Hampshire Cricket History

Blog Special Birthday
September 30, 2020, 2:49 pm
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I quite liked this one but I sent it to Hampshire and they haven’t posted it (I think), so here it is for you guys

There is just one Hampshire Birthday celebration today, for a man who played just once for Hampshire but has an unusual, possibly unique first-class record. Bill Buck, a pace bowler, was born in Southampton in1946, and first played for Hampshire 2nd XI in 1968, but in early June 1969, while a student teacher in Exeter he appeared for Somerset at Taunton against the first tourists of that year, the West Indians, and in the second innings dismissed both openers, then at the end of term he returned home and back to Hampshire’s 2nd XI. Two months later Bill played his one match for his native county against the season’s other tourists, the New Zealanders at Southampton. Sadly, after a century by Barry Richards the match was ruined by rain, with Bill’s figures in the one New Zealand innings 14-4-25-0. That was the end of his first-class career, but he is probably the only man to have made two first-class debuts for two separate counties against two different touring sides in the same season!

Here’s Bill chatting with John Holder at a Players’ Reunion – they played together in Hampshire’s 2nd XI 50 years ago; and the same with Andy Murtagh (bottom) seen here in the Atrium at a Test Match

Born On This Day
September 28, 2020, 4:34 pm
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(Almost a Springsteen song?)

Through the summer I’ve been running a series called “On This Day” on the club’s website (News/Heritage)

Through the winter I’m going to run a new series with the above title and it starts tomorrow with …

(You’ll have to be patient, it’s a birthday surprise)

This Is the End
September 27, 2020, 5:09 pm
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(Unless you like what’s coming next weekend)

Very well done Vipers. At Lord’s, Essex again clearly the best county side in the past five years and Somerset clearly second best – commiserations to them (again). Very enjoyable game.

The final Top 50 averages for the BWT are ‘interesting’ bearing in mind that Joe Denly tops the batting after one innings and Sam Robson the bowling with 2-6 in four overs. The BBC is showing the top fifty for both and while Hampshire have only Joe Weatherley in the batting, at number 32; in the list of bowlers they have six – Felix Organ at 13, Mason Crane at 15, Ian Holland at 31, Ajeet Dale at 37, Scott Currie at 44 and Liam Dawson at 45.

Good Luck
September 27, 2020, 6:43 am
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To the Vipers and especially my pal Emily. It’s not ‘Hampshire’ of course (is it just Hampshire & Sussex?) but, although Hampshire’s women have been playing for 200+ years there’s less county history around the women’s game, so I guess regions make sense for them. And at least, unlike that other nasty men’s regional (non) competition, our women compete in a decent format.

All To Play For
September 26, 2020, 11:15 am
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Is of course the obvious comment (cliché?) at the close of the two innings in the BWT Final. Essex are 36 ahead so they are winning if it’s a draw (but not if it’s a tie) but they were a bit odd after getting the lead; in their last ten overs they scored just 24-0.

The commentators felt they were using up overs, but given extended days because of the weather it does seem unlikely that the game will be drawn, especially as Somerset must play for victory. I’m glad that happened though, because it’s very interesting (and John can remain optimistic!).

A Question
September 24, 2020, 2:50 pm
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Colin has told us that if the BWT Final is a draw, it’s decided on first innings. With the nasty weather again that’s beginning to look distinctly possible.

SO: does anyone know whether the first innings are limited to 120 overs, as they were in all the group games?

Dodgy Date?
September 23, 2020, 4:51 pm
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I’ve done my best to follow the soggy ‘play-off’ between Essex and Somerset today. Inevitably conversations turned to the chosen date and whether it was too risky to have a decider in the last week of September – sure enough the rain interfered, as it did in this corresponding week last season.

But they got 44 overs in today and there are still four days to go, so it’s worth remembering that exactly one month ago, Essex were playing one of the games that got them to Lord’s. It was at Arundel of course, and over four days there we managed to get 78 overs. There was also that Test Match at the Ageas Bowl in the previous week when they managed about 135 overs in five days, so if the Final was shifted to August there is no guarantee that the weather would be better.

