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150 years of Hampshire Cricket - an all-time XI
TODAY is the 150th anniversary of Hampshire Cricket’s first official first-class match.
It was in 1863 that Hampshire CCC was founded but its first first-class game as a fully constituted club did not take place until July 7, 1864 – a ten-wicket defeat against Sussex at the Day’s (Antelope) Ground in Southampton, which was also Saints’ first home ground, on what is now St Mary’s Road.
To mark the county’s sesquicentennial anniversary, the Daily Echo has come up with an all-time XI (there is no restriction on overseas players, the criteria being a minimum of 100 first-team matches, at least 65 of which are first-class).
Barry Richards Hampshire benefited from South Africa’s ban from world sport during the apartheid years. One of the greatest batsmen of all-time feasted on county attacks while playing for Hampshire from 1968-78, scoring 15,607 first-class runs at 50.5.
Gordon Greenidge The West Indian’s fabled opening partnership with Barry Richards was the bedrock of Hampshire’s last County Championship triumph in 1973. Greenidge continued to star for Hampshire until 1987, scoring 19,840 runs for the county at 45.4.
Phil Mead No-one has scored more first-class runs for Hampshire than the 48,892 amassed by the great left-hander, at an average of 48.84, during 27 seasons in the first half of the 20th century.
Roy Marshall Hampshire’s first modern overseas player, the first professional captain and the county’s second highest scorer (30,303 first-class runs at 36.03). Marshall Drive at the Ageas Bowl’s entrance is named after this former captain as well as 'Maco', the county’s great fast bowler.
Robin Smith ‘Judge’ starred for Hampshire and England in first-class and limited-overs competition at the end of the 20th century. He scored 18,984 first-class runs at 42.09 for Hampshire, many with his trademark square cut, and another 12,034 at 42.97 in one-day competition.
Peter Sainsbury The only player to feature in both of Hampshire’s County Championship-winning sides. Only two players (Phil Mead and Alec Kennedy) have played more than his 593 first-class games for the county. Born in Chandlers Ford, the all-rounder scored 19,576 runs at 27.03 and took 1,245 wickets at 24.14 with his slow left-armers.
Nic Pothas Eight wicketkeepers have more dismissals for Hampshire than Pothas’s 393 (Bobby Parks tops the list with 700). But ‘Skeg’ became Hampshire’s most prolific run-scoring wicketkeeper of all time, with more than 10,000 in all cricket and a first-class average of 43.89, from 2002-11.
Malcolm Marshall The late, great ‘Maco’ took 826 first-class wickets at 18.64 and is still remembered as one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time. At 5ft 11 in, he made for his lack of height with the ability to swing the ball both ways at electric pace. A more than useful lower-order batsman, he also scored 5847 runs at 25.2. Played every season from 1979-93 with the exception of 1984, 1988 and 1991, when he was destroying England’s batting. No-one enjoyed the game more.
Shane Warne (captain) Arguably Hampshire’s best captain, the great Australian leg-spinner also took 397 wickets in all cricket for the county, including 276 at 25.58 in 66 first-class appearances. Warne won a greater percentage of first-class games than any other Hampshire captain but statistics do not do justice to the impact he had.
Shaun Udal Became the first Hampshire-born, Hampshire Test cricketer since 1895 when he was recalled at the age of 37, after captaining his home county to victory in the C& G Trophy final at Lord’s. ‘Shaggy’ played more than 600 games for the county in all cricket, taking 1,140 wickets in all cricket with his off-spin, including 708 first-class scalps at 32.12. Also scored more than 9,000 runs in all forms of the game including 6,496 at 22.95 in 250 first-class appearances.
Derek Shackleton The 2,669 first-class wickets the opening bowler took for Hampshire, in 583 first-class matches from 1948-69, will surely never be surpassed. His relentless accuracy meant they cost just 18.2 each, making ‘Shack’ one of the county’s two bowlers to finish with an average of below 20, along with Malcolm Marshall.
Books commemorating Hampshire’s 150th anniversary are on sale at The Ageas Bowl.
150 Not Out, Hampshire CCC 1863-2013, the definitive history of the club, is a collaboration between Hampshire Cricket’s honorary archivist, Dave Allen, and Stephen Saunders, available at £20.
Hampshire historian Alan Edwards has produced a fascinating booklet on the county’s first match and team, while Saunders has also written 150* on the first Committee.