Hampshire Cricket History

Chris Tremlett
August 21, 2015, 3:09 pm
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It seems there is another story today

Tremlett C

Chris Tremlett has retired. He took a wicket right at the start on debut v New Zealand ‘A’ at Pompey (2000) remains the only Hampshire-born Hampshire player to represent England in this country and then there’s always that run out at Lord’s in the 2009 Final!

But I suppose he’ll be remembered as much as anything for the succession of injuries and operations throughout his career and the sense of huge promise somewhat unfulfilled – perhaps simply because he grew too much and ended up as the Gentle Giant? Good luck to him in whatever follows – and I wonder whether there will be a fourth generation Tremlett cricketer one day?

The Story
August 21, 2015, 10:43 am
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is in print today in the Guardian, the Times and the Cricket Paper – probably too in the Daily Telegraph although not in any of the Daily Comix I was able to check over breakfast in the Caff this morning.

Which story? There’s only one today.

PS Unusual sight on the Test Match this morning (11.45) Steve Harmison, Matt Coles and two nearly finished pints of lager. I’m surprised as a current cricketer that Coles had the energy to get there.

ECB Interview
August 21, 2015, 7:08 am
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Jeremy points out that the extensive TMS interview with Jonathan Agnew (yesterday) is available on this podcast:


In it, Chief Exec Tom Harrison confirms a strong ECB proposal to cut the Championship to 14 matches next season but he says nothing about this. Will they chuck out two counties? will we play some teams once and some twice? will there be three divisions?

He says this is necessary because they’ve been round talking to coaches, managers and players and hearing about “exhausted players”. He says that at this stage of the season many managers are saying that “getting players onto the park at this time of the year is very taxing” and this puts “lots of pressure on county staffs”.

He admits that the 14 match proposal is “controversial” and a “compromise”. He says however that the “experts” say that a drop to 14 will not “impact significantly” on first-class performances. He evaded the question of whether there would be 18 counties in five years time. In his reply he observed that we’ve had “18 counties for a very long time” and admitted he did not “even know how long”. In fact it’s just 23 seasons since Durham were added.

There is much more and I may well come back to other issues – not least ‘grassroots’ cricket and the ECB’s hypocritical claims about this, given the way they have worked hard to deny the value of Cage Cricket over recent years. But for now, it’s the immediate attack on the Championship that preoccupies me because I really don’t believe it will be the end of it. I’m particularly sad that it is justified on the basis of what the ECB claims to be hearing from the players and coaches. I’m not unique in investing economically, temporally and emotionally in them and their performances. If they don’t care enough about what matters to me, so be it. I might start to care less myself.

PS Jeremy’s reference to a ‘demo’ – there really was one at the Oval, based around the ICC Governance issues and the film “Death of a Gentleman”.

ECB Cutting County Cricket
August 20, 2015, 8:21 pm
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Earlier this evening, the Guardian reported Tom Harrison Chief Executive of the ECB declaring that the Championship will be cut from 16 to 14 matches and that the ECB will no longer ‘bail out’ struggling counties

I will say no more at this point except that I shall be very surprised if this is the last attack by the ECB on County and especially Championship cricket and to note that at tea in the Test today, Harrison gave an interview to David Gower in which he said neither of these things – why not?

The full Guardian report is at


How Come?
August 20, 2015, 7:15 pm
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I’m writing up a talk that Stephen Chalke gave to the Hambledon Club at the Bat & Ball in the spring including this delightful tale about the Somerset pace bowler Ken Biddulph, with a strange twist. Any thoughts?

Ken Biddulph revealed that Roy Marshall was such a formidable opponent that he would lie awake worrying about him. Unlike all the other opening batsmen of his period, Marshall would not gently pat back the ball in the opening overs but in the glorious summer of 1959 at Taunton Ken had Marshall caught at short leg by Geoff Lomax without scoring. Ken retired in high spirits to long leg, close to the entrance and heard two latecomers enter the ground with one exclaiming, “Marshall’s out! I’ve come all the way from Southampton to see him bat and some bugger’s got him out”. There is incidentally a conundrum about this on the Cricket Archive scorecard for Marshall is shown facing first and out for nought, the fall of wicket is shown with the score one, yet there were no extras in the innings.

Up for the Cup
August 20, 2015, 3:41 pm
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I’ve been looking at knock-out cup matches played between Hampshire and Gloucestershire. This is slightly complicated as I’m looking at List A/limited overs matches excluding Sunday (etc) leagues but including all the B&H/Royal London etc matches whether they were strictly knock-out or part of the initial mini leagues. I’m not claiming anything particularly systematic about that, just that the ‘sample’ is manageable and also big enough to be of interest.

The first match of that kind was a B&H group game, indeed the first B&H group game for the two teams at Moreton-in-the-Marsh in May 1972 and it’s a good example of why I have an aversion to the term ‘one day’ cricket – it took three soggy days to complete!

Barry Richards top-scored in the match with just 43 and Sainsbury 4-17 and Herman 4-20 bowled out Gloucs for 70 as Hampshire won by 99 runs. Indeed Hampshire won the first five of these matches, including another group match in 1977 when Gordon Greenidge scored 103.

Some weeks later the two sides had progressed from the group to a semi-final at Southampton, which you may well remember. With Hampshire ‘leading’ this series 5-0, Gloucs started well but from 106-1 collapsed to 180 all out (Sadiq 76, Jesty 3-21). Hampshire started their reply but Procter dismissed Greenidge, bowled a dot ball and then dismissed Richards, Rice and Jesty in three balls. Nigel Cowley with 59 and David Turner got Hampshire close but with three balls left and eight to win, the final wicket fell. There was a feeling that umpire Tom Spencer might have adjudged Cowley lbw from the ball after the hat-trick, but he didn’t.

(I had a ticket but I was a schoolteacher at the time and had to sneak to the AV room to check the game’s first half. I left Portchester as Hampshire were about to go in, optimistic about their prospects, drove to the ground and walked in to the top corner entrance by the old stadium. The gateman said “I wouldn’t bother mate” which I didn’t understand until I saw the scoreboard – something like 25-4. I stayed)

Disappointment again …
August 20, 2015, 3:20 pm
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… for Michael Bates with the news that New Zealander Luke Ronchi is returning to Somerset for the last four Championship matches of the season. I’m not sure what this means for Michael in the longer term.

It says something about modern wicket-keeping that Joss Butler has today equalled the record for the number of Test catches (43, Michael Clarke) without a stumping. It was previously held by Wayne Phillips of the 1980s Australian team that like England had relatively little in the way of spin bowlers.


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