Hampshire Cricket History

Thought for the Day
October 31, 2022, 1:40 pm
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It is by no means the first time I have made this observation which I might open with the second (and repeated, final) verse of the poem “At Lord’s” by Francis Thompson

For the field is full of shades as I near the shadowy coast,
And a ghostly batsman plays to the bowling of a ghost,
And I look through my tears on a soundless-clapping host
As the run-stealers flicker to and fro,
To and fro:-
O my Hornby and my Barlow long ago!

I think of cricket ghosts as significant images and ideas that we conjure through our memories and imaginations. Many days I walk or drive by Portsmouth’s US Ground and if I am of such a mind I can conjure ‘Shack’ or Roy Marshall, Barry Richards, perhaps Malcolm Marshall or Robin Smith. It’s not hard – they are the ‘Ghosts of my life’ – alive or dead – and perhaps today in particular they blow wilder than before. I might imagine also watching them with some very good friends that I’ll not meet again on any cricket ground.

I don’t find this sad or sentimental – it is the way things are. But for almost thirty years now I’ve been one of Hampshire’s custodians of its cricketing past and one thing that has struck me time-and-again carrying out that work at the Rose/Ageas Bowl is that unlike every other major county ground, we have hardly any ‘ghosts’. Only two men, Philip Hughes and Shane Warne, who have played in a Championship/white ball competitive game for Hampshire on the ground are no longer with us and while in both cases their loss was tragic, Hughes played very little for us, while Warne had already appeared at Northlands Road, Portsmouth and Basingstoke. Otherwise there are relatively few men who began and ended substantial Hampshire careers on that ground and some, like Jimmy Adams or James Tomlinson, are still there.

Tough as it is
October 27, 2022, 4:18 pm
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For a Pompey Boy to admit it, but the ‘Saints’ look strongest. The west is struggling so we might even things up by extending the Bournemouth area (Hampshire pre mid-1970s) into Dorset which has been productive in recent years. Alternatively, since you can see the IOW from three of the four areas we might add David Griffiths and Danny Briggs to Bournemouth?

HAMPSHIRE’S FINEST REGIONAL XIs (By Birthplace)? In batting order, * = Bowler

BASINGSTOKE & WINCHESTER: Tony Middleton, Jimmy Adams (capt), Jason Laney, Joe Weatherley, Richard Lewis, Jim Bailey*, Brian Timms (w/k), Shaun Udal*, James Tomlinson*, Vic Cannings*, Chris Wood*

BOURNEMOUTH & NEW FOREST: Dick Moore (capt), Rodney Exton (1946), Gerry Hill*, Herbert Hake (1920-25), Leo Harrison (w/k), Nigel Cowley* (on loan from Dorset!), William Langford* (1902-08), William Andrew* (1897-98), Howard Lawson* (1935-37), John Badcock* (1906-08), Malcolm Heath*

PORTSMOUTH, GOSPORT & FAREHAM: Barry Reed, Neil McCorkell (w/k), Derek Kenway, Trevor Jesty* (capt), Mike Barnard, Jon Ayling*, Jack Newman*, Lawrie Prittipaul*, Alan Wassell*, Tom Dean*, Jack Campbell*

SOUTHAMPTON, EASTLEIGH: Jimmy Gray*, John Rice*, Victor Barton* (1895-1902), Arthur (AJL) Hill* (1895-1921), Peter Sainsbury*, Adi Aymes (w/k), Stuart Boyes* (1921-1939), Chris Tremlett*, Bob Herman*, Mervyn Burden*, Charlie Knott*

Still no place for Michael Bates (Basingstoke), nor I suspect the two Taylors (Brad/Basingstoke & Billy/Southampton)

What Do You Think?
October 24, 2022, 6:59 pm
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Hampshire’s greatest ever XI online – and thanks to Derek Woodhouse for alerting me

I reckon it’s hard to argue but I do disagree with one choice – I’ll let you know. What about you?

(It’s on page 8/9)

In Reserve
October 24, 2022, 1:45 pm
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I’m sorting through memorabilia of Derek Shackleton and found this photo, with a caption revealing it as HM Queen Elizabeth meeting the England and India teams at Lord’s in June 1952. This might have been her first ‘formal’ engagement with cricket after becoming the reigning monarch in February of that year.

She is meeting umpire Frank Chester who played for Worcs before losing an arm on active service in 1917. He was an umpire for many years as was FS (also Frank) Lee (Middlesex & Somerset) standing next to him.

England’s captain (hidden) is Len Hutton (Yorks) and from left, the players are Peter May (Surrey), Reg Simpson (Notts), Jim Laker (Surrey), Tom Graveney (Gloucs) and Shackleton.

