Hampshire Cricket History


It don’t mean a thing
February 5, 2023, 7:06 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

If the ball doesn’t swing

I’m spending the next few Wednesday mornings teaching on a rather delightful course about Jazz singing so I enjoyed a letter last week in the Daily Telegraph from a man who – with a pal – came up with eleven names of cricketers who might also be jazz musicians. His XI: Parker*; Smith*; Jones*; Vaughan; Miller, Armstrong*; Evans*; Davis: Gillespie; Johnson*; Garner.

*Indicates surnames of Hampshire cricketers in the A-Z. That gave us six so I thought I’d find another five but actually I found more than five – here are the better known musicians (with their jazz first names):

Terry (Clark); Barber (Chris); Brown (Clifford); Carter (Benny); Gray (Wardell); Hall (Jim); Heath (Ted); Herman (Woody); Lewis (John); Rogers (Shorty); Scott (Ronnie); Stewart (Rex); Taylor (Cecil); Turner (Bruce); Webb (Chick); Wheeler (Kenny) ; Young (Lester)

I found a few blues singers too (Blake, Smith, Walker) – then there’s Bailey (as in won’t you come home Bill …), Bird (as in Parker), Lady Day (Billie) and the influential UK Crane River Jazz Band.

See, I know how to waste a Sunday afternoon.



Hampshire and England
February 1, 2023, 8:04 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I don’t know the figures for county cricketers from each county in Test cricket but according to my calculations, from AJ L Hill in 1895/6 to James Vince and Mason Crane 2017/18 Hampshire players have won 252 England Test caps while playing for Hampshire (some like Gower, Pietersen, Fry etc. played more Tests while with other counties).

That’s a pretty small number. In the 21st century alone, Vaughan, Root and Bairstow from Yorkshire have played 40+ Tests more than that although there will be some other counties with far fewer numbers. I wonder where we are in the list of 18 counties? I started wondering after reading about the crazy England schedules this winter and the increasing impact of franchises. In about four weeks, ‘England’ are playing ODIs in Bangladesh a day after they finish Test Matches in New Zealand. They have to pick different squads which ought to offer at least a 50-over opportunity for Vince and Dawson except that along with Alex Hales and Sam Billings they have signed to play in the Pakistan Super League. It’s non-stop isn’t it?



Derek Tulk
January 28, 2023, 2:37 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I am sorry to inform you of the death of Derek, yesterday. Some of you will probably know his son Ian who has worked at the Ageas Bowl for many years.

Opening bowler Derek was our ‘senior pro’ having made his first-class debut in 1956 (v Gloucs) and in the following year he played once more against a strong Cambridge University side (including Bob Barber and Ted Dexter). Sadly he didn’t take a wicket and that was the end of his first-class cricket although he was still playing Southern League Cricket for OTs in his mid-fifties.

His death leaves Alan Wassell (debut 1957) as our senior pro, followed by Barry Reed and Dennis Baldry – the latter (91) is our oldest living player.

RIP



Twenty Plus
January 28, 2023, 2:15 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I have been asked to work on a series of proposals for displays around the ground – changes and additions, seeking to cover as much of our history as possible. One of my tasks has been to update players’ records to ensure all the key men (and initially at least it is the men) are represented.

Back in 2005, the Handbook editor Andrew Renshaw and Vic Isaac’s son Richard drew up an intriguing set of individual statistics including one set which combined first-class and List A figures. That’s not unproblematic of course since they are very different formats and contexts but the figures seemed believable – Phil Mead was still way out in front as our greatest run-scorer with almost 50,000 runs, despite no List A games. But Mead played 700 first-class matches with no one else reaching 600 (Sainsbury and Kennedy were close). By comparison, James Vince, approaching his 32nd birthday has played 170 first-class matches for the county – not yet 25% of Mead’s total. It’s a different world.

