Hampshire Cricket History

Substitute, Me for Him
November 2, 2015, 8:01 am
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Cricket has been the most innovative of major sports over the past 50+ years except in one particular respect which the injury to Ben Stokes has highlighted

While temporary fielding substitutes can contravene the Laws by nipping on-and-off while people have a ‘comfort break’ or change their shoes, England may have to play four-and-a-half days now with just ten men

It’s tough and teams have had to do this for decades but I wonder why, in the case of serious injury, a playing substitute – perhaps nominated before the game – cannot replace him. For whatever reason teams sometimes agree to a specialist ‘keeper, thereby implying that keeping is less significant than batting & bowling. There have also been cases of substitutes allowed in county cricket when players are selected or omitted from Test Matches (Michael Lumb for Marcus North etc).

But I’d go further and indeed I have proposed this to the MCC Committee reviewing the Laws. In all first-class (ie two innings) matches, I’d allow each side to nominate an eleven plus a playing substitute and allow them to change the side at halfway. i.e. the conclusion of the two first innings regardless of injury. My principal reason is that it might encourage teams to keep a spinning specialist ‘on the bench’ – for example at the end of last season, Hampshire might have used Stevenson in the first innings and Crane or Briggs in the second.

If an injury occurs like Stokes yesterday, the side might still have to wait until the start of the two second innings but then the sub (Plunkett in this case?) would come into play.

A Good Morning
November 1, 2015, 10:18 am
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(so far)

I suppose one of the pleasures of retirement is not minding an early start on Sunday and with Patel just taking the fifth wicket, England are doing rather nicely.

Like I suspect most Sunday ‘papers, The Observer has a review of the Rugby World Cup, generally considered to have been successful. Among the observations is (obviously) the “Host’s Lowest Moment” as 9.52pm on 3 October when “it became obvious that England men’s football, cricket and rugby teams came together as one – all of them knocked out of their respective World Cups at the group stages inside 16 months”.

It’s true of course, except for the rather important point that the rugby and football teams play in only that one format and were tested at the highest level and found wanting. The cricketers weren’t much cop but they were playing single innings 50 overs cricket rather than the sternest test of a Test.

Get a Move On
October 30, 2015, 10:49 am
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Interesting reading from the 1975 Wisden:

In 1974, fines for poor over rates were imposed on a number of counties. In 1973, four counties had achieved an overall average of 19.5 overs per hour, in 1974 only Middlesex (19.8) did so, nonetheless, in that latter year only four of the 17 counties failed to reach the required average of 18.5 overs per hour – the equivalent in a six-and-a-half-hour day of 120 overs.

Today teams notionally play for six hours but it’s nearly always six-and-a-half and they bowl just 96 overs – or 384 in the match, minus overs off for change of innings

If they still bowled 120 per day in 2015/2016, it would take us to a bit before lunch on day four to get to 384.

Incidentally the Middlesex average gives about 128 overs per day which would be more in three days then than they get now in four!

Lords needed
October 28, 2015, 9:20 pm
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But unfortunately we only have Lord’s and I doubt they will stop him

There is a piece in the Times today headlined “BBC in talks over screening English cricket from 2019” although it seems it’s only a new T20 (couldn’t be a city franchise I suppose?)

However the article continues with “the more immediate domestic front”.

Before the start of the 2016 season “counties will know without a shadow of a doubt” about the changes for 2017 which will almost certainly be: Two blocks (50 & 20) of ‘white ball’ cricket and a reduction in the Championship with eight teams in Div One (next year, two down, one up) and ten in Div Two

It then says “Graves opted not to force through issues until ‘everyone is in a comfortable place’. But he is determined that changes must appeal beyond county members”.

The article adds that there are less than 80,000 county members, while nine million people are interested in cricket

So there we have it, one more season of the Championship in what is already a less than perfect form, and then a dwindling Championship that Graves and his mates (including Hampshire) will gradually dismantle, selling cricket in the way that grocers know how.

If You Look Closely
October 27, 2015, 8:59 pm
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You can just make out the square at Hawkley CC which I passed today on a ‘William Cobbett’ Rural Ride (Walk) around mid-east Hampshire. Like the previous photo below it seems light years from Sky Sports, IPL, DOAG etc


An Interesting Discovery
October 26, 2015, 8:56 pm
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I’ve been to the Courtauld Gallery in London today, visiting a new exhibition of paintings by Peter Lanyon who was from St Ives. The bookshop had an interesting collection of related books (etc) including one about the Bloomsbury sisters Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell as children in the Cornish town. On the front cover is a rather charming photo of the two sisters playing cricket


Not Quite
October 26, 2015, 7:39 pm
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Today’s BBC site:

Gloucestershire may rebrand themselves as Bristol for the T20 Blast.

In an end-of-season questionnaire, supporters are being asked if the change would make them more likely – or less likely – to attend matches … “We just wanted to put it out there to get people talking about it. This issue comes up again and again,” club chief executive Will Brown said.

“We want people’s suggestions and opinions,” Brown told BBC Radio Gloucestershire. “I’m not sure how it would change Gloucestershire – but other counties have done it”.

If I remember rightly from my schools days the word counties is plural, i.e. meaning more than one

So that would be Warwickshire and ???

I hope they go bankrupt


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