Hampshire Cricket History

December 30, 2018, 11:19 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

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.

18 Comments so far
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Vic Marks usually speaks a great deal of sense combined with much good humour which makes him well worth listening to.

2019 will be my first season in over twenty years as a non-member as I have finally been worn down with the total lack of interest from the powers that be in the Championship. The move to play one of our seven Championship games off-shore along with the fact that 50% of the Rose Bowl games available on what would have been my membership (Championship and One Day Cup) will be completed before the end of April with two games in the autumn and just two in the entire summer was the final straw.

I will continue to support what remains of Hampshire Cricket which is true to ethos and tradition of Hampshire County Cricket Club whilst trying to ignore the corporate side which in my opinion does the exact opposite. I will also attend a few days cricket when the mood takes me without the obligation to sit in freezing conditions to get the most of my membership.

I will of course continue to follow this excellent blog whilst I seek a summer sport to watch.

Happy New Year to one and all.

Comment by James

Thanks James. It’s sad that it has come to this – for you – but I’m sorry to say, entirely understandable in terms of COUNTY cricket. I suspect you will not be the last. I certainly hope you stick with the Blog – always good to hear from you. Best wishes to you too and everyone else.

Comment by pompeypop

James has alerted me to an under-appreciated benefit of Life Membership – which is not having to agonize each spring whether membership is still worthwhile. Of course the official web site doesn’t mention this benefit.

Comment by Hedgehog

Can only sympathesize James, I was a member for a long time as well before the inconvenience of getting to and from the Rose Bowl took a toll, but certainly some sense of loss after making a decision of that sort and sorry to see no match in Basingstoke.

For 2019 being based in London I will be a Surrey member again, five days cricket v Hants which together with 12 complementaries for CC/ODC days in truth makes the £ cost something of a bargain.

As to ‘the game’ I wonder if the media coverage isn’t buying the ECB hype, to some extent at least, after the trials of the 100 last September at TB Samit Patel commented on just how like (more) T20 cricket it was and probably will be, but not to doubt that red-ball supporters need to make their presence felt and good to see that this blog will continue to help with that. Happy New Year.

Comment by stephenfh

Thanks for your comments chaps. Rest assured (or otherwise!) I won’t be leaving the blog!

Comment by James

Further to comments by James above, I copy below an email I sent to the club a few weeks ago, together with the club’s response. Although, unlike James I haven’t terminated my membership, I feel I am getting close to it. I hang on in the perhaps vain hope that the tide will eventually turn in favour of 4 day cricket.

Dear Sir,

Subject: 2019 4-day fixtures and membership

I am writing to complain about the fixture list for next year. I have been a member of the club for 45 years and, despite now living in Surrey aim to attend all the home championship matches. In this respect I have been really appreciative of the hotel development so that I now normally stay in the hotel during these matches. You can thus see that I have been a cricket enthusiast and a committed supporter of Hampshire Cricket over many years.

I would therefore like to express my utter dismay at seeing the new fixture list, which follows the recent pattern of scheduling as many matches as possible into the extreme ends of the season. This has been compounded this year by scheduling home matches in pairs, rather than spreading them out more evenly through the season. Thus supporters are expected to brave the elements for successive matches in April, and then have vast swathes of the summer with no home 4 day cricket.

To make matters worse you have decided to schedule a match in the Isle of Wight, which will be extremely inconvenient or impossible for many members to attend. When there were 14 or 15 home matches a season this was an entirely reasonable thing to do. However, as one of only 7 home games, I believe this is asking too much of most members.

I have discussed the above with two member friends and they feel entirely the same.

I can only assume that the club and ECB are utterly contemptuous of the traditional cricket supporter, and are willing to sacrifice us in the desperate search for a new younger audience. I ask myself why I should bother supporting a form of cricket which the authorities seem to care so little about.

Please convey these views to the Chief Executive and Mr Bransgrove.