It’s not just late summer incidentally,: in the second week of June last year we got 90 overs in four days, away at Notts. People will tell you that over a whole season these things even themselves out – swings and roundabouts – but nobody who followed Hampshire through the 1974 season could ever believe that.

He Could Have Been a Contender
September 21, 2020, 8:46 am
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Joe Weatherley that is – I was thinking about my choice of Player of the Season. Joe did pretty well in the BWT, especially at Middlesex (98 & 64*), and started well in the T20 with 68 at Canterbury, but nothing major after that. He was OK but I think for me it comes down to two names Mason Crane, back to his best and more, and Ian Holland who really stepped up in the absence of some big names.

At the other extreme, and for different reasons, our capped players, Liam Dawson, Sam Northeast and James Vince won’t look back on 2020 with much fondness, although Sam is to be thanked for standing in as captain and doing well in the BWT.

Elsewhere? The ‘kids’, Ajeet Dale, Scott Currie, & Tom Scriven were very encouraging at times, but neither Harry Came nor Felix Organ were in the runs, although Organ begins to look a very capable finger spinner.

Keith Barker started very well and contributed to the Radlett victory but after two games disappeared injured, and the other quicker bowlers, Ryan Stevenson and Brad Wheal seemed fitter this year, but are not certain selections, while James Fuller went regularly from terrific to not so – will he ever be consistent? Chris Wood did what he does in white ball and until he got poorly Lewis McManus was reliable, while Tom Alsop had good days without really moving to the next level. I think we need him to deliver 35+ in the top three in the four-day game.

Shaheen Afridi must have recorded the biggest shift in a bowling average in the course of one 20 over innings; going from 191.0 to 31.4, but he wasn’t overall as effective as we hoped, while George Munsey wasn’t effective at all. I guess we might have seen the last of him, and if national rumours of economic problems leading to staffing cuts are true, it’s difficult to imagine we will see Ollie Soames or Brad Taylor again. I’ve no idea what happened to Brad beyond rumours of injury but therein lies a salutary tale. We are right to be excited by our new group of young players, but six or seven years ago, Brad set club records as our youngest-ever player in all three formats and he too showed real promise.

Took His Time
September 20, 2020, 2:48 pm
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But finally we get to see what signing Afridi was all about – the first four-in-four for Hampshire in the T20 (6-19) and only the second hat-trick (Dimi in 2004)

PS In fact the only four-in-four in English T20 for any side, the only six-for for Hampshire (and so, the BB for Hampshire in T20)

PPS Hampshire finished with one point more than Derbyshire but were still bottom of their group at the end of five poor seasons in T20. From 2016-2020, Hampshire have lost 34 of their T20 matches, and only three sides have lost more – Durham & Worcs 36 each and Middlesex 37. The fewest defeats, 19, were shared by Notts and Sussex.

Simply the Worst?
September 19, 2020, 11:51 am
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If you’re a county cricket fan is the Daily Echo now the worst ‘paper in the world or am I missing something? Being over that way, I bought a copy this morning to see what they thought about yesterday’s game. In the ‘Sports’ section, they thought stuff about Saints, stuff about Spurs, stuff about Aldershot (who as we know aren’t actually playing yet) and stuff about a woman tennis player. Lawrie McMenemy thought stuff about Gareth Bale.

Otherwise they thought quite a lot of stuff about “Kung Fu Fighting” in Southampton 30/40 years ago.

Time was – not so long ago – when they’d have a reporter at all Hampshire’s games, but now it seems they don’t even take the ECB or Agency reports. There was nothing, not one word. Stuff ’em.

PS By contrast here’s the Pompey News spread today with a large report by Alex Smith – always worth a read – and a shorter interview with Alphonso, plus two photos, and in the columns, an interview with Havant skipper Chris Morgan (ex Hants 2nd XI) ahead of Havant’s Final v our Academy on Sunday, and all the results and tables across the Blast divisions.