If adding together first-class and List A is not straightforward I’ve gone one further – not really possible for the earlier project after just two years of a few T20 matches; I have added together all three formats for Hampshire (no, not the Hundred!) so, for example, Vince now has 435 matches and while 174 half-day T20 games is hardly comparable to first-class, in the latter format he has always played over four days, Mead over three. So, not entirely comparable but some facts and first up, Batters:

Mead (48,892) and Roy Marshall (32,493) lead, with Robin Smith (30,984) the only other beyond 30,000

Greenidge (29,625) and Turner (28,485) are next and those five alone have 25,000+

The next ten men are all above 20,000 and of the top 15, six: Turner, Nicholas, Gray, Horton, Sainsbury and Jesty (three Hampshire-born) did not play Test cricket (Jesty ODIs). Also, not one of those top 15 run-scorers for Hampshire played in the T20. The highest of those in 16th place is Jimmy Adams with 19,723 although Vince is poised on 19,183 in all three formats. The only other current player in the 35 men with 10,000 in total is Liam Dawson with 12,170.

Next up, the bowlers, then ‘keepers and catchers.



Jack Campbell
January 27, 2023, 6:40 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m sure you will have seen the report about his contract. A few days before it was reported I was asked to write for the website about Jack in the context of Hampshire cricket and cricketers from Portsmouth. As far as I can see it wasn’t used so rather than waste it, here it is:

JACK CAMPBELL – PORTSMOUTH-BORN

Cricket grew up in the Weald and moved west so that by the mid-18th century we know of matches around Fareham and in Portsmouth, which pre-date the famous Hampshire games played at Hambledon.

In the 19th century, cricket grew in the public schools, through the organisation of county sides, the creation of military sports fields and eventually of course international fixtures. There were also entrepreneurs who formed sides or developed grounds, as cricket became an entertainment as well as a sport, and in Hampshire Daniel Day, created a number of grounds including the East Hants ground in Southsea. That ground, now just a park, hosted some important matches including two against a team of Aboriginal cricketers, who in 1868 were the first Australian tourists to visit England. Meanwhile across the city two new multi-purpose sports grounds were built in Burnaby Road, one for the officers, and one for the ‘men’ of the United Services. From the 1880s major matches were played there and from 1895, the year Hampshire were admitted to the County Championship, the club ‘borrowed’ the ground each season and for more than a century played some of its games there.

Through the twentieth century the city and its surrounding areas had many fine clubs, there was a thriving league competition before the last World War and in the early years of the Hampshire and Southern Leagues leading clubs included South Hants Touring Club (now Portsmouth), Gosport, and Waterlooville. Despite this heritage, relatively few significant cricketers have emerged from the city – certainly fewer than from Southampton. Jack Campbell is the 21st player to join the club (some were amateurs) but beyond living memory the only major player was bowling all-rounder Jack Newman, one of just three men in cricket history to take 2,000 first-class wickets without winning a Test cap. Jack finished in 1930 around the time that Portsmouth’s next major player, batter/wicketkeeper Neil McCorkell was spotted playing in a local church club side. He would stay with Hampshire for 20 years as a key player, contributing 17 centuries and 689 dismissals.

He handed the baton to Portsmouth-born Mike Barnard who has the very rare record of playing 200+ matches for his home county cricket club and 100+ for his home city football team (in what we would call today the Premiership). Mike was an outstanding slip fielder, a member of the Championship-winning side of 1961 and notably a centurion against touring sides. In the earliest days of the knock-out cup he was also Hampshire’s leading ‘one day’ batter. Mike had attended Portsmouth Grammar School (PGS) and immediately following him, Southsea-born Barry Reed opened with Roy Marshall until, a young man called Greenidge arrived. Then followed brief county careers for Richard McIlwaine and David Rock before Jon Ayling, surely the unluckiest Hampshire cricketer of modern times, had a highly promising career wrecked by a freak injury. He was the last of the PGS boys although earlier in the century a teenage Wally Hammond had spent a couple of years there.

Since Jon retired prematurely only Lawrie Prittipaul has come from the city to a Hampshire contract although Havant’s Richard Hindley had his one heroic moment in a great victory v Glamorgan in 2003. Now we have Jack Campbell, born in Portsmouth, raised around Petersfield and hopefully eventually to be recognised as the first major left-arm pace bowler with Pompey roots. Good luck Jack.



