Hampshire Cricket History

A-Z (B3)
October 22, 2017, 8:41 am
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Bakker, Paul-Jan: (402) born Netherlands 19.8.1957. ‘Overseas’ cricketers have always featured significantly in Hampshire’s sides. In their inaugural first-class match v Sussex in 1864 one of their opening batsmen was the Tasmanian JC Lord and their current first-class captain is from the same part of Australia. The majority of Hampshire players born overseas were either top-class cricketers from Test-playing countries or those like Nick Pocock or Paul Terry born to English families working abroad. Pace bowler Paul-Jan Bakker, known generally as ‘P-J’, was however a Dutchman, who arrived in Hampshire in 1985 to play for Hampshire 2nd XI and Old Tauntonians in the Southern League, before making his first-class debut in the following season, during which he reached his 29th birthday. Alongside Cardigan Connor, Stephen Andrew and latterly Kevin Shine he sought to establish himself as the opening partner for Malcolm Marshall, and over seven seasons with the county played in 69 first-class and 68 List A matches. He was no batsman, averaging under 10, but he took 193 first-class wickets at under 30, and 80 List A wickets at an economy rate around four per over.

His best first-class figures were 7-31 v Kent at Bournemouth in August 1987 as he bowled Hampshire to victory , but his finest season came two years later with 77 wickets at 22.49, including four five-wicket (+) returns. 1989 was also his best season in the shorter form with 24 wickets including his best of 5-17 v Derbyshire in a Sunday League victory. His career at Hampshire coincided precisely with the four List A titles won by Mark Nicholas’s side but Bakker never featured in a Lord’s Final or the match that clinched the 1986 Sunday League title. Sadly he did play in the two frustrating Nat West Trophy semi-final defeats at Northlands Road, by three runs v Middlesex in 1989 and by one run v Northamptonshire in 1990. His one ‘cup final’ was in 1990 for the Netherlands in an ICC Trophy Final which the Dutch lost to Zimbabwe.

From 1990 his Hampshire career declined, and after the 1992 season he returned to Holland to play club cricket for Quick Haag. In the mid-1990s he played in a number of ODIs for his native country and in 1995/6 for Holland in the World Cup in Pakistan, where in their match v England he took the early wicket of Alec Stewart.

Balcombe, David John (489) born London 24.12.1984. David Balcombe was a pace bowler and useful lower-order batsman. He played for Surrey 2nd XI in 2004, for Durham University in first-class matches from 2005-2007 and then for Hampshire 2nd XI from 2005. He made his first-class debut for Hampshire in a heavy defeat v Kent in September 2007, taking two wickets and scoring 25 & 29, and in the next match took 3-58 v Yorkshire. He did not quite sustain this promising start and after relatively few appearances he went on loan to Kent in 2011, where he took 33 first-class wickets at 17.81. He returned to Hampshire and in 2012 enjoyed his best season with 64 wickets at 26.10 including his best figures of 8-71 v Gloucestershire at the Rose Bowl in April – despite which, Hampshire lost.

He, James Vince and Liam Dawson were awarded their county caps early in 2013 but in that year and the following Balcombe took just 27 more first-class wickets, before returning to his first county, Surrey, for one last year, playing only for their 2nd XI. During his career he played very occasionally in ‘white’ ball cricket – 14 List A matches and three T20s. 2012 was his best season with the bat, averaging almost 20 in first-class cricket with a career highest of 73 v Leicestershire, sharing a 10th wicket partnership of 168 in a losing cause, with Chris Wood. In his final first-class match for Hampshire v Gloucestershire in 2014, Balcombe (65*) and James Tomlinson shared a 10th wicket partnership of 115, which was the county’s highest ever by their numbers 10 & 11.

