Hampshire Cricket History

Fight The Power
July 31, 2021, 8:30 am
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Some of you might enjoy this by Matthew Engel (former editor, Wisden) – from today’s Guardian


Well Now …
July 30, 2021, 7:27 pm
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What to say?

I’ve been. I’ve seen the Southern Braves Women win (easily) and I’ve seen the Southern Braves Men take a wicket (after which, pretty soon, I went home).

That was enough. I wanted to be sure I’d experienced the whole ‘event’ and I have. Even more now, I think it constitutes a real threat to the future of county cricket although I guess that does depend on whether it lasts (remember the Sunday League ‘revolution’).

But I get it. It seemed to me the audience comprises principally two groups – families with kids having a whale of a time and blokes (18-65) consuming vast quantities of lager – sometimes wearing daft costumes. I don’t fit either group, so it’s not for me, but I get it.

The cricket is hardly different in kind from T20 and I’ve seen enough of that to last me a while but I really do get it. I walked about a lot and saw a few Hampshire shirts but apart from Richard Griffiths met no one I knew – yet I reckon there were maybe 12,000 (+?) there.

The thing that surprises me most is the instant identification with Southern Brave – an almost meaningless idea. I get entirely caring about Britain or England or Hampshire or Southampton or Portsmouth (etc) and within that overall ‘caring’, supporting the representative sports team, but Southern Brave? I don’t get that, but most of those people there tonight do get it – and if they go on getting it, the Hundred will work. That surprised me – and I was wrong about that earlier today.

There is however one thing they get wrong. They keep flashing up a message saying”The Hundred is for Everyone”. It’s not – anymore than any other cultural artefact ever in history.

Below, James Vince runs through smoke and fire to lead out his side

How Does it feel?
July 29, 2021, 5:50 am
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To be on your own …

Well I’m probably not of course, but I thought some of you might wish to know that I have been invited to appear on BBC Radio Solent’s Breakfast Show just after 7.30 am tomorrow (Friday) morning.

Initially I believe they were looking for someone who was ‘uncertain’ about the Hundred

I guess they couldn’t find anyone, so they’ve ended up with me.

Most of you have a pretty good idea what I’ll be saying I suspect.

“Programme, Scorecard”
July 28, 2021, 6:28 pm
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Can anyone tell me whether we produced either or both for the T20s. A Middlesex fan asks me every year to get him one/both from our home games v them (this year rained-off?) and I’ve no idea because I don’t go. Maybe someone out there has a spare?


They’re here already
July 28, 2021, 8:31 am
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Despite my complete antipathy I feel obliged (as a historian) to check it out (once), so I’ve bought a ticket for Friday night – a ticket I can only access using a mobile phone.

It took me ages to work all that out but I guess that’s part of the strategy for deliberately alienating people like me.

The latest email tells me that I’ll need to answer three questions to get a Covid QR code whatever QR means but I cannot find that anywhere. Does anyone have any thoughts on that?

Then there’s parking. As a Vice President I get an Executive car park ticket but that’s for Hampshire. What’s the deal on Friday?

Maybe I should give up and just go on hating it – especially as the Brave are in a rather Grave state right now.

Lovely Day
July 27, 2021, 6:25 pm
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(Bill Withers)

That was just about perfect then?

(Lou Reed?)

Even stayed dry – there again I’ve always said the Bowl is blessed with good weather

Haven’t I?

They call it stormy monday
July 27, 2021, 6:35 am
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And Tuesday’s just as bad

I don’t know that T-Bone Walker was a cricket fan but his famous tune works today. If the Bowl had a storm like Pompey in the night it will be a bit damp, the forecast is ‘iffy’ and here right now (7.30) it’s raining again.

Just have to hope sometimes

The weather is looking a bit ominous although they have tossed (10.30). The only problem there is nothing appears on the screen, no announcement and nothing on line so it’s your guess right now.

PS Alsop back, opening and ‘dropped’ in the first over (very difficult). Prest off the mark so has his HS in 50-overs. Scriven is omitted.

PPS Gubbins 131* is a record in List A for Hampshire v Sussex and the 6th wicket partnership by Gubbins and Fuller is also a record in those matches.

Turner gets things underway, bowling to Clark the Sussex opener

Who Are You?
July 26, 2021, 11:38 am
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I understand it’s a football chant (it’s been a while) but as I’m commentating tomorrow I’ve been doing my usual preparation (nothing if not thorough!)

I think -assuming they field the same side as their first game (yesterday there was no play) that Sussex will beat us by fielding an XI with not one capped player – their captain v Lancs was Tom Haines who is 22. I’ve done my best to check out some details but had to rely mostly on Cricket Archive as only about half of them appear in Playfair.

Incidentally, quite a number of our players recorded their HS and/or BB v Essex despite the defeat – there again if it’s your first match that’s quite likely – even for Tom Prest with his ‘duck’. The best were Currie’s 3-58, McManus’s (first) 50, and Gubbins’ 62 for us, although overall it’s 141.

I wonder if we’ll get a cracker like last time (2019)? We posted 355-5 after Markram with 130, recorded our highest innings v Sussex, sharing a partnership with Alsop (124) – whatever happened to him? Our total was also a record v Sussex who then beat their record with Wiese (171) and Brown adding 232 for the 6th wicket. It rescued Sussex and took them to within nine runs of our score.

The aggregate of 701 runs was our highest in a List A match v Sussex and the third highest in our history, behind matches against Surrey (717 at the Oval) in 2005 and Somerset (A Bowl) in 2018

It’s a Record
July 26, 2021, 7:43 am
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or is it?

The sport section of today’s Daily Telegraph is obsessed with a sport we’ve all cared about for years – Taekwondo – and the extremely lax dress code in the Lord’s pavilion yesterday. There are two large colour photos of quite disgraceful scenes at the ‘home of cricket’.

They also report a record crowd of 13,537 for a domestic women’s game in England. The fact that there was a men’s game scheduled immediately after seems not to count.

I once played the Glastonbury Festival on the same weekend as Bob Dylan (1998?), and the Isle of Wight Festival on the same day as the Rolling Stones (2007). I guess they are the biggest crowds that ever turned out to listen to me.

(Or maybe not)

Wrong Choice
July 25, 2021, 8:48 am
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Clearly I picked the wrong match yesterday to find anything to persuade me there might be ‘something’ in this Hundred lark. In truth it’s not going to happen and that’s just a matter of taste – if you like it fine, I’ve even met people who are fond of singing ‘Sweet Caroline’.

My major objections to the Hundred remain ‘off the field’, principally concerned with its parasitic relationship to the domestic game and the impact it is having and will probably continue to have increasingly on county cricket – in particular the Championship, the 50-over competition and the ten ‘disenfranchised’ counties.