tDorset Cricket Society

Résumé of events 2018-19










Members & Chris Finch

38 members and guests arrived for the 1st meeting of the season. After dealing with the financial matters Chris Finch led us in a wide-ranging review of the 2018 season. I think it fair to say that more time was devoted to county cricket than the England side. Chris had an impressive list of statistics to hand and was able to tell us that in the county championship the ball held sway over the bat. Reasons for this were many; the timing of county matches, very early and late in the season, watered outfields, some questionable pitches and pink-ball cricket. Only 6 batsmen topped 1000 1st class runs for the season. 
Chris’s selection for overall team of the year was Kent! He based this on the total number of victories they achieved in all formats of the game. Unsurprisingly this led to one or two raised eyebrows! At least it was a relief to hear that there is unlikely to be any pink-ball cricket next season. We are most grateful to Chris for dedicating 45 days to watching cricket, to enable him to lead this review each season. Many thanks Chris.




Jimmy Adams

Once again Jimmy Adams attracted a very good turn out of members and guests, with a total of 50 attending for his 8th visit. So I think he has served the DCS almost as faithfully as he has Hampshire. In a wide-ranging talk plus question and answer session, Jimmy covered his last season with Hampshire and their performance. He did remind us that the county had won the 50 Over Trophy earlier in the season and this year they avoided relegation quite comfortably in the County Championship. He spoke about the youngsters coming through and those who are moving on such as Sean Ervine and Reece Topley. Jimmy hopes to be involved with the game in some form and preferably with Hampshire, though he doesn’t see much prospect of actually playing, say with Dorset. After more than 90 minutes entertainment it was time to bring the afternoon to an end, though I have no doubt we could all still be there listening. Hopefully as Jimmy knows the route down to Hurn Bridge, we may still see him in the future. Many thanks Jimmy.




Michael Stimpson

Michael Stimpson told us about the Hampshire & England cricketer George Brown. Michael’s interest in his subject was first aroused by John Arlott, who called him the most complete all-round cricketer in England. How so? Well he batted for England in 7 Tests, keeping wicket as well, but he was also a fearless and excellent fielder and bowled for his county rather than keeping wicket. His first class career spanned the years 1908 to 1933. He scored 37 centuries and 111 50’s with a top score of 232 no. With the ball he took 626 wickets at 26.71 and in the field he took 568 catches and 78  stumpings. He had originally got his chance with Hampshire after walking from his home in Oxfordshire, in February, to attend a trial at the County Ground in Southampton.
Michael’s book had taken 5 years of research to produce and he gave us a wonderful insight into a cricketer unknown to many of us. Thanks very much Michael.




David Allen

David Allen entertained us again in his inimitable style. He has just published a book detailing every single player who has represented Hampshire in 1st Class cricket. Anyone concerned that this list might be rather exhausting were quickly re-assured, as it was David's intention to focus on just one player from the 1950's - none other than our own Alan Rayment. David wove a tapestry of the social history of those early post-war years, while filling us in with comprehensive statistics about who were the most successful bowlers against Hampshire when Alan was playing. Then there was the question of how many times Alan played 1st Class cricket, was it 199 or 200? This all hinged on a game where not a single ball was bowled in a three-day game, but the Hampshire team had been nominated and the fixture appeared in the final Championship table. In all, it was another very interesting afternoon, delivered by David in his highly professional style. Many thanks David




David Kynaston & Stephen Fay

Stephen Fay and David Kynaston revealed that their collaboration was done mainly in two halves, with both of them working on separate sections of the book. They admitted at one point that the were both ‘Arlott men’. They concentrated on the post war years, of course during the war Arlott was still a policeman, sometimes directing traffic in Southampton while reading a book. They felt that he was best suited to radio as he painted a picture of what was happening, while Jim Swanton was more suited to television, once it started. We heard tales of John Arlott’s legendary drinking, though Swanton’s consumption in a day might raise a few eyebrows today. There was lots of audience participation as well. We learnt that both men wrote the other's obituary, which was pretty unusual, but it was felt that Jim Swanton’s was the more generous. They believed that he mellowed as he got older, maybe from the time he married for the first time at the age of 50. In conclusion our authors believed that John Arlott had the touch of genius about him, which eluded Jim Swanton. Definitely a thought provoking afternoon and many thanks to Chris Finch for arranging the visit and conducting the interview.