Baldock, William Stanford (Pre-’95, Amateur) born 20.1.1847 Chilworth Common, Hampshire, died 30.8.1923 Somerset. He was a middle-order batsman and occasional bowler who played seven first-class matches for Hampshire between 1877-1882. His father played for the Gentlemen of Kent, and his son for Somerset, while he appeared in 1878 as W Stanford. In his seven county matches he scored 155 runs (HS 40) at an average of 12.91. He was clearly a professional soldier as from 1875-1883 he played regularly for the Royal Artillery side. His last recorded match for Hampshire, not first-class, was v Devon in 1883, age 36.


Broadhalfpenny day
October 21, 2017, 4:38 pm
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To the Bat & Ball, where Storm Brian gave us a lively sky

Storm Brian Broadhalfpenny 10.17

While Isobel Duncan gave the Hambledon Club a talk about the history of women’s cricket, from her book on the subject Skirting the Boundary.

Issy 2

Engel in Print
October 21, 2017, 8:57 am
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I guess you know that I’m a Guardian reader, although I often buy The Times. I love newspapers and my favourite every week is the Saturday Guardian, principally for its Review section (books, art, culture etc).

I bought The Times yesterday and thought I might have missed Engel’s article to which Dave Pople alerted us. I read it online and thought a good deal of it, but it’s actually there today in the Sports section, centre page. Nothing like getting your hands dirty while you read it.

A-Z (B2)
October 19, 2017, 2:58 pm
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Bailey, James (‘Jim’) (246) born 6.4.1908, Otterbourne, Hants, died 10.2.1988 Southampton. Jim Bailey was a genuine all-rounder, left-handed batsman, slow-left-arm bowler and the last man to complete the first-class ‘double’ for the county. He was part of a generation of talented individuals who replaced the great professionals of Tennyson’s side. Despite the individual talents of Bailey and his contemporaries such as Arnold, Herman, McCorkell, Creese and Hill, only once in Bailey’s long career from 1927-1952 did Hampshire finish in the top half of the table, when they were eighth in 1932. His own career was somewhat up-and-down; he made his Hampshire debut in July 1927 just three months after his 19th birthday and played in five matches that season, albeit with little success. In fact it would be 1931 before he established himself as a batsman with almost 1,000 runs and in the following season he took 76 wickets, including a remarkable analysis of 7-7 v Nottinghamshire at Southampton, which remained his best bowling. There were centuries in 1931 and 1933 but his bowling fell away and he took just eight wickets in that latter season.

Seeking a solution he moved to Middlesex to qualify by residence – he was still just 26 and played for their 2nd XI and occasional first-class matches for MCC, but he had joined Middlesex as players like the Compton brothers, Bill Edrich and Jack Robertson were coming through, and after two years he joined Lancashire League side Accrington as a professional, and became the first English ‘pro’ to score 1,000 runs in a season. Most of his matches were at weekends so in 1938, a weak Hampshire side persuaded him to play for them in northern mid-week fixtures. He began with 44 & 69 at Edgbaston and was reasonably successful, although hardly bowling, and in 1939 he rejoined the county (31). It proved to be his best season as a batsman with 1329 runs at 32.41, including one century and eight half-centuries, to which he added 44 wickets, including a best of 6-72 v Leicestershire, the bottom side, two places below Hampshire.

Like everyone else, Bailey then missed six seasons, returning at the age of 36. He played regularly for the next four seasons, during which he took 295 wickets alongside fellow spinners Charlie Knott and Gerry Hill. In addition he passed 1,000 runs in three of those four seasons, with 921 in 1947. In 1948, his 1399 runs (31.79) and 121 wickets (18.13) gave him the ‘double’, the first since Jack Newman in 1928 and never repeated – only Newman, Bailey, Alec Kennedy and CB Llewellyn have achieved that feat for the county. Bailey was talked of a possible England player.

