Archive for Buckinghamshire County Cricket Club

UNICORNS CRICKET INTERVIEW (2 of 2): Hampton talks Bucks 2019 & reveals a new addition for the campaign

In this, our second interview with Tom Hampton, the Bucks County Cricket Club skipper talks about the Unicorns Minor Counties for 2019.

Tom Hampton

Hampton, who takes charge of his second campaign, started by reflecting on his first season.

Looking back on last year we built some really impressive performances, probably more pleasing was that we had many players contributing at different times. Each putting in performances to win games for Bucks.

The goal from the out set is a simple one.

The main message from me is that we need to keep improving on what we have started, the standards have been set and we need to go on and better them.

Building on 2018 will be aided by a very useful new signing.

We have a very similar squad to last year with one addition in Conrad Louth, who is a hard hitting top order batsmen with vast experience at the level. He had moved to the area last summer and its brilliant to get him on board.

Louth has been a regular for Lincolnshire, as well as having played for Northamptonshire second eleven. Last season saw the batsman score 748 runs for Home Counties Premier Cricket League, Division 1 outfit Slough.

So what does this season hold?

As for the three competitions, in the T20 competition the challenge is, not just for us but across all the teams, to be able to win both of the games in a day. Berkshire were the team that managed to do that twice out of there 4 games, and that’s why they went through.

I think the aim has to be win at least 6 of 8 games to qualify.

In the knockout we travel to Cornwall first-up, and as with any knockout competition we will have to be at our best to get the result.

So as cliché as it is, the knockout competition really does need to be taken one game at a time.

I really believe that we have the squad to challenge for the top spot in the Championship and that will be the goal there. If we had picked up a few more bonus points last year we may well have been in with a chance. So I think that is our learner for this year, every point counts.

A few of the lads have been away overseas furthering there cricket and I’m sure they have all had a brilliant time. As for the rest of us, we have had a few shorter training sessions, leading into 2 longer indoor days and an outdoor practice before the pre season matches. Lets just hope we have a better pre season weather-wise than last year and can hit the ground running.

Sports Shots would like to thank Tom for taking the time to talk with us and we look forward following Bucks County Cricket Club in 2019.

UNICORNS CRICKET INTERVIEW (1 of 2): Bucks skipper talks about the “exciting new changes” in Minor counties cricket

With the cricket season on the horizon, Sports Shots has sat down and spoken with the Bucks County Cricket Club skipper Tom Hampton.

Tom Hampton

In this, the first of a two-part interview, the former Middlesex and Gloucestershire seamer discusses the new format for the 2020 season.

The Minor Counties will change their name after 124 years of competitive cricket spanning three centuries. From 2020, the rejigged competition’s many changes will include becoming the National Counties Cricket Association.

With all-to-play-for in 2019, Hampton will be looking for Bucks to finish in the top five so that they can perform in Division 1 for the new-look format next year.

I think the changes for 2020 are exciting.

The T20 competition and the introduction of coloured kit in the one-day competitions last year seemed to work well and definitely brought a buzz with it.

The slight negative was that the one-day competition became a knock out straight from the start, which is exciting, but does mean that one poor day or even period of a game and that can be the end of the competition. So I think the change to a guaranteed four matches in each format, with the opportunities at finals, is a great option.

Hampton enthused at the competitive element, that the addition of promotion and relegation will bring.

It is a shame that we lose two 3-day matches, but the summer is only so long. The balance of four games with finals, etc, seems the best way to solve the problem.

I think that adding promotion and relegation to the Championship brings in a good edge to the competition, and means there is a huge importance on finishing in the top five this season to ensure you start in the top division.

The ten counties that will split into two divisions will be Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Cumberland, Hertfordshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Northumberland, Staffordshire, Suffolk.

Tomorrow, Hampton talks about Bucks as 2019 becomes his second campaign at the helm.



Minor Counties revamp proposed from 2020

There are changes afoot in minor counties cricket after reported discussions between the Minor Counties Cricket Association and the ECB.

Minor Counties Cricket

Plans to improve the current structure and standards could be implemented from the beginning of the 2020 campaign if given the go ahead.

