Hampshire Cricket History

Read All About It
May 31, 2021, 9:05 pm
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Many thanks to Colin for alerting me to this survey of books about Hampshire’s cricket history. There are others (Stephen Saunders has produced the most complete bibliographies) but this article is a very full introduction if you’re new to the subject


The Run In
May 30, 2021, 6:50 pm
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Points and games remaining – Middx & Surrey have only two games left:

Glos: 107 points – Hants (H), Leics (A), Middx (H)

S’set: 104 points – Hants (H), Leics (H), Surrey (A)

Surrey: 101 points – Hants (A), S’set (H)

Hants: 94 points – Glos (A), S’set (A), Surrey (H)

Leics: 70 points – Glos (H), Middx (A), S’set (A)

Middx: 60 points – Glos (A), Leics (H)

PS: In the round of matches just completed, all seven games finished in a ‘positive’ result. By contrast, seven of last weekend’s eight rain-affected matches ended as draws.

Bank On It
May 30, 2021, 2:11 pm
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Bank Holiday Monday and a great forecast but no cricket to watch. It wasn’t like that once because Hampshire always played Kent at Southampton over three days of the Whitsun holiday and then went down to Canterbury for the August break (in those days, early in the month). There were other regular fixtures every year over those weekends including Middlesex v Sussex, Gloucestershire v Somerset and one that survives this year, the ‘Roses’ Match.

Among our matches v Kent was a fine performance in 1952 despite the dodgy weather. Hampshire struggled to 125-9 on the Saturday (Rayment 37, Dovey 6-67) and after the last pair, Derek Shackleton & Vic Cannings had added ten more, they took off their pads and started bowling – and just like the Kent pair of Dovey & Martin, they bowled unchanged and in just 17 overs and one ball put out Kent for 32 (Shackleton 6-22, Cannings 4-10).

Hampshire than batted for 46 overs – on day two remember – before declaring at 144-8 (Gray 61*, Harrison 45), a lead of 247. This time Kent used four bowlers but for the second time and on the same day, Shackleton & Cannings then bowled unchanged for a further 24 overs and four balls, dismissing Kent for 91 (Godfrey Evans 34) before close of play on the Monday. Hampshire won by 156 runs – more than they managed in either of their innings!

In the second innings Shackleton took 6-45 (12- 67 in the match) and Cannings 4-45 (8-55).

Derek Shackleton

And another one!
May 29, 2021, 3:41 pm
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Lots of Happy Snappers down Bournemouth way. Here’s one from Stephen Hope who says:

“Dave, many thanks for the recent posts on this. If interest has not been exhausted, a snap looking towards the ‘town end’, taken during the 1978 cricket week in a game v Warwks,  Dennis Amiss in a helmet, the first time I’d seen a player in one. Bright seaside light, the college clock chiming on the hour and a ground enclosed by back gardens, it felt rather like you were watching in one. Happy Days!”

The bowler is Keith Stevenson and I’d recognise those bums anywhere(!!): L-R Bob Stephenson, John Rice & Gordon Greenidge

Dean Park Weekend
May 29, 2021, 11:47 am
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Many thanks to Paul Fowling for this contribution to our fond memories. He says:

“I’m really enjoying all the old reminiscing about Dean Park. It was a staple of my childhood as my Mum’s from Bournemouth, so Bournemouth Cricket Week was always a week we would all go down and visit my grandfather and go to the cricket.

I thought you might like this photo from The Daily Telegraph, the day after the final day’s play which we cut out and kept at the time. My Dad is on the left in the front row in the light blue coat. My coat appears to be on the bench next to him… I must have been playing on the outfield at the time!”

