Hampshire Cricket History

Happy New Year
December 31, 2021, 2:30 pm
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To all you Bloggers

Boris says: “The UK is in an “incomparably better” position now than this time last year” – I guess he wasn’t thinking of cricket then, about which the BBC offers today a rather less cheerful view. Maybe next year(?)


The New Season Begins
December 30, 2021, 1:23 pm
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A New Year looms and this Saturday there will be what is probably the first English cricket match of 2022 at Broadhalfpenny Down, Hambledon. This is the start of a series of events through the year to mark the 250th Anniversary of First Class Cricket (anywhere in the world) when Hampshire beat England in June 1772 (I know, everyone beats England …). The game commences at 12 noon for a couple of hours. Refreshments available.

A Story
December 27, 2021, 8:30 am
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Ian has posted a Comment about the forthcoming auction of Derek Shackleton memorabilia – a couple of days ago, I received an email from another Blogger about the same topic, with a story from the Portsmouth News

I was well aware of the auction and had thought not to mention it here but in response, I guess perhaps I should.

From the club’s point-of-view It’s a long and disappointing story. Briefly, the family loaned it all to us with a view to exhibiting it and we put most of it on display late 2019 at the Members Day in the Atrium (see photo) but since Lockdown we have not been allowed into the Shackleton bar (or upstairs) even out of season to do more with it, or indeed anything else.

Out-of-the-blue last season the family asked for it all back to sell, saying we hadn’t displayed it. We explained why and offered to discuss with them a significant sum which would have kept it all together at the club in the bar dedicated to Derek (and saving them fees). Sadly they declined preferring to sell it and presumably some, most or all of it will go to private collections, with the collection being dispersed.

It’s taken about six months since they collected it all to get this far. We have a sum in Heritage and from the Club to bid for some things and I think that will happen – I’m not involved in the bidding. We will eventually get some bits I guess and let people know.

90 Not Out!
December 26, 2021, 8:16 am
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No, not any of the England batsmen (!) but Hampshire’s Dennis Baldry – 90 years old today, Boxing Day. This tribute should be on the club’s website but I can’t see it anywhere, so just in case, here goes:

Dennis, now Hampshire’s oldest former player, was born in Middlesex in 1931, played 2nd XI cricket for his native county from 1950 and in 1953 he played a solitary first-class match for them. He appeared more regularly between 1955-1958 and in 49 matches for Middlesex passed 1,000 runs with five half-centuries ((HS 61) and took 11 wickets. After the retirement of Alan Rayment in 1958, Hampshire persuaded Dennis to move south and on 6 May 1959 he made his Hampshire debut v Glamorgan at Portsmouth and scored 151, becoming only the second Hampshire player to pass three figures on first-class debut for the county, and the first in a Championship match. Dennis Baldry enjoyed probably the most prolific start of any Hampshire cricketer. After a quiet match v Gloucestershire he returned to Lord’s and scored 123 v MCC; in his fourth match v Kent at Southampton he scored 62, took two wickets and was awarded his county cap, next at Old Trafford, coming on second change, he recorded his best bowling figures: 28-7-76-7, followed by 3-28 at Edgbaston (and 75 runs in the match). It seemed that Hampshire had found a new number four, and Baldry finished that season with 1,605 runs at 29.72, including three centuries and 30 wickets (31.13).

He would enjoy further successes over the next three seasons, but less consistently, while newcomer Danny Livingstone seized fourth place for the decade. Baldry’s 24 matches in the damp 1960 season brought 678 runs with an average nearer 20 and a best of 93 – there would be no more centuries. In 1961 that average dropped again to 19.31, and as the season ran its course to the title, he lost his place to Mike Barnard. Nonetheless his best of that season, 84* was a key innings in late May at Headingley, when Hampshire, going well, met the reigning Champions Yorkshire, who had won their first three Championship matches. The home side posted 279, Trueman took three quick wickets and Baldry arrived with Hampshire in trouble at 45-5. With Peter Sainsbury he added 109 and despite another collapse remained firm taking Hampshire to a position where they were able to draw the match quite easily. After a run of fairly low scores he played another important innings, described in the Hampshire Handbook as “brilliant”, v Nottinghamshire at Southampton, when his 61* enabled Ingleby-Mackenzie to declare and Hampshire won by 15 runs with just three minutes to spare – the last wicket, a direct throw run out by Baldry. There was a third half-century at Hove and 4-41 at Leyton although both matches were lost, and travelling from Essex to Derby, Mike Barnard returned for a successful late season run. Dennis Baldry had however contributed at key moments to the eventual great triumph of 1 September 1961.

