Hampshire Cricket History

AE Kimish (photo)
October 4, 2017, 8:48 am
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(See below)

Kimish AE


AE Kimish
October 4, 2017, 8:41 am
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I’m guessing some of you will not instantly recognise the name, but read on. This is an example of my Pen Portraits of all the Hampshire cricketers, out-of-order simply because of some recent correspondence.

For some time I have corresponded with Barry Hugman in his quest to collect a photograph of every postwar Hampshire cricketer. I’ve been able to help a little, but he’s been more help to me, and he made contact with Jill, daughter of AE Kimish and obtained some photographs. At present, I’m unable to share them with you (technical problems) but for a profile, here goes:

Most of Hampshire’s 120+ years in the County Championship can be marked by decades or more with a regular wicketkeeper – at least until recent years, since the departure of Nic Pothas (Bates, Wheater, McManus, Alsop). Before that came Stone, Livsey, McCorkell, Harrison, Timms, Stephenson, Parks, and Aymes – although oddly, the only Hampshire player selected to keep for England, George Brown, was never a regular Hampshire ‘keeper.

That apart, there have been odd periods without an established ‘keeper – 1919 for instance and also at times after the Second World War, as McCorkell grew older (34 in 1946) and before Harrison converted. Over those few years, Hampshire sometimes drew upon other amateurs (David Blake, Jack Andrews) or the professional Ralph Prouton.

As the 1946 season drew to a close, McCorkell missed the last few matches – probably injured – and Hampshire turned briefly to another (local) amateur, Arthur Edwards Kimish, then aged 29, who had played regularly with Charlie Knott in the Old Tauntonians side. Hampshire’s Championship season concluded with three matches at Bournemouth, and Arthur played in the first two, a nine wicket victory over Leicestershire (0, one catch, one stumping off Charlie) and a defeat to Lancashire (4, 2, another catch, and another Knott stumping).

Arthur batted at number nine and perhaps because he was not scoring runs or perhaps because his amateur status meant a return to work, he missed the final match, when Jack Andrews made his debut and – as I recounted recently – Hampshire beat the newly crowned champions Yorkshire.

There was one more first-class match however; a strange one v Surrey at Kingston in aid of the National Playing Fields. Arthur scored 12* in Hampshire’s 234 (Squires 8-52) and caught Alf Gover as they took a lead of 39 (despite a century from Eric Bedser). Hampshire went to 136-3 overnight (Arnold 79*) but sadly Arthur’s last day of first-class cricket was washed out. He continued to play for Old Tauntonians (with Charlie Knott) and there are scorecards of some of those games on Cricket Archive. Arthur died in 2001, at the fine age of 83.

For more statistics, see Tigger’s site, where


will find AE Kimish (under K) and link you to his records on Cricinfo 

All-round Liam?
October 3, 2017, 8:41 am
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In the Championship season just ended, Liam Dawson averaged 20.88 with two half-centuries in 16 innings, he also took just five catches in ten matches, despite being one of the few Hampshire players to average better than one-per-match in his career.

By contrast, his bowling was effective; in a ‘seamers’ summer’ he took 31 wickets at 26.10 each and was consistent – there was not one ‘five-for’ in that record. In white ball cricket it was much the same – fine bowling, disappointing batting.

As I’ve suggested before his career has been rather like that; in some seasons he’s a bowler who bats and in others a batsman who bowls, but he rarely manages it all together.

It’s a salutary thought that ‘young’ Liam made his debut ten years ago, although his first full season was 2009 with 571 runs (30.05) but in his first five seasons he took just 20 wickets. In 2011, he scored 908 runs including – for the only time – two centuries, but it wasn’t until 2012 that his bowling was significant in the longer form, with 26 wickets at 32.19. At the same time his runs aggregate dropped by more than 200, and his average from 36 to 27.

In 2013, the runs returned and he passed 1,000 for the first time with a century, eight ‘fifties’ and an average near 50; meanwhile his wickets haul fell from 26 to 11, and the bowling average nearly doubled.

The bowling was better in the following season (17 at 31) but his runs and average fell to pretty much the same as this year. His best all-round year was 2015, with 753 runs (37.65) and 25 wickets (34.12) – and this in Division One – and while last year both areas fell away slightly, it seemed OK with 644 runs (33.89) and 20 wickets (31.93).

In first-class matches for Hampshire, Liam has only twice taken five wickets in an innings (and never more than five) and since his first century in 2008, he has added five more three-figure scores. I have a feeling his all-round record should be better but I would add to that he needs to be clearer about his roles and allowed to play consistently as (for example) our number five batsman and main spinner. For too long, he has been asked to fill different roles and, sometimes, been allowed to confuse himself about the best use of his fine all-round abilities. I say all this, because he remains my favourite Hampshire cricketer.

A Bit More
October 2, 2017, 6:50 am
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IF Hampshire choose to select six bowlers (e.g. Edwards, Abbott, Berg, Holland, Dawson and Crane) plus a ‘keeper, they are left with just four batsmen, none of whom in 2017 had outstanding seasons.