In the event he played for just one further season, with 1254 runs and 86 wickets and retired at the age of 41, although he returned as a bowler for one match at Edgbaston in 1952. After rain had ruined the first two days, his long career ended with him taking three top-order wickets in a drawn game. His career had begun with Tennyson’s great players and concluded alongside Harrison, Gray and Shackleton who would win county cricket’s greatest prize nine years later. He remained in Southampton, was at one time on the Committee and was always entertaining company, watching his county play.

Bailey, Michael John (384) born 1.8.1954 Cheltenham. Michael Bailey was principally an off-spin bowler who played for Hampshire in 20 first-class and three List A matches from 1979-1982, and subsequently for Wiltshire and Herefordshire. He had little success in those matches for Hampshire apart from his best figures of 5-89 v Northamptonshire at Wellingborough in the very weak side of 1980 that finished bottom of the table. His innings of 24 in that match was also his highest first-class score, but neither contribution could prevent an eight-wicket defeat.

Bailey, WP is listed by Tigger and by Cricket Archive. Tigger shows him as playing one first-class match, Cricket Archive does not – everything is listed under ‘Miscellaneous’. I shall investigate further.

PS Sorry, entirely wrong. Got myself waylaid by a different W Bailey who played for Players of Hampshire, Southampton Union and Hampshire (non first-class). WP Bailey played for Gentlemen of Hants, East Hants Club, Southampton Union and Gentlemen of South Hampshire around the same time (1860s) – although given the absence of information about WP, I can’t help wondering whether they might be the same person. Anyway Tigger’s WP Bailey played for Hampshire v Middlesex at Islington’s Cattle Market in July 1864. He opened the batting but scored just 4 & 10 as Hampshire lost by an innings. That was his only first-class match.

PPS: No, different people. WP and W played together for the 22 players of Southampton Union v the English Eleven at the Antelope, Southampton in June 1864 (not first-class).

A-Z (B1)
October 19, 2017, 9:58 am
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Starting on the Bs now; three more here with a reminder that for now I am not offering full biographies of currently contracted players (eg Bailey)

Bacon, Francis Hugh (1 – professional/amateur) Born 24.6.1869, Sri Lanka, died at sea off the Kent coast 31.10.1915. Bacon, a small man, was principally a right-handed batsman and fine cover fielder and he is Number One in the list of Hampshire cricketers by virtue of being alphabetically the first of the 11 players who appeared at Taunton in the first Championship match in 1895. His record in 75 first-class matches was modest with just under 2,000 runs at an average 0f 15.77 with one century and five half centuries, but he was one of a number of Hampshire cricketers who also served the county well off-the-field.

Bacon enjoyed some success for Basingstoke CC where he was managing a brewery, and he was invited to Hampshire for a trial, playing regularly in 1894 when Hampshire’s results earned them a return to first-class status and the properly organised Championship. In his first appearance in that year he scored a rapid 114 v Warwickshire, but perhaps his finest match at the higher level was that first Championship game v Somerset, one of just three in the county’s history that they won after following-on. He held two catches as Somerset posted 221, and his 15 runs was third best as Hampshire were dismissed for 94. In 1895 a lead of 127 permitted Somerset to enforce the recent follow-on rule, so when Bacon arrived at 84-4 Hampshire faced defeat. But Bacon and HF Ward shared a partnership of 131 and Bacon top-scored with 92. Somerset’s eventual target was 188 and having reached 166-5 seemed favourites, but Soar bowled Hampshire to a famous victory by just 11 runs.

Bacon did not sustain that fine form, never averaging better than 23.69 in 1906, although in the following year he scored 110 v Leicestershire at Southampton, and in 1909, he captained Hampshire on a brief trip to Ireland. By the time of his final first-class match at Old Trafford in 1911 he was a tail-ender but in desperation his captain asked him to bowl and he took 2-23 in a huge total of 676-7 declared. Lancashire won by an innings & 455 runs – just 13 runs short of Hampshire’s largest ever defeat.

