Hampshire Cricket History

Not Many
March 22, 2022, 7:51 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

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.) …

7 Comments so far
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Not good Dave, I wonder if the picture might be at least a bit better with Hampshire born footballers who have played for England? Danny Ings, Winchester, James Ward-Prowse, Portsmouth….

Comment by stephenfh

I think so Stephen, who’s the Chelsea midfielder from Portsmouth/Purbrook? Then there’s Pompey’s finest Jimmy Dickinson (48 caps) from Alton and from Winchester/Southampton Terry Paine who nearly won a World Cup! Others?

Comment by Dave Allen

I remembered – Mason Mount

Comment by Dave Allen

I would add incidentally that mid-20th century cricket at all levels was very strong in Hampshire but through my lifetime that’s declined. At the county level, think for example of Stuart Boyes, Neil McCorkell, Gerry Hill, Leo Harrison, Jimmy Gray, Mervyn Burden, Peter Sainsbury, Mike Barnard, Alan Wassell, Trevor Jesty. But in 1988 when Hampshire met Derbyshire in their first Lord’s Final, Jon Ayling (Portsmouth) was the only man on either side born within their county.

Comment by Dave Allen

Around the time the two Championships were won local cricket in Bournemouth was strong, the charm of Dean Park and fine grounds at Meyrick Park, King’s Park and in Winton. What the Edwardians/late Victorians left behind and alas not used as much as they might be now.

Comment by stephenfh

Haines made another hundred today for Sussex in their friendly v Surrey – but no sign (yet) of Tom Alsop

Comment by Dave Allen

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


Comment by Tom Johnson

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