Hampshire Cricket History

Why bother?
November 6, 2016, 7:59 am
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The Greatest(?)
November 5, 2016, 11:14 am
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Well my favourites anyway. In this weekend’s Cricket Paper is a centre page spread about our 1961 Champions. It’s a very nice article although there are some dodgy caricatures (signed by ‘Allen’ but it’s definitely not me!) – and there was time to add a note about leo, Vic and Jimmy. Well worth a read.

(Incidentally in my view the greatest was Gilliat’s mid-70s side, but emotionally 1961 is always the one for me)

Ralph Prouton
November 4, 2016, 9:53 am
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Here’s another in the “I Remember You” series although I suspect few of us do – at least as a player. But we’ve been mentioning him recently and he is, with Alan Rayment, the last of our professionals to have played in the 1940s – a fact that surprised me, although perhaps because he played just once in 1949 (July) and then not again until 1951 v Oxford University. Incidentally Alan remains ‘Senior Pro’ because in 1949 he was playing regularly from early May 1949.

Ralph was a wicketkeeper, born in Southampton. He spent a couple of years on the MCC staff (1950/1951) and after Neil McCorkell’s retirement (1951) he had most of two years as Hampshire’s first choice, although Leo and David Blake also took their turns. He played 26 matches for Hampshire in 1952 with 59 dismissals (five stumped), then 17 matches in 1953 and just four in 1954, after which Leo became regular first choice ‘keeper (he had sometimes played as a batsman). In total, Ralph played 52 matches scoring 982 runs at 14.44. He batted in almost every position but experiments with him up the order were not that successful; nonetheless he scored five half-centuries with an HS of 90.

Ralph was a good all-round sportsman who was on Arsenal’s books with Jimmy Gray and Arthur Milton and then played for Swindon Town (16 matches). From 1957-1969 he was an Umpire in the Minor Counties competition, and after retiring from cricket, he taught at Downside School.

Prouton Holt Cannings.jpg

Ralph (centre) with Arthur Holt (left, cap) and Vic Cannings.


Three Good Stories
November 3, 2016, 3:49 pm
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With three sad losses recently, it’s good to report that three products of Hampshire’s Academy have signed contract extensions: Liam Dawson, Lewis McManus and Tom Alsop

Good cricketers and good guys.

November 2, 2016, 3:33 pm
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I have just received this list from Stephen Chalke of the players still with us who appeared in the 1940s.

Derbys.           HL Johnson, KA Shearwood

Essex              KC Preston, DJ Insole, D Watkins, WT Greensmith

Glamorgan      DC Good

Gloucs            nil

Hants              JE Manners, AWH Rayment, RO Prouton

Kent                PV Davis, D Lacy-Scott, DG Ufton

Lancs              P Greenwood, BJ Howard, D Stone

Leics               nil

Middlesex       ML Laws

Northants       nil

Notts               BH Farr, B Notley

Somerset         nil

Surrey             nil

Sussex            DV Smith, ASM Oakman, JM Parks, RT Webb, GHG Doggart, CE Winn

Warwicks        TL Pritchard, D Flint

Worcs             PE Richardson

Yorks              FP McHugh

Those in bold I can recall seeing in the 1960s. I had forgotten that Ralph Prouton played for us in the 1940s – he used to come to our reunions but we seem to have lost contact with him in the past couple of years. Insole, Ufton and Parks were later linked with the Committees of their respective counties in which context I met all three. I was also on a Committee to rebuild the pavilion at Hambledon with the charming Hubert Doggart.

Senior Service
November 1, 2016, 9:48 pm
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Here’s a lovely photo of our Centurion John (JE) Manners (on duty) – from Stephen Saunders (many thanks)


And here are John Manners and Vic Cannings, a few years ago at one of our reunions

Manners Cannings

Senior Pro’
November 1, 2016, 1:00 pm
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Let’s hope that November is a kinder month than October. I think that the recent deaths of Leo Harrison (debut 1939), Jimmy Gray (1948) and Vic Cannings (1950), leave my friend Alan Rayment as Hampshire’s ‘senior pro’ – the only Hampshire professional still alive who played in the 1940s (debut 1949).

Alan is 88, although still often seems more like 28. In 1955, he was one of the 13 players who took Hampshire to third place in the Championship for the first time. Of his team-mates from those days, only Mike Barnard (83) and Malcolm Heath (82) are also still with us.


(The 13th player – in just one match, deputising as w/kpr for Leo who was representing the Players at Lord’s – was ACD Ingleby-Mackenzie)

Hampshire’s senior player – and now the only one who played in English first-class cricket before the war, is JE Manners (102) the naval officer/amateur, who played in seven f/c matches for Hampshire – four in 1936, one in 1947 and two in 1948. He also played for the Combined Services against Hampshire in that match at Aldershot when Jimmy Gray made his debut.