Some years before that, in 1903, Bacon had become the first paid secretary of the club, and unusually turning amateur as a cricketer. He played a significant part in improving the fixture list and in recruiting the professionals who formed the nucleus of a fine Hampshire side for decades to come. When war was declared he was 45, but nonetheless volunteered for the Royal Naval Reserve. In October 1915 his patrol ship The Aries was mined and he drowned.

Badcock, John: (128) born 4.10.1883 Christchurch near Bournemouth, died 24.8.1940, London. John Badcock was a right-arm fast bowler who had a brief, enigmatic yet often impressive career. In terms of career record, his nearest recent equivalent is probably Kevin Emery.

Although he was born in Hampshire he was living in Kent, and played for their 2nd XI before, in 1906 (22), he made his first-class debut for Hampshire. Badcock was a big man who bowled quickly for a side recovering from a number of disastrous seasons and as that first season progressed he impressed regularly, taking 96 wickets (24.81) In 1907 his record fell away significantly. Despite playing in the same number of matches, he bowled far less, took just 49 wickets, bowled too many no balls and doubts were expressed about his fitness – although he did score over 500 runs with a career best of 74 v Middlesex at Southampton.

His form returned to some extent in 1908 with 67 wickets including a career best of 8-44 v Sussex at Portsmouth. The county offered him a new contract and engaged a trainer to work on his fitness but he declined the contract. He moved to London where he managed a cinema but nothing more is known about his cricket career. In his three first-class seasons he took 212 wickets at 25.53 – fully fit alongside Kennedy and Newman he might have enabled Hampshire to challenge for the Championship.

Bailey, George John: (514) born 7.9. 1982, Tasmania, Australia. George Bailey is a right-handed batsman who played for Hampshire as their overseas professional for part of the 2013 season and returned in 2017 on a two-year contract as captain in first-class matches.

The Valued Leg-Spinner of Today …
October 17, 2017, 2:36 pm
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Leg-spinner Will Beer has just signed a new one-year contract with Sussex. He’s 29 and has played first-class cricket for them for 10 seasons (although only 14 matches) during which time he’s taken 29 first-class wickets – of which only about 50% were Championship wickets (his BB is 6-29 v South Africa A, his third best 3-36 v Oxford Uni). That’s an average of 1.5/2 first-class wickets per season, and he gets a new contract, because overall he has taken 153 wickets in 166 first team matches.

Incidentally I’ve just noticed that Middlesex are down – a cruel blow; must feel like an arrow to the heart.

A-Z (A9)
October 17, 2017, 9:58 am
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Three rather fine players to complete the As

Arnold, John: (254) born Oxford 30.11. 1907, died Southampton 4.4.1984. John Arnold was a right-handed opening batsman and very occasional slow-bowler, and one of a number of fine professionals who came to Hampshire from Oxford in the first 60 years of the twentieth century. During 1929 he continued to play for Oxfordshire while qualifying by residence for Hampshire, although he was permitted to play against the South African tourists. Once qualified, he made his Championship debut in June 1930 against Yorkshire and began by taking two wickets, before he was dismissed without scoring – neither performance indicated how his career would develop. In the event, he took just 17 first-class wickets in his career but in that first season passed 1,000 runs with two centuries and in 1931 he reached 1,400 runs with three hundreds. It earned him a Test cap v New Zealand at Lord’s but he made a ‘duck’ and even 34 in the second innings could not secure his place and he never appeared for England again. It has been suggested that on the first dismissal he was so devastated that he took too long to leave the crease and the authorities did not approve. Nonetheless he appeared a number of times for the Players v Gentlemen and in 1934 scored a century for them and another for Hampshire against Bradman’s Australians at Southampton. In all he scored centuries for Hampshire against four different touring sides.

