Hampshire Cricket History

What do we want?
May 27, 2021, 10:32 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

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.

18 Comments so far
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Oooh Dave, on reading your last paragraph just to say your effort both within the cricket club and indeed this amazing blog is very much appreciated. As for Kyle, he has been doing a lot of bowling with much success and to be honest I really wonder who his ‘backup’ bowler might be. Brad (Wheal) is in form but we could really do with a replacement for Abbas…..
I like you saw the headline about Kyle in the cricket paper on Sunday morning (again delivered early Sunday morning) and thought he was moaning but when you annalise the amount he is bowling and the lack of rest time Kyle has very good point…..

Comment by Steve Anstey

Dave, I would just like to endorse Steve’s comments re your amazing blog. It really is a positively compulsive read, and one of the most informative Hampshire cricket sites across the media universe, where else could we find out who last bowled seven successive overs, scored three consecutive hundreds or holds the record for the most square leg catches for Hampshire?

You can’t go, ever!

Comment by Paul Vince.

I see forty-five year old Darren Stevens who has done a bit of batting and bowling for Kent this season (27 less overs than Abbott and just 24 less runs than Vince and more than any of our other players except Holland) is having a rest as Kent don’t have a Championship game today. He is playing for their second XI.

He wouldn’t make it as a youngster today with that attitude would he?

Bill Shankly used to tell his players that there were people all over Liverpool working in factories to pay their wages so get on with it and don’t let them down.

Someone have a word with Kyle.

Comment by James

He should get a nice rest for the T20 as we have signed two other overseas players

Comment by Ron Griffiths

Thanks for that Steve, very kind. Maybe I should offer the precise figures and let people decide – noting that what he has bowled this year exceeds what he wishes to bowl:

The season started on 8 April and he’ll next bowl on 3 June which is eight weeks. He has played four days each week so far although is now in a 10-day break and with those four days he’s not on the field if our batsmen score big runs or it rains (both have occurred).

In those eight weeks he has bowled 188 overs which is an average of 27 overs per match or 23.5 overs per week. I have any number of stats to show that this is nowhere close to what bowlers used to bowl in county cricket but no one’s interested.

Comment by Dave Allen

Have you ever discussed those stats with a Hampshire physio? Their reply might be illuminating. I wonder whether the perceived “tiredness” that present-day bowlers feel is mainly mental as their fatigue threshold and expectation have been lowered by constant brainwashing by medical staff, media etc. Bowlers like Butch White (comparable to Kyle Abbott) presumably felt tired but somehow overcame that with an awareness of their privilege compared to most workers and just got on with it as everyone expected. And, as John Arlott always reminded us, cricket reflects the society of its era.

Comment by Ian White

Very interested indeed Dave actually. It would be good to see some stats compared to the likes of Shack, Marshall even Tomlinson even etc what we have to remember is that ‘back then’ County Cricket was THE game but alas not these days….Sadly…

Comment by Steve Anstey

Best result is a big Surrey win.

Comment by vern1970

I don’t have too much issue with Kyles comments. I’m sure a lot of fast bowlers are feeling in a similar way. He’s an international quality bowler who didn’t get much chance to play at full pelt last year. Coming off of that and with little opportunity for ramping up game conditioning that the English season provides must be hard and it’s probably harder for some more than others.

Whilst consideration was made for getting all of the modes of cricket played I don’t think there was much thought of how playing 7 weeks straight with not much time to recover considering you’d need to be travelling and practicing for your next game, keeping things covid safe etc it’s a lot to deal with on top of ensuring you’re able to be at your best.

Comment by Michael S

Thanks Michael. I always say each to his own and all opinions are welcome here but let me ask, how much less Championship cricket would you be content with in order to support Kyle’s view? I don’t watch T20 and the 50-over is now devalued, so when June starts next week I have the prospect of seeing one four-day home match in the three summer months (having shivered through every game so far).

Comment by Dave Allen

I can definitely appreciate how frustrating not being able to see the team in the summer is. I can’t say how many games is right but trying to fit 4 competitions in a summer after a much reduced schedule is the cause of the issues. Look at most recent seasons when you’d have the university game and then the 1st champ game and then you might not play for the next week or just play a list A game and then on from there.

Playing 6-7 consecutive 4 day games without a week off is not ideal, and is going to affect players. Overall I’d rather Abbott feel comfortable saying these things than hiding resentment or getting injured by playing through it.

Comment by Michael S

On a ‘County Cricket’ theme still, I’ve just received the latest copy of ‘The Cricketer’ magazine and accompanying the issue is the standard editorial letter and this particular letter stood out! The Cricketer magazine according to Managing Editor Huw Turbervill WILL not stay cosy to cricket’s governing body and will not cover the ‘100’ at the expense of the Blast, Royal London cup and certainly not the County championship! – well there’s a relief personally! In fact Huw goes on to say that even this current issue – June 2021 has 33 pages on the County Championship alone!!

Comment by Steve Anstey

Bit of an aside: In the absence of a Hants game, watching the Roses fixture on Sky. Interesting how an authentic county perspective (even with Lancastrians in the box) is lost with commentators who view everything through an England and international cricket lens. The beauty of the Radio Solent/live stream commentary is that it stands knee deep in Hampshire soil, rich in local history, anecdote, and fascinating stats, most of which are delivered in the vernacular.

Comment by Chris Davis

Well said Chris, we are indeed so lucky to have the legend that is KD James and Dave of course to give us a more ‘down to earth’ aspect of the fabulous game without much International views….

Comment by Steve Anstey

To be fair that is very much the case with almost all the BBC local teams that provide online Championship commentaries. Much more entertaining and informative!

Comment by James

Not particularly changing the subject but on the point about archives – 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….

Comment by Steve Anstey

I was thinking the same regarding a Surrey win. I’d say we want to keep Gloucestershire within a wins distance. I fancy us to beat Surrey without Pope, Burns, Foakes etc so them going slightly ahead isn’t a problem.

I’d be shocked if Abbott didn’t play the next three games. 3rd June (Somerset) to the 4th July (Surrey) is a months break between game 8 and 9.

One little nugget you may be interested in is that Dawson put on his Instagram story after the Leicestershire game a post thanking Abbas and it said ‘hopefully see you later in the summer’. I suspect he may come back if we get to Div 1?!

Comment by Tom Johnson

I think it’s highly probable Tom IF we reach the top division – and while I’m on here, thank you to Michael for his response (above) – much appreciated.

Comment by Dave Allen

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