(Incidentally the umpire is Mervyn Kitchen, ex-Somerset. We have a large collection of scrapbooks in the archive covering most years since the early 1950s – and some earlier than that. I think this photo is also in one of them, but as the ground is now in lock-down for a month I can’t check yet; there might be more on the topic)

Goodbye Bournemouth
May 29, 2021, 6:33 am
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As requested (we do our best) two shots from the last match at Bournemouth, 1992 v Middlesex. The first shows Jon Ayling (& Adi Aymes) leaving the field after Ayling’s 5-12 which forced Middlesex, 115 all out, to follow-on, 271 behind. In the event they saved the game and this proved to be the very talented Ayling’s career best. Already struggling with a knee from a freak mid-pitch clash with a running batsmen (David Smith) he would manage just four more Championship games in 1993 before retiring.

The other shot shows Hampshire taking the field after tea on the final day.

Grounds for Regret?
May 27, 2021, 5:11 pm
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I saw David Lloyd on Sky earlier during the break between the Yorks and Lancs innings reminiscing about today’s ground, Old Trafford. It’s much changed from 1971 (he was recalling that famous semi-final) but it’s still the same ground and that’s the case with the other counties, even where Essex for example have created Chelmsford as their ‘headquarters’ only fairly recently.

At Hampshire of course, it’s not like that. Southampton no longer exists, Portsmouth isn’t being used at all this year (rugby posts are still up), Basingstoke is now a club ground, and Bournemouth which we left after 1992? Well Steve has written nostalgically about it and rather nicely, so I thought we might make it a new post. Here he is

“I’ve just taken a moment out at work to walk to my beloved Dean Park here in Bournemouth, a ground where I first saw Hampshire play with my late Uncle. A ground I saw my hero – Robin Smith hit a number of sixes into a few gardens!! In later years as a Dorset CCC member (as well as Hampshire member) I watched many a Minor County game there right up until it was sold. Anyway to my shock the scoreboard is still in situ and the Pavillion where famous cricketers once graced including The Duke of Edinburgh is now used as a Nursery…..I couldn’t look at the square as there was what seemed to be an obstacle course in place! Such a tragedy in my eyes….”

What do we want?
May 27, 2021, 10:32 am
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When do we want it? (You can’t have it now)

Our fate is in our hands in that if we win our last three matches we’ll surely end in Div One come the shakedown but what would we like from Surrey v Gloucs over the next four (probably dry) days? If Surrey win or get a good haul of points from a draw they will be almost level with us but with only two matches left. For Gloucs (top) this is their game in hand so they could be almost out of sight with a win, leaving us to scrap with Somerset for the second slot. If it’s low-scoring (few batting points) someone will get 16 for a win (unless it’s a tie).

Meanwhile we must wonder who will bowl for us now. Abbas has already gone home while in the most recent Cricket Paper Kyle Abbott has revealed that the “relentless schedule” of bowling the “huge load” of an average around 30 overs each week with three days off has left him knackered. I’m not sure he’ll manage to play in all the other games so we might have to depend on Crane and/or Currie?

I have to confess that my initial response to reading that piece was one of anger – an anger that surprised me – which is why I made no comment initially. Now I’m partly sad and partly bored with it and certainly disenchanted. I put in another day’s work at the Ageas Bowl yesterday – as with all the others over the past 25 years entirely voluntarily – and I’m beginning to wonder why I bother. The ECB are not interested in the kind of cricket I love and the players wish to offer me less. Maybe I’ll take up bowls.

Is he a Big Bloke then?
May 25, 2021, 11:05 am
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You’ve probably seen that New Zealand all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme is to join Hampshire as an overseas player for the T20 Blast. He is expected to join up with the county after New Zealand’s scheduled World Test Championship final against India in late June.

I don’t suppose I’ll get to see him, but I did write a pice about Hampshire and New Zealand(ers) which I think will appear on the website. Who was my favourite (apart from my pal KD James of course)?

May 25, 2021, 8:33 am
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A cause for celebration for Charlie Knott who has been ‘capped’ – although as an amateur it had no financial implications – but when you spot the date it becomes somewhat poignant. He’d get to wear it first in May 1946. Note also that the admin centre is no longer the county ground.