Robin Brodhurst
January 25, 2023, 5:15 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m sorry to inform you of the unexpected death of Robin – I believe in recent days. He was not a central figure in Hampshire Cricket except as the grandson of HS (Harry) Altham our former player and President and a key figure at the MCC. Robin was born in Winchester and in recent years was an active member of the Hambledon (Dining) Club, formed 25 years ago to celebrate the achievements of the great Hampshire/Hambledon side of the late 18th century.

In addition, two years ago he edited and published the Altham-Bradman Letters, a record of very interesting correspondence between two of the leading figures in World Cricket around 60 years ago.

RIP



My Wife
January 21, 2023, 12:53 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

is a very positive person, and often says to me “cheer up, things could be worse”.

And sure enough often they are

A couple of days ago Colin (London) sent me a fascinating article from City AM the London business daily freebie written by Ed Warner who had recently applied for the position of Middlesex Chairman – neither he nor any of the other candidates got the job.

He wrote about the 15 Member-owned counties (not Hampshire of course) and wondered what those members think about the “de-emphasising of cricket success” in the counties but he also observed that “without an influx of new cash the national body (ECB) will always call the tune” adding “throw in the explosion of T20 leagues around the globe, and the threat to the counties is severe”. He also noted that the investigation into racism in cricket is likely to carry significant implications for the game – meanwhile we learned of the departure of two of English cricket’s major sponsors (LV= and Cazoo).

Then, yesterday The Daily Telegraph carried a story “Counties fear exodus to overseas T20” as a consequence of the “rise of franchise cricket”. There are currently four major leagues occurring at the same time so that, for example, James Vince recently left his successful Big Bash team before the competition concluded to join a team in the UAE’s new International League, which doesn’t count as an official T20 competition.

The major worry for English county fans however is the new Major Cricket League launching in the USA in July which has significant financial backing from IPL teams. It is apparently “poised to sign some England white-ball specialists”. The county CEOs are meeting at Lord’s on Wednesday where Neil Snowball the ECB’s managing director of county cricket will make a presentation “on the growing threat”. It all sounds a bit like Neville Chamberlain in the late 1930s – fetch your tin hat!



A Treasure
January 16, 2023, 12:07 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

From a very good friend. If you have a copy of my A-Z Hampshire County Cricketers you probably saw the dedication to Neil Jenkinson my predecessor, “mentor and friend”. Neil died a few years ago but not before handing over many of his records and artefacts to our Archive. There were still a couple of boxes and some photos remaining and yesterday morning I visited his son Ben (a handy ‘leggie’ in his day) to collect and sort them.

Almost immediately I discovered this somewhat battered but remarkable item. It shows the ship that brought the MCC (England) side back home in March 1912 after the successful Ashes tour of 1911/12 which under the captaincy of JWHT Douglas (Essex), England won 4-1. Around the edges are the signatures of Manager Pelham Warner and the players including great names like Wilfred Rhodes, Jack Hobbs, SF Barnes, Herbert Strudwick, George Gunn and (bottom right) Hampshire’s Phil Mead who played in four of the five Test Matches.



Not How It Was
January 14, 2023, 7:30 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

(A.K.A ‘Forever Changes’)

Earlier this week Colin (London resident) reported that Middlesex are considering entering a side in the Pakistan T20 franchise. He has also sent this from the London morning ‘freebie’. None of it fills me with delight I must confess



Keep Going
January 13, 2023, 2:11 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

(BBC) Fast bowler Ajeet Singh Dale has signed a contract extension until 2025 with Gloucestershire after making his full debut last season.

Singh Dale, 22, took 18 wickets in last season’s County Championship at an average of 35.83 runs.

“I’m absolutely delighted,” he said. “I feel like I’ve improved on a few things, mainly getting faster.

“It gives me a good platform to push on and keep working on my skills over the next three seasons.”

Singh Dale came to Gloucestershire from Hampshire in 2021, after taking 5-30 against Gloucestershire in a second-team match.