Hampshire Cricket History

Handbook 2022
March 31, 2022, 3:00 pm
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I’ve just proof-read the final draft. It looks fine, although a silly bloke who’s supposed to be a historian managed to write that we joined the Championship in 1985.

I reckon we should be able to sign it off and go to print pretty soon now.

March 31, 2022, 8:09 am
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Just back from New Zealand where I got this shot of Charlie Dean bowling for England Women in their thrashing of South Africa in the World Cup semi-final. Charlie held a catch and took 1-41. The last time a former pupil of my Alma Mater, Portsmouth Grammar School, bowled for the winners in a major semi-final was Jon Ayling who took 1-42 v Essex in 1988 (and the one was Graham Gooch) Hampshire went to their first Lord’s Final, which they won.

Charlie is also the first cricketer from PGS to play for England since Wally Hammond.

From the Archive
March 30, 2022, 8:46 pm
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I’ll be doing less radio work this season – mainly the Championship and usually just one day per game. On the days when I’m a spectator in the ground I’ll try to bring some of our ‘hidden’ artefacts out – and when Richard Griffiths is down he has plans to do displays, probably at lunchtimes in the Atrium.

Here are a couple of our recent acquisitions from the Shackleton purchase – part funded by the book sale last season:

Come Writers & Critics …
March 30, 2022, 8:57 am
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The members meeting that preceded the Radio Solent Forum last night had a new format after the two year Covid break. It was not a Members AGM, there was no Committee report and no elections. Instead it was presented very efficiently by Greig Stewart who has been at the Ageas Bowl for many years and is now Head of Supporter Experience.

The Members’ Committee, which was set up twenty years ago after Hampshire County Cricket Club became a plc, is no more. In the past people who served on the Committee for a number of years would become Vice Presidents and the retiring Committee will be so honoured in that way, with VPs now taking on the principal role of the Committee in recent years as hosts to visiting Committee members from the opposition – this tends to be almost entirely for Championship matches.

Following these changes, Greig plans to organise Focus Groups, member interaction, questionnaires etc to glean a wider range of views – and calling him the Head of Supporter Experience seems to imply a wider brief than Members Committee.

As well as announcing these changes Greig introduced a number of presentations. David Mann offered a financial perspective which after a couple of “difficult years” is “OK” but there is concern that Internationals which generate significant income are a bit scarce over the next couple of years – especially Test Matches (normally generating £1m per day). He spoke extensively about the plans for new car parks which are needed to begin the various building projects on the existing spaces (and increasing capacity). He also described the change of structure at the Ageas Bowl with four distinct companies, including one each for men’s and women’s cricket.

Charlie Freeston, Head of Player Development, outlined plans to work more closely in the biggest Hampshire cities of Portsmouth and Southampton, thereby somewhat deflecting one of the submitted questions by a stroppy git from Pompey. There are plans to develop separate, focused ‘Hawks’ organisations in P, S and Basingstoke.

Abigail Moore, Head of Operations at the AB spoke specifically about plans for sustainability around the ground and complex, and answered questions about crowd behaviour, more railings, and the PA system which of course will be improved this year.

I thought it was very clear, informative and well presented.

If you weren’t there, maybe you heard the Radio Solent Forum? Or perhaps it’s still available. If not, I’ll try to offer a summary later. The good news is we’re going to win the Championship and at least reach the T20 Final at Edgbaston this year.

Ray Cook
March 29, 2022, 8:37 am
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The man standing second right (with his wife Anne) is Ray Cook who was a Committee member back in the days of Hampshire County Cricket Club; he was also a leading member of the North & Borders Area Association (remember those?) seen here making a cheque presentation to the Chairman (Brian Ford) and President (Wilfrid Weld). Ray was latterly a Vice President of Hampshire Cricket.

He was also a lovely bloke, so I’m very sorry to report that after a fairly lengthy illness Ray died last week. Despite all his many contributions to Hampshire cricket over the years, I suspect he will have been most proud that in his mid-teens he earned a Hampshire trial, bowling his off-breaks. He is greatly missed by those of us who knew him.


