Hampshire Cricket History

Celebration Time?
June 29, 2022, 6:26 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Last week, in my role as Historian, I made a suggestion to a senior figure at the club about marking in 2023, the 50th anniversary of our Championship title in 1973. The immediate reaction was that this was no cause for celebration but rather one of regret.

He had a point. It’s a salutary thought that only Derbyshire (1936) of all the second division sides have waited longer to see their team win the title – many of them have won it this century. To be a Hampshire fan who can recall the triumph with any clarity you’d have to be over 60.

We have been close of course, in 1974 (we wuz robbed), 1975, 1985, 2005 and last year. This year it seemed that the return of the pace trio, plus Donald and the signing of Brown – and no international calls – we were a very good bet. Early season at the Oval suggested otherwise and now we must deal with the disappointment of Chelmsford (who would have thought it?).

I don’t like our immediate response to that, casting us as the victims of conspiracy and incompetence. We lost that game for a host of reasons, not least their lower order batting in the first innings which had a huge impact and was nothing to do with Harmer’s bowling. But I have already shared these two observations with other Hampshire fans and I’ll repeat them here: (1) The toughest job for umpires is when the ball is turning and bouncing and there is a cluster of close fielders. None of that is helped when the players of both sides appeal when they know it’s not out. If that comes back to haunt you, tough, stop cheating. (2) Remember our home game v Notts last year that took us to Liverpool with a shout? We batted first and despite totals of just 226 & 178 we won it by 122 runs. In the second innings Dawson took 5-45, Organ 3-22. Notts were furious about that pitch, so again if that comes back to haunt you, tough.

If the match referee intercedes and Essex are penalised that’s fine with me – it almost certainly contravened the ECB regulations. In the meantime, I’d like us to be quiet, sort ourselves out and win the remaining six games. Then we’ll deserve the title.

10 Comments so far
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Incidentally, in all the unhappiness I think everyone (except Tigger and Cricket Archive) missed the fact that James Vince is now in 28th place (and rising) of men who have scored 10,000+ first class runs for Hampshire.

Comment by Dave Allen

Very fair comments Dave. If you live by the sword you die by the sword!
I don’t know whether we should have foreseen this pitch coming, and if we had done if we would have done anything differently. Clearly Mason Crane on song would have been helpful, and his predicament is such a tragedy.

Comment by Alex McKinlay

Thanks Alex. It is a great sadness isn’t it – especially after the last day of 2021. At Hambledon I chatted to Raj Maru, his original mentor – he’s been working with him recently. Maybe Mason could emulate David O’Sullivan in 1973 and take a hatful of wickets in late summer as we storm to the title.

Comment by Dave Allen

Well I didn’t think we’d get halfway to the target against Harmer on that pitch. It was a brave effort and typical of the spirit in this side.

Comment by Dave Pople

I thought it was an immense effort to get 280 odd (the highest score of the match) in the 4th innings on a turning pitch against one of the best spinners out there.

Vince was understandably a bit frustrated, I’m sure they will reflect in the coming days. Title race is still on! Hopefully Kent bat out the day!

Comment by Tom Johnson

Let’s hope so Tom.

Comment by Dave Allen

Good start at the Oval …!

Comment by Dave Allen

In addition to Dave’s very reasonable comments I have just watched the highlights and seen three of our batsmen bowled trying to cut an off-spinner who was turning the ball prodigiously. You can’t blame the officials or the pitch for that.

Whereas I agree we did really well to get so close to the target it was immensely disappointing to see us get into such a good position playing sensibly against Harmer (long handle hitting/slogging with the spin) and then lose so many wickets to shots that common sense should have indicated shouldn’t have been attempted in those conditions.

Comment by James

My brother said exactly the same James. I only got to watch the last hour of this match on the computer but our games this year have been exciting.

Comment by Bill Seager

Lunch today, things going as well as we might hope at Bristol and the Oval.

Comment by Dave Allen

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