It would help if the ‘keeper could score runs, but while McManus, Alsop and Dickinson all look capable with the bat, not one of them reached 50 when selected to keep in the Championship (Dickinson made 99 v SA ‘A’). McManus made 41* in the first innings of the season but never got there again and Alsop’s best keeping score, was 34. If Dawson averages in the low 20s, that either exposes a long tail, or places considerable demands on the batting of Holland, Berg and Abbott. The latter was terrific all-round, but in truth his batting tailed-off, with 322 runs in the first seven matches and 96 in the last seven.

In the bowling, is Wheal going to make it? He played the first three Championship matches, taking 11 wickets, was then injured, and only got back for the rain-spoiled floodlit game, when he hardly bowled. Incidentally, Crane’s last Championship wicket was in mid-June v Lancs at home (1-97).

The overall quality of the bowling can be seen in that only four times did our opponents pass 300 in their first innings with a highest of 593 (Lancs) and then 483 at the Oval – which probably shouldn’t count. Five times Hampshire dismissed the opposition for under 200, but they only won one of those (Taunton). Three times their opponents reached 300 in the second go, with 399-6 by Yorkshire and 362 by Essex – both at home – the highest. The first was drawn, the second lost.

Hampshire won three of the first six Championship games (one defeat) and none of the last eight (two defeats).

By a strange coincidence
October 1, 2017, 8:37 am
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Thanks to his fine last day innings, James Vince ended on 626 runs for the season, equaling the worst ever highest aggregate for Hampshire, by our first ‘Kolpak’ CB Llewelyn, more than a century ago. James averaged just under 33, was 38th in the Div One averages just below Holland (233 at 33.3) with Bailey out front (610 at 38.1). Bailey finished 22nd in the National averages.

Those are not terrific records are they?  although Vince (1,000+ runs and Bailey (600+) were both good in the white ball stuff. The figures illustrate Hampshire’s problems and it was interesting to reflect on various comments in previous posts about the quality of coaching across the country and the problems of batting in the first four.

I’m fairly persuaded of the coaching argument although I wonder whether that’s to do with a range of factors. Modern batsmen have never had more resources and support enabling them to analyze their performances, so exactly where is the problem? It intrigues me, for while I’m willing to acknowledge my limitations with respect to performances and potential of first class cricketers, I reckon to know a fair amount about helping young people to learn, and making best use of technology in doing so (I spent my life doing the former and wrote a PhD thesis about the latter – more does not necessarily = better)

That needs sorting out and I’m sympathetic to the challenge – although as an academic Im constantly surprised by the lack of reflexivity in English cricket, almost throughout.  As for it being difficult batting in the top four however, I’m much less sympathetic.

I have two responses: (1) why shouldn’t it be? (I found it often difficult teaching a class of inner city comprehensive school kids but that was what I was paid to do) (2) Tell that to Marshall, Gray, Horton, Jesty, Gilliat, Richards, Greenidge, Turner, Smith, Terry, Smith -etc – all of whom did that on uncovered pitches on a far greater variety of surfaces than we have today, regularly against the best English Test bowlers and from 1968 against the finest overseas bowlers too. The reason I loved Championship cricket was precisely because I could watch people doing superbly what I could not do even half well on a Saturday afternoon.

Jim Tom in a comment reminded us wisely that it took some time for Jimmy Adams to become the fine county batsman we’ve enjoyed and Alsop and Weatherley need time – but they also need more help and encouragement than they’ve had this year. In the meantime I fear James might be right – Top Four next year? AN Other, AN Other, AN Other and AN Other!

Should they stay or should they go?
September 30, 2017, 3:05 pm
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All sorts of possible reflections on what was overall a pretty ‘ordinary’ season I suppose? We know that Carberry and Smith have gone but who else do you think? It’s hard to imagine the unfortunate Ryan Stevenson will return and what about Brad Taylor? Might anyone else wish to leave? At the ageing end, will we see Sean Ervine and Jimmy Adams next year – and what about Fidel?

I’m not sure about the contractual status of 2nd XI regulars like Dickinson (3rd choice now?), Hart, Sole, Salisbury, Lintott (etc).

If there are lots of departures of capped players that will release money to sign all the promising youngsters in Southampton and Portsmouth and still leave some for transfers, Kolpaks etc. What do you think? Who might we like?

Thank You
September 29, 2017, 7:27 am
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I’m sure you all know that this has been a most odd season for me, and yesterday was a rather odd finish. Mrs A & I are in a St Ives (Cornwall version) so I spent it wandering around bays, beaches and galleries checking my phone every two minutes. Eventually I gave up, went back to the hotel and listened to the final 90 mins on the radio. It was longer than any football match.

I guess then, despite what has passed this 12 months, and despite my fears confirmed about the structure of the season I still care – of course I do. Even the Blog became traumatic at one point so might I end the season by thanking all of you for ensuring that I hung in there and sorted things out. I enjoy the blog and I value the interesting, often humorous and informed comments which even when critical (who me?) are done in a friendly way – unlike as I understand it, many other ‘virtual’ sites.

I do plan for us to have a little inquest of our own, and then I’ll get going on the players’ histories but for today, one last day way out west for me, with my thanks and best wishes to you all. I’m hoping to return a bit more next year to see us win that third Championship … (!)