Arnold also played football for Southampton and Fulham until 1939, and he won one international cap for England v Scotland at Hampden Park (1932/3), but again there was to be no repeat. Instead he became Hampshire’s outstanding batsman of the 1930s and immediate postwar period. In 1932 he passed 1,600 runs, including his highest score of 227 v Glamorgan at Cardiff and after a slight decline, he passed 2,00 runs in 1934 with a best average of 48.10. From the mid-1930s he played only for Hampshire in the Championship or against the universities and tourists.

In 1938 his form declined so seriously that he was in danger of not being re-engaged but it was an aberration and in his last six seasons he passed 1,000 runs each year. When first-class cricket resumed after the war he was 38, but in four-and-a-half seasons he scored 11 centuries and in his penultimate match two fifties against Yorkshire at Bradford. In mid-July 1950 he played at Derby but serious illness overtook him and he never played for Hampshire again, although he did play for the 2nd XI on the Isle of Wight two years later. Only four men have scored more than his 21,596 runs for Hampshire, with 36 centuries – and that despite missing six seasons in his thirties.

In 1961 he joined the list of first-class umpires and remained there until the end of the 1972 season, retiring at the age of 65.

Ayling, Jonathan Richard (‘Jon’): (405) born Portsmouth 13.6.1967. Jon Ayling was a right-hand batsman and right-arm pace bowler whose early career seemed blessed with good fortune. He played for Portsmouth Grammar School and South Hants Touring Club when they won the Southern League (now Portsmouth CC) and in 1985 he won the Cricket Society’s award as the leading all-rounder in English schools cricket. In May 1988 he made his first-class debut v Oxford University, scoring 41 and taking a wicket with his first ball (13-8-14-2). He established himself in the Championship side around his 21st birthday and was selected for the B&H side as they beat Worcestershire to reach a semi-final. Hampshire were then the only side that had never reached a Lord’s Final and they had a difficult draw away to Essex in the semi-final but Jon kept his place and bowled Graham Gooch for 41, although he was not required to bat as Hampshire won with eight balls to spare. So it was that in his first full season he played for Hampshire v Derbyshire at Lord’s, returning figures of 9-2-21-1 in a comfortable Hampshire victory.

Jon Ayling would play in Hampshire’s next two Lord’s Finals, both won, memorably hitting a six into the Tavern in the twilight as Hampshire beat Surrey in 1991. But by then his luck had turned as the result of a freak accident, colliding mid-pitch with a batsman in a pre-season friendly. As a consequence he missed the entire 1989 season and often struggled through the next three seasons although in 1992 he scored his one first-class century, v Oxford University (121) and in Hampshire’s last ever match at Bournemouth recorded his best bowling, 5-12, v Middlesex. In 1993, he struggled through four first-class matches but just before his 26th birthday he accepted that his knee would never meet the demands of a professional career and he retired. Some years later he returned to Hampshire as a coach and now teaches and coaches at Dauntsey’s School (Devizes).

Aymes, Adrian Nigel (‘Adi’): (403) born Southampton 4.6.1964. Wicketkeeper ‘Adi’ Aymes was the natural successor to ‘Bobby’ Parks, although having made his debut in 1987 he had to be patient to establish himself permanently in the first team. Aymes was a local boy who played club cricket for Hursley Park. He played the last few matches in 1990 and thereafter was the first-choice, although having played in the 1991 Nat West Final he missed the B&H Final in 1992 through injury. He was always a useful batsman and in 1993 he scored his maiden first-class century v Sussex and having been promoted, scored two in successive matches in 1998 including his best of 133 at Leicester. He was then thought to have a good chance of an ‘Ashes’ tour as a deputy ‘keeper but the highest honours never came. He was Hampshire’s first choice from 1991-2001 but played just five matches in 2002 and lost his place to Nic Pothas. In his first-class career he passed 7,000 runs for Hampshire with 516 catches and 44 stumpings in 215 matches. There were also 268 List A dismissals and the runs scored in that format took him close to 10,000 runs for the county in all matches. For some years he has worked for Havant & Waterlooville FC.