Hampshire Cricket History

1961: Postscript (Part Two)
February 24, 2021, 8:23 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

The final part of our tribute to the men of 60 years ago:

Hampshire’s Championship winning side soon began to break-up. Jimmy Gray had a very fine season in 1962 then played only one more full year before moving into teaching. Leo Harrison took a coaching role after the 1962 season while Heath and Baldry left that year and Burden followed after playing just three games in 1963. Colin Ingleby-Mackenzie retired after the 1965 season and one year later, struggling financially, Hampshire parted with Mike Barnard and the still-young Alan Wassell. Henry Horton retired in 1967 and that left just one more full Championship season for Derek Shackleton, although he played the first year of the Sunday League. By 1973 when Hampshire won the title again, only Peter Sainsbury remained – Hampshire’s unique ‘double champion’.

Among the new players to arrive at Hampshire in the 1960s was South African batsman Barry Richards in 1968, their first signing under the new regulations allowing the instant registration of overseas players without affecting their rights to play Test cricket. Gordon Greenidge born in Barbados but raised for some years in Reading was already playing for the 2nd XI and would ‘qualify’ by residence in 1970 to launch the great partnership. By then we were into the second season of the new Sunday League sponsored by John Player and following the introduction of Sunday play in the Championship a couple of years earlier. In 1972 a new weekend mini-league/knock-out competition, the Benson & Hedges Cup was launched and county cricket was changed for ever.

While Hampshire were winning that first title in 1961, a young left-handed batsman at Charterhouse School topped their averages (52.64) and played for the Southern Schools v the Rest at Lord’s. In 1962, he was back on the ground, playing for the Public Schools in their annual meeting with the Combined Services and eleven years after that Richard Gilliat followed Colin Ingleby-Mackenzie in captaining a Hampshire side to the County Championship. Despite second places in 1985 and 2005 we are still waiting for number three.

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