In 1962, he had to wait until early July for his first Championship match, playing in 11 first-class games, as his batting average rose to 25.92, adding 23 wickets. In the last innings of the year, he arrived with Hampshire 80-5, facing defeat v Surrey, until another century partnership with Sainsbury secured the draw. Baldry was dismissed just ten runs short of 100 and although he would not know it then, also ten runs short of having opened and closed his county career with a century. He took work locally during the winter but as he was preparing to return for pre-season training, he was offered a permanent post, and at 31 he retired from first-class cricket. There would be one further match however, Hampshire’s first-ever in the knock-out cup when, with Derek Shackleton injured he was called up to play v Derbyshire and is always delighted to point out that as an amateur for the day, his expenses exceeded his daily wages of the previous season. Hampshire lost that match narrowly but Dennis took 4-70 in his 15 permitted overs. He played club cricket in the Southampton area for many years and regularly attends former players reunions. Happy Birthday Dennis!

Dennis Baldry batting at Southampton v Kent in 1960 (w/kpr Godfrey Evans, slip Dave Halfyard)

A Tale of Two Figures
December 25, 2021, 4:55 pm
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In September 1961 Hampshire won the County Championship and celebrated with considerable ‘enthusiasm’. The next day, runners-up Yorkshire arrived at Bournemouth to get some ‘revenge’ for being temporarily displaced and beat Hampshire by 58 runs – but Hampshire, recovering from a hang-over or three were still Champions!

In the first Yorkshire innings our slow-left-armer Alan Wassell took three wickets including all-rounder Ray Illingworth and he also scored 12*. Alan is now the only man left with this us from the XI that was on the field when they won that title, but I heard just before Christmas that Alan is in QA Hospital Portsmouth after an accident and operation. It’s a nice thought that the current regime and management team at the Ageas Bowl have sent their best wishes to Alan – the news so far is good, so here’s hoping that he recovers soon.

During the game that concluded the 1961 Championship season Ray Illingworth took 7-39 and 5-63 and 14 years later he had his revenge as his new county Leicestershire pipped third place Hampshire to the title – their first. He was a fine cricketer and later England captain leading them to regaining the Ashes ‘down under’ in the early 1970s having lost them some 13+ years earlier. It’s perhaps an irony of timing then that just a few hours before England’s latest Ashes away venture the news emerged that Illingworth has died after a long life and a recent battle with cancer. To Alan Wassell’s best wishes then, we add commiserations to the friends and family of a fine England cricketer. RIP

Early Christmas Present
December 23, 2021, 11:46 am
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Thanks for all the kind Festive messages and well done & good luck to Liam Dawson & James Vince, both in the England T20 squad to the West Indies in the New Year

December 21, 2021, 5:23 pm
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All the current difficulties – and the state of English cricket – it’s time for me to wish every Blogger a


with help (very much appreciated) from this delightful photo, sent by one of our regulars ‘Hedgehog’.

I hope you can have fun folks – see you on the other side!

Cricket stumps made from icicles and a cricket ball on snowy field

December 21, 2021, 7:19 am
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Thanks to all that excellent Archival burrowing I think we have it nearly complete. Here is the list in alphabetical order

Abbott (O/S end of 2022); Barker (2023); Crane (2022); Currie (2024); Dawson (2022); Fuller (2023); Holland (2022); McManus (2023); Organ (2022); Prest (2024); Vince (2022); Weatherley (2022); Wheal (2023); Whiteley (2024) plus next year’s three ‘Rookies’ Albert, Petrie & Turner.

The ones we are still not sure about are: Alsop; Donald (prob 2022); Gubbins (on loan in 2021) & Wood

December 20, 2021, 3:54 pm
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I was asked yesterday who has what length of contract and I did not know. I’ve trawled through the website (News) and come up with these answers from recent events:

Barker (end of 2023); Currie (2024); Fuller (2023); McManus (2023); Organ (2022); Prest (2024); Wheal (2023) plus next year’s three ‘Rookies’ Albert, Petrie & Turner.

The ones I don’t know are

Abbott (O/S); Alsop; Crane, Dawson, Donald, Holland, Gubbins, Vince, Weatherley, Whiteley & Wood

Does anyone out there know more?

The Early Days
December 18, 2021, 12:18 pm
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The new ‘Christmas’ edition of the Cricketer carries a welcome review of Stephen Saunders’ new publication: Hampshire County Cricket: prior to the Formation of the County Club in 1863, Home Grounds, matches and First-Class Players.

There’s a suggestion in the review that Stephen wrote this after he “read’ my A-Z but in truth we work closely together, with Terry Crump and Richard Griffiths, as the ‘Four Musketeers’ of the Heritage project at the Ageas Bowl – and we’re also all members of the Hambledon Club which celebrates the feats of the 18th century side.

The review carries no information on how to obtain copies – I’m hoping Stephen might post a preference on here but in the meantime you can email me and I’ll forward it (two done already) preferably to my new cricket email address: davehccc@gmail.com (all lower case).