Hampshire Cricket History

FC: 2017
January 11, 2021, 8:25 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

England beat South Africa 3-1 (4 Tests) and West Indies 2-1 (3). In 2017-2018 they lost 4-0 to Australia (5) and lost 1-0 to New Zealand (2)

Champions: Essex; RL Cup: Nottinghamshire; T20: Nottinghamshire

The Championship was now split into eight teams in Division One and ten in Division Two with two sides promoted/relegated. Durham’s extra punishment was to start the season with a 48-point penalty, condemning them to at least one more season in Division Two; they were still there when Covid-19 interrupted the two division Championship in 2020. Wisden’s editor described “the continued marginalisation of the County Championship, shoved mainly into April, May and September to accommodate the new Twenty20 tournament”. He concluded that this would mean “more seaming pitches, less incentive for counties to produce fast bowlers and spinners and even less hope of England competing overseas”. When Taunton became (in)famous for its turning pitches however, there were complaints and it earned the nickname ‘Ciderabad’, although as a result, England found two new spinners, Leach and Bess.

There were now just 14 Championship matches for every side – two fewer than in 2016 – so teams in Division Two did not play every other side. Promoted Essex replaced Middlesex as Champions, while the latter were relegated along with Warwickshire – Middlesex were the fourth reigning Champions to be immediately relegated since two divisions were introduced in 2000, although had they not been deducted two points for a slow over rate they would have overtaken Somerset. Essex finished 72 points ahead of runners-up Lancashire and won twice as many games as any other side, while Wisden praised the fact that no fewer than 10 of their players were born locally – five in Leytonstone alone. Third-place Surrey were top scorers at 39.28 runs per wicket, while Essex took wickets most cheaply at 23.34. Some matches were played under floodlights as day/night games, an experiment that did not survive long. Nottinghamshire did the ‘white ball’ double as discussions began on the format of a new city-based competition which would be called ‘The Hundred’.

England also played a day/night Test against the West Indies at Edgbaston. Joe Root replaced Alastair Cook as England’s Test Match captain and James Anderson became the first England bowler to take 500 wickets. Alistair Hales’ 187* won the RL Cup Final for Nottinghamshire, and was the highest score in a Lord’s Final, beating Geoff Boycott in 1965. England’s women won the World Cup, beating India at Lord’s, watched by a full house.

October 2017 saw a new Code to the Laws of Cricket; to mark it Wisden identified “the ten most significant changes starting with the size of the bat almost 250 years earlier. The other nine were the third stump; over-arm bowling, introduction of boundaries; ending bodyline; the changing lbw law (especially in the 1930s and 1972 but noting “wait until we get to DRS”); the front-foot no-ball; declarations; covered pitches, and DRS.

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