Andy Murtagh

Andy Murtagh visited us again and focused on his subject of Colin Cowdrey. Colin had a pretty tough childhood - born in India to a tea planter family, he had no companions of his own age for his first five years. Brought to England by boat he was then in boarding school until he went to university and didn’t see his parents for many years. He first came to the public’s notice at the age of 13 playing for Tonbridge School at Lords, he scored a 50 and took 5 wickets with leg-spin. While at Universtity he also played for Kent and by the age of 21 was called up to the England team. Although very successful as a batsman, the England captaincy which he aspired to frequently eluded him. When finally he did nail down the position, a serious injury provided the opportunity for Ray Illingworth to take over and Colin never regained the position. He was surprisingly recalled to the England team in Australia in 1971, where he famously introduced himself to Jeff Thomson on the field of play. Colin later became an integral part of the administration of England cricket and the Basil D’Olivera affair was discussed at length, as was his, with the Duke of Norfolk’s daughter! Happy times.
Another entertaining afternoon, with many thanks to Andy.




Rod Bransgrove

53 members and guests came to hear Rod Bransgrove give the inside story of how he took Hampshire from the brink of bankruptcy to a team in the 1st Division of the County Championship and winners of the 50 over Cup. Rod was forthright and thought-provoking, sensing that there may not be too many supporters of ‘The Hundred’ in the audience, he admitted that it was not aimed at those of us who are somewhat older and like our cricket slow-baked over 4 days. 4 day cricket was his personal preference, but he would rather watch 20-20 than the 50 over game. He regaled us with some stories, including Shane Warne’s antics. He revealed that the county were looking for a coach who was not a first-timer in County cricket. After speaking for about three-quarters of an hour, he then invited questions and rode the bumpers well! He answered some specific, practical questions regarding vehicle exits at the Ageas Bowl, as well as more general questions. The lack of Test Matches in the forthcoming years was touched on. I think all in the audience were given a very entertaining afternoon. Many thanks Rod and to John White for arranging the visit.




Keith Booth

The Dorset Cricket Society staged their first ever 'Premier' when Keith Booth gave his first talk on the Hayward family. Keith took us back in time, both in cricket and lifestyles, talking about the days when it was not uncommon for 'teams' to record single figure scores despite having batted for two days.  He enlightened some of us in going over the days when Cambridgeshire were a first class county.  The talk was centred around the Hayward family of whom Tom was the undoubted star but was preceded in first class cricket by his grandfather, father and uncle.
Tom's record was remarkable having joined Surrey in 1893, being capped the following year and becoming Wisden Cricketer of the year in 1895.  He never failed to score 1,000 runs a season during his career which ended in 1914, scoring 2,000 ten times and 3,000 twice.
He played 35 times for England scoring three centuries, and was run out in his final test finishing his International career on 1,999 runs. He and Jack Hobbs became a formidable opening partnership for Surrey recording 40 opening partnerships of over 100, yet only played together once for England.
Keith answered questions from the floor afterwards in an interesting talk centred on 19th and early 20th century cricket. Many thanks Keith.




Richard Mockridge

After Paul Downton was unable to visit due to his duties down in Kent, Vice-President and founder of the Society, Richard Mockridge kindly stepped into the breach to tell us all about the development of both Bournemouth and cricket in the town. Calling on a number of historical documents, it was enlightening just how undeveloped our town was in the early 1800’s. The area between the Bourne and Christchurch was shown on a map as ‘Sandbanks’, not further to the west where we know it now. In fact Bourne Mouth was two words and Boscombe was known as Boscombe Mouth. The first cricket ground was in the area that is now the pleasure gardens. In the 19th Century the area was extensively wooded and finding a sufficiently large and flat area must have been a challenge. The development of cricket was tied in with the development of the railway - no Central station in those days - no direct line to London. A ground was found at Springbourne until the new railway line was driven through the pitch! Eventually the Dean Park ground was established and after a while Hampshire played the odd game -the original 1st class game was against a touring side from Pennsylvania. In time there was a cricket week featuring Yorkshire amongst the opposition. We saw photos of some of the great players who have appeared at Dean Park, Phil Mead, Dickie Moore, Desmond Eager, Derek Shackleton, Alan Rayment! In 1992 Hampshire turned away from Bournemouth and although the university took over the ground, we now lament its sad demise, as a private school and nursery. A sad ending, but a very educational afternoon for the members. Many thanks Richard.








Chris Finch






Tony Wharton





Peter Baxter





Jeff Mostyn





Derek Hopkins





Malcolm Nash









Graham Jones









Derek Hopkins



Simon Wilde



John Barclay


To see memories of the previous year's programme click here
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Last revised 28th Octoberr 2018
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