I was confused initially because Shackleton did not play for England in 1952. I can find no formal confirmation, but I think he must have been selected as 12th man – not least because Hampshire had no matches during the five days (+ Sunday) of that Test. England won by eight wickets on the fifth morning but their 79-2 took until the 50th over.

Shows Promise
October 23, 2022, 6:44 pm
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Happy Hambledon History
October 22, 2022, 7:31 pm
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I’ve mentioned before that for more than 20 years I’ve been involved in a club that was established (1998) to honour the achievements of the great cricketers of the 18th century organised under the auspices of the gentlemen of the Hambledon Club who met at the Bat & Ball (originally ‘The Hut’).

We meet for a lunch twice a year at the start and end of each season with a guest speaker – over the years including Jonathan Agnew, MJK Smith, Rod Bransgrove, Vic Marks, Dennis Amiss, Lord McLaurin, Jocelyn Galsworthy, John Barclay (etc.). Today we had an excellent talk from Mark Curtin who is CEO of Lord’s Taverners – he spoke about their foundation in 1950 and their work over the years, particularly with young people, in making cricket more inclusive, often working with the disadvantaged or disabled and bringing cricket to youngsters who might not otherwise engage with the game.

Our organisation, known as the Hambledon Club (not Hambledon Cricket Club) raises money for similar projects – we have over the years raised thousands for the Hambledon Cricket Club Colts and other local projects and today we were able to present a cheque to Mark for the Lord’s Taverners.

We are in the process of updating our website which contains much historic information about the 18th century and our 20+ years – when it’s finished, I’ll let you know.

Our President, Terry Crump, with Mark Curtin (Lord’s Taverners) on Broadhalfpenny Down today

Good News?
October 21, 2022, 3:51 pm
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I’d like to think so:

Daily Telegraph (today) under the header “ECB faces calls to shorten Hundred”, offers the following on the proposals contained in the recent document by Andrew Strauss: “It is understood those proposals … are dead in the water and discussions on a compromise are unlikely to be resolved this year”.

Best of Times; Worst of Times
October 16, 2022, 9:06 pm
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The Comments about Danny Livingstone’s century in the Hampshire v Middlesex match of 1967 bring to mind the extraordinary contrast between their two Championship matches in that season.

The first one, at Lord’s, might claim to be the dullest three-day game ever played. On day one, Roy Marshall scored a century and Hampshire closed on 354-4 but rather than declaring, they batted on and Livingstone reached three figures on the Sunday, Hampshire finally calling a halt on 421-7 after 145 overs. Middlesex then reached 124-4 by the close, still almost 150 away from avoiding the follow-on. As a consequence, they batted slowly on day three, as a not out century from Clive Radley got them to safety; they ended up on 371-7 from 176 overs; Shackleton 50-23-84-1. There was considerable criticism of the game, not least because Sunday play was supposed to attract more spectators. With the Middlesex innings incomplete, neither side took any points from the game.

That match was at the start of July. Towards the end of August they met again in Portsmouth where Middlesex declared on day two with 327-5 (MJ Smith 135*). Hampshire replied with 230-7 by the close and were 277 all out on day three with 18-year-old David Turner top-scoring with 87. Middlesex declared on 123-9, setting Hampshire a target of 174 in a maximum of around 35 overs. They started well, reaching 95-1 with Marshall, Reed and Gilliat all contributing thirty-somethings, then moved from 116-5 to 154 before the sixth wicket fell before losing four wickets for six runs. Hampshire’s last pair Shackleton and Cottam tried to score the 14 needed for victory and made 13 (Shackleton 11*) before Southampton-born Bob Herman (4-44), a future Hampshire Champion, bowled Bob Cottam for Hampshire’s fourth and so far last Tied match. Bob has since recalled it was the only time he was ever kissed on the field by a fellow cricketer!

HCCC 1967 – (Back): Barry Reed, Brian Timms, Bob Caple, John Holder, Bob Cottam, Geoff Keith, Alan Castell, Keith Wheatley, Trevor Jesty (Front): Richard Lewis, ‘Butch’ White, Henry Horton, Derek Shackleton, Roy Marshall (c), Peter Sainsbury, Leo Harrison, Danny Livingstone, David Turner.

For Hedgehog
October 16, 2022, 2:45 pm
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(And anyone else)

Not sure about the editorial decisions!!

Your Starter for Ten
October 12, 2022, 5:05 pm
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Here’s a quiz question for you (answer in the first Comment)

What do Hampshire have in common with these seven counties?

Derbyshire, Essex, Glamorgan, Gloucestershire, Leicestershire, Middlesex, Northants.