Special Offer
March 28, 2022, 7:05 am
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There’s been very little interest so far in my booklet updating the Hampshire Players A-Z so I have a change of plan (and the four folks who have bought it are owed a refund).

Early season, starting tomorrow, from me, for cash only it’s £3 and by post it’s £4. I’ll have them at the game, the Forum etc all day tomorrow. At some point mid-season they will go back to the original £5 price.

Tomorrow I’ll also have a few copies of Stephen Saunders fine work on our players, matches, grounds etc from 1772- 1863 when the County Club was formed.

26 Not Out?
March 26, 2022, 6:35 pm
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I’m trying to find ways of amusing myself as I watch the Test today.

England are 39-4 with opener Alex Lees 10*. He’s been dropped so maybe it’s his day. What if he carries his bat while the rest subside around him?

In 1889, Bernard Tancred of South Africa was the first man to open the batting in a Test and carry his bat. He was batting against England at Newlands and scored just 26* which remains the record lowest Test innings by an opener carrying his bat. The next lowest is 30* by Australia’s Bill Woodfull against England at Brisbane in 1928.

Maybe Lees could beat both?

You have to have something to think about, otherwise …

(Hampshire’s record lowest is 32* by Neville Rogers v Leics at Loughborough in 1953, one of three occasions when Rogers carried his bat for the county).

Make What you will …
March 25, 2022, 1:24 pm
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… of today’s scorecard from the Bowl but it looks to me like we effectively followed-on, after which Holland failed again. I had thought to go today but after the messy day yesterday I opted for a stroll around the watery edges of Sunny Southsea and Old Portsmouth. I think it was the right choice. I’ll try again next week.

March 24, 2022, 12:36 pm
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Thank you to Tom for this Comment (also below)

Scorecard for today and tomorrow. We are bowling on Day 1.


It seems to me that Fuller is making an unexpected bid for a first-team Championship place

PS Five + hours later and he’s now doing the same with the bat.

Not Many
March 22, 2022, 7:51 pm
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Around 15 years ago Shaun Udal played four Test Matches for England and Chris Tremlett three – Chris was the first Hampshire-born Hampshire player ever to represent England in England. The two men then moved to the two London counties when Chris (Surrey) played in nine more Test Matches. Udal (Middlesex) was the first Hampshire-born, Hampshire player to represent England in a Test since … well when exactly?

The official view is since Southampton-born AJL (Ledger) Hill in three Tests in South Africa in the winter of 1895/6 but those matches were only designated as Tests in retrospect. They were played by Lord Hawke’s touring side in the days when private overseas tours were often played and they were later called England – although when England played their first home Test in the following season, only one player remained from Hill’s teammates while he, an amateur businessman, stayed in South Africa to generate business.

Even if we include Hill – and statisticians do – that still amounts to just 10 Test Matches played by Hampshire-born, Hampshire cricketers and that’s not many is it? Compare it for example with these four Yorkshire & England cricketers: Herbert Sutcliffe; Len Hutton, Ray Illingworth and Matthew Hoggard who played in 261 Tests. But they weren’t just from Yorkshire, they were from the market-town of Pudsey, Yorkshire which currently has a population about one tenth of Portsmouth or Southampton.

Barbados is another intriguing comparison since of course some very fine – even great – Hampshire cricketers were born there. The island measures 21 x 14 miles, has a population of around 285,000 and 90 of its cricketers have played in Test Matches for West Indies, eight more in white-ball internationals plus four (Butcher, Small, Jordan & Archer) who have represented England.

Some places are cricket places and maybe some are not. Maybe Hampshire is not really any more, despite this year’s celebration of the 250th anniversary of that first match at Hambledon? My new booklet listing all Hampshire’s cricketers 2019-2022, includes six born in Hampshire but two, Came and Taylor, have gone, Wood plays only white-ball and Albert & Middleton are ‘rookies’. By comparison 13 of those listed come from elsewhere in southern England (Vince, Dawson, Crane included), nine from South Africa, seven from other counties and (etc.) …