Your faithfully


Dear Mr S,

Thank you for your feedback regarding next year’s Fixture List. I’m sorry to hear that you are disappointed with the fixture schedule and please be assured we do collate all feedback on fixtures and pass it on to the ECB for consideration for future seasons.

The hosting of the Cricket World Cup has added a level of complexity to this year’s schedule – during the six week hosting period we are not able to use the stadium for any domestic fixtures. Having considered a range of options Newclose on the Isle of Wight was considered the most viable option for this year and we will complete a thorough review of the success of using this venue once this match is complete. We do appreciate the concerns of members over travel time and costs and are working closely with a range of travel partners to try to ensure that as many people as possible can make the journey.

We are committed to ensuring the membership provides value for money for supporters of both red ball and limited overs cricket and recently announced that all members will have free access to the four day Australia v Australia A match taking place in July. We are also looking at options to improve the Members viewing experience for matches when the weather is a little colder than expected an hope to publish these early in the New Year.

While we recognise the importance of attracting new supporters we are committed to protecting traditional formats of the game. We will continue to work with the ECB to ensure that the correct balance is struck and hope that you will continue to support the game for many years to come.

I do appreciate that this message does not do anything to directly impact the points you raise but all feedback is passed on and actioned where appropriate.

Kind Regards,

The Ageas Bowl
T: 02380 472002 (opt 2)

Comment by Godfrey

Many thanks for sharing that Godfrey – and welcome to the Blog.

Comment by pompeypop

I believe that the pavilion at Basingstoke is imminently to be redeveloped, which I suspect ruled it out as a venue. Although I share the concerns expressed, 2019 will be the 50th season since I became a member and, being retired, I hope to mark this by attending every day of all Hampshire’s Championship games, home and away. Like Godfrey, I live in Surrey and have found the hotel a great boon.

Comment by Bloggy McBlogface

Hello Godfrey,
I fully agree with your comments. I am a life member so the question of renewing doesn’t occur, but next season’s fixture list is a disappointment. Bearing in mind holidays and the Isle of Wight match (I live in the far north of the county, as you know), I will probably be able to get to only about four championship games, although I do attend a few 50 and 20 over matches. Perhaps next season will be worse because of the world cup – I hope 2020 will be better.
All the very best for 2019 to you and Colette and the family – also to everyone else on this blog, especially Dave.

Comment by Tim Driscoll

Thanks Tim – same for me, Life Member, so nothing to consider and I’m ‘in profit’ after a good few years. Nonetheless the fixture list is not what I hoped for, or paid for all those years ago. I live about 500 yards from the IOW car ferry and it might be fun for a one-off but it will still be expensive, whether I travel every day or stay for four.

Comment by pompeypop

Hi Dave, Good to know you are contacting publications about Mike Barnard. You have probably seen it before but there is a good photo here

Comment by Sean

I love that photo Sean – someone sent it to me last week. It’s not Fratton Park, but no idea where. Cheers!

Comment by pompeypop

Yes its a great photo. Apparently its prior to a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa at Villa Park in 1954.


Comment by Sean


Happy New Year to you and Mrs A.and thanks for continuing your first class blog, especially your poignant tribute to Mike Barnard. Play up Pompey – another win today.

Comment by Dave Wilson

There was a minutes applause at Fratton Park today and that was the photo used during the tribute. His Hampshire championship win was mentioned.

Comment by Paul

Hi Dave, just catching up with the last couple of days. Some very interesting comments and entirely agree with the letter form GS. Many thanks for the blog. Happy New Year to you and Mrs A.

Comment by Bob Murrell

Happy new year all

As others have said I’ve also given up my membership for this year. Just too much hassle getting to the ground to make it worth it. I’ll be volunteering during the cricket World Cup at the ground however so I’m looking for forward to that. Will be catching the radio broadcasts a lot more than anything

Comment by MS

It will be a year tomorrow since Mason Crane’s test debut. I just spotted this article in the 1st December Daily Telegraph. Here’s hoping that 2019 is kinder to him!

Comment by Allan

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