Hampshire Cricket History

And more news
April 13, 2017, 4:20 pm
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From the Guardian yesterday, a report from Simon Burnton that the ECB is “planning to tighten regulations to prevent county sides becoming flooded with Kolpak imports”. Burnton offered a very interesting historical perspective dating back to WG 140 years ago! Sadly however, the contemporary story focused most on Abbott & Rossouw, with “one prominent English cricket official” (not named) declaring “my sympathies are entirely with South Africa”.

Meanwhile two stories from today’s Times. On the back page we learn that 75% of county cricketers have not been drug tested in the past year, because the sport is not seen as “high risk”, which one “anti-doping expert” described as “complete nonsense”. Elizabeth Ammon in a comment piece alongside, suggested that “efforts” to keep cricket clean “have to be ramped up” (by which I imagine she means, increased or improved).

Finally Charlie Campbell, captain of the Authors XI, has written a manual about casual/club cricket called Herding Cats, in which he offers advice about how the opposition are dressed. He suggests “there is always  a single to the man in black trainers and at least two to the fielder in chinos”, while adding the advice of his long ago predecessor JM Barrie, never to practice on the outfield before the match, as “it only encourages the opposition”.

So, back to the serious stuff … Crane? Alsop?


April 13, 2017, 11:32 am
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I won’t be at the Ageas Bowl over this weekend, but from afar I shall be wearing pink



April 13, 2017, 6:25 am
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I’ve just received an email with the headline

“Ageas Bowl Fan, Spend Easter Sunday at BEEFY’S!”

That would be as opposed to the alternative version

“Ageas Bowl Fan, Spend Easter Sunday watching Hampshire play the County Champions”

As it happens, I have a gig in Pompey – but it speaks volumes to me

Worth a reply?
April 12, 2017, 4:43 pm
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Four days ago I mentioned the Matthew Engel piece in the Guardian which focused on his county, Northants. On Monday their letter page contained a follow-up from a reader, pointing out that the size of the crowds demonstrates the threat to county cricket – he cited a few hundred at the cricket while Northampton’s rugby (Saints) and ‘soccer’ sides attract around 5,000.

Today they published my response to him – I think these two arguments need to be repeated again and again (and again). I suggested that their correspondent did not tell us “how large those crowds would be for matches starting on weekday mornings, nor how many cricket lovers purchase their seats through life or annual memberships”, adding, “we cannot always be there, but the seat has been paid for”.

In my case, as it happens, I’m unlikely to be there (much) but still my seat has been bought (for life) as have my shares.

A Thought
April 12, 2017, 8:22 am
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Hampshire have never won the County Championship without a former Middlesex player

1961 DO Baldry

1973 RS Herman

2017? Gareth Berg

Winning at Leeds
April 11, 2017, 8:28 am
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Here is that 1920 team that won by an innings, having lost just two wickets (Mead 122* and Bowell 95, in addition to Brown’s 232*, Kennedy 6-69 & 4-66)

1920 HCCC 1920 copy

There is an inscription on the back of this photo (in the Archive) from the proud captain. It seems he sent one to each player at Christmas.

Incidentally if you can make out the names it’s a little misleading. The top line is the list of seated players, underneath, those standing. All the star performers mentioned above are seated. HD Hake, standing second left, was born in Hampshire but also played at Cambridge University. He played 21 times for the county. FP Ryan (standing right) was a slow-left-armer,  who went to Glamorgan in 1922 and spent nine years there. He was born in India, but I think at one time it was believed he was born in the USA. He was fond of a drink (or two … or …)

PS I like all the boaters. Posh lot up north!

Compare & Contrast
April 10, 2017, 3:32 pm
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That old essay question:

From The Times today

Paul Edwards from Headingley: “Reduced in size and increasingly shifted away from the summer’s choicest months, the County Championship retains its ability to produce cricket as fine and finishes as enthralling as anything the game’s shorter forms can offer”

Back page story: “ECB to spend £6m on T20 marketing” (headline) … “The ECB will spend more than £6 million a year marketing and running the proposed new T20 tournament. The budget completely eclipses anything previously spent on the marketing of English domestic cricket”.