Hampshire Cricket History

Grounds for Regret?
May 27, 2021, 5:11 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

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….”

17 Comments so far
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Oh wow, that was an amazing thing to do Dave, thank you very much….oh happy days.

Comment by Steve Anstey

The match I attended with my Late Uncle was on the 16th August 1992 – Hampshire v Northants (still have the Programme!)


Comment by Steve Anstey

I can sympathise with Steve’s feelings about Dean Park. I saw my first Hampshire game there on Saturday, the 30th August 1958 vs Derbyshire as a 12 year old with my uncle! I was hooked from that moment. I played numerous club games for Bournemouth Amateurs from 1966 to 1978 at Dean Park. It was my little heaven down below.
Now that I know what it is like today, I do not think I will bother to visit again.

Comment by Ian Laidlaw

Thanks both. I didn’t see either of those games although I was at the Championship match v Northants in 1992 – the penultimate game on the ground. My clearest memory is that our young fast bowler Kevin Shine decided the best way to get rid of Allan Lamb was to bowl short at him and it worked as he got him, caught by Ian Turner. The only problem was that Lamb had scored 160 by then and Northants won by 10 wickets (Shine 2-75 in 13 overs).

Ian’s first visit was almost exactly twelve months before my first sighting of Hampshire in my home city of Portsmouth. I still live down the road from that ground and pass it every time I’m travelling to the city centre or out of town – but they’re doing stuff to the pitch this year, so no cricket. That match that Ian saw was the last of the 1958 season, Ingleby’s first as captain, and while Derbyshire completed the double over us, it had been to that point the most successful in our history as we finished runners-up behind Surrey. A statistical curiosity is that maybe (day one) Ian saw Ray Pitman top-score with 77? In a brief career that was his career best; he left at the end of the following season.

Comment by Dave Allen

Sympathise as well. I remember playing impromptu games in front of the pavilion at the close of play in the 60s as an 8 or 9 year old, the clock seemed enormous. Re regrets and grounds not stadia, it was a long time ago and personally DP/USG was replaced to an extent by Hove and Arundel. But I do hope that those with recent experience of the Rose Bowl find some heart in days spent there, otherwise something important will have gone missing.

Comment by stephenfh

I entirely share your fondness for Arundel and Hove.

Comment by Dave Allen

Of course the last time Hampshire played at Dean Park in my eyes (probably not others!) Was on the 6th May 2015 when a T20 was played between Dorset and Hampshire as part of Jimmy Adam’s Benefit year….(Jimmy had played for Dorset)


Comment by Steve Anstey

After 1992 there was also 1998 when Hampshire played there as the AWAY team against Dorset in the Nat West Trophy. It was a misty morning, a ghostly figure called Shackleton (jnr) bowled and in no time Hampshire were 0-3! They recovered and won easily on the second day.

Comment by Dave Allen

Haha, yes indeed remember that match very well! Julian (Shack Jr) is still involved with Dorset CCC and I often bump into him on a matchday – he’s usually selling raffle tickets!!!

Comment by Steve Anstey

I was there that day as well. I was about ten minutes late and missed the first three wickets! I remember Robin Smith fiercely square-cutting a ball – it never reached more than head-high before entering a hospitality tent, scattering the occupants and breaking some glasses. Certainly the flattest six I have ever seen. A great day although interrupted by rain.

Comment by Tim Driscoll

Hahaha! I will always remember the sound of crockery and glassware breaking because of Mr Smith!

Comment by Steve Anstey

That is a lovely photo, but a sad description of the ground where I loved watching Hampshire. We used to wander down after school and watch the last session of play for free.
But we’ll always have RW Taylor c Livingstone b Sainsbury.

Comment by Dave Pople

Always and Always!!

Comment by Dave Allen

Great photo. Have you got any photos from the last season at Bournemouth 1992 you could post here Dave?

Comment by Sean

I’ll have a look – one for sure

Comment by Dave Allen

That would be amazing to see…..

Comment by Steve Anstey

Yes Dave, the thing that I remember from my first County Championship day was RWC Pitman’s 77. (See above). It was quite a shock to read many years later that ACD Ingleby-Mackenzie scored 55 in the same innings, of which I have no memory. According to Wisden, his 77 was scored out of 105 with 2 sixes and 10 fours. I believe that this game was going to be Pitman’s last – he was not being retained for 1959 – but HCCC decided to give him another season on the strength of the 77. It did not work out.

Comment by Ian Laidlaw

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