his days in the late 1960s/early 1970s when he was on the staff:

PICT0285 (1)


New Manager
December 14, 2018, 6:42 am
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From Jo (cheers)**

“Hampshire Cricket will tomorrow announce the new men’s First Team Manager.
Hampshire Cricket have today revealed that the new men’s First Team Manager is to be announced by the Club at 10am tomorrow.

After weeks of speculation as to who will come on board as the replacement for Craig White, who vacated the position of Head Coach in October, the wait is now almost over to find out who will be taking on key First Team management duties heading into the 2019 season and beyond.

The news will be available via our website http://www.ageasbowl.com/cricket, and the Hampshire Cricket social media channels below from 10am tomorrow – whilst we’ll also send you an email with all of the details so please keep your eyes peeled!”

** I’ll be painting in the studio today so unable to post anything until later, so whoever spots it first, please add the name in a Comment (cheers).

No Liam, no Hants
December 10, 2018, 6:58 pm
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In England’s Test/ODI squads to the West Indies

Looking Forwards
December 10, 2018, 10:32 am
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Vic Marks, on Saturday, commenting on the end of the Stokes/Hales issue:

“Most people just want to look forward now. The summer of 2019 will soon be here. It is the most appetising imaginable before the English game embarks on its self-inflicted journey to the edge of the cliff in 2020”.

A Time for Giving
December 9, 2018, 1:46 pm
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It’s possible that one or two of you in the Pompey area might be interested in this – last year we managed to raise £2,500 to help the church keep a night shelter open through the winter; this year we’re hoping for more. The Square Tower overlooks the Solent in the Harbour mouth.

The bands are broadly amplified acoustic or folk-rock so it’ll be gentle enough on the whole, but I’m posting this mainly to share with you that I contacted Hampshire Cricket in the hope of “a couple of tickets” for the raffle. They responded immediately with Four for any Championship day and another Four for any Royal London Cup Tie. I’m very grateful to them, and thought you guys would like to know.

SS Xmas Poster