The current Eastern and Western Divisions, both of ten sides, could be split at the end of the 2019 season with the top five clubs in both entering in a new Division One East and Division One West for the following year. Division Two East and Division Two West could contain the bottom five sides in the regional 2019 tables.

The top two teams in each division at the end of 2020 would play-off for the Unicorns Championship Trophy, with the addition of promotion and relegation between the two regional divisions.

The proposed new system would mean four Championship three-day matches instead of the current six.

The season’s calendar would start with the 50-over competition followed by the Twenty20. With player availability expected to improve later in the summer, the Championship three-day cricket would be scheduled then, thus improving the standard.

The ECB has also confirmed that Minor Counties will take on first-class sides in a one-off round of 50-over fixtures prior to the domestic one-day competition in mid-July.

Unicorns Minor Counties: Croft discusses sensational Bucks debut & future aims!

Sports Shots has spoken to Bucks CCC’s Stephen Croft after his sensational debut in the final Unicorns Championship, Eastern Division fixture of the season.

Stephen Croft

The leg spinner picked up eight for 33 from 22 overs as Bucks defeated Hertfordshire in their final fixture of the 2018 campaign.

So what is the background on the player who took the headlines in September?

Croft played at Harefield in the Home Counties Premier Cricket league this year after spending the winter playing for Toronto Workers cricket club in the Newcastle Grade competition. In 2017 he was with Copdock and Old Ipswichians in the East Anglian Premier League.

The leg-spinner told Sports Shots:

It was a great way to start. Like any first game for a new team, you want to start of well and the way things turned out for me in the second innings, I couldn’t of hoped for better to be honest. I’ve had some nice messages from my teammates and former teammates.

After being in the squad, Croft finally got his chance and took it with aplomb.

I felt I needed to make the step up for my own cricket. I think like most players I’ve played with, we doubt ourselves every time we go up a level but I had got good players out in the past in league cricket and I felt the time was right. Being 12th man in previous games, I felt comfortable with my teammates which made things a lot easier.

So what next for Croft?

My aims and goals for my cricket are just to see how far I can take it. I would love to play professional one day but the aim for me next summer is to try and consolidate a place in the Buckinghamshire squad and hopefully get a few one day or T20 games and then bowl well enough that I can keep my place for the 3 dayers, which at the moment seem a long way away. Hopefully as well next summer I will get some county second eleven cricket somewhere and then it’s up to me to bowl well and impress the first class counties.

Unicorns Championship, ED: Croft spins Bucks to win with impressive debut display

A sensational bowling performance by Stephen Croft on his debut set up a convincing victory over Hertfordshire at Tring Park over the last three days.

Stephen Croft

The 21-year-old Harefield leg-spinner, playing his first Unicorns Counties Championship match for Bucks, returned the truly amazing figures 8-33 from 22 overs, as we finished our Eastern Division campaign on a high note.

Tom Hampton

Skipper Tom Hampton’s decision to bowl first appeared to pay dividends when Hertfordshire slumped to 82-7 on the first morning. But Andrew Neal’s unbeaten 78, with excellent support from batsmen 9, 10 and 11, helped them to recover to 244, with Hampton capturing 5-60.

The Bucks reply followed a similar pattern, as we slipped to 160-8 before Cameron Parsons (50) and Hampton, with 69 off just 49 balls, lifted us to 272 all out – a first-innings lead of 28.

Hertfordshire’s second innings was progressing serenely at 162-3, when Croft, having already picked up two of the first three wickets, changed ends and turned the game around with a devastating spell.  He induced a collapse that saw the visitors’ last seven wickets fall for 23 runs, to be all out for 185.  Although the pitch was showing the normal signs of wear, which would be expected late on the second day, it was by no means impossible to bat upon; Croft’s figures were the result of good bowling.

This left Bucks 158 for victory and the openers survived a nervous 20 minutes at the end of the second day. There were no dramas the following morning, as AJ Woodland (34) and Masoor Khan took the score to 94, before the departure of Woodland.  By the time that Khan was out for 68 with the score at 128 the match was effectively over, and Ed Casterton (40) and Mike Payne (10) saw Bucks home just before lunchtime on the final day.


CLICK on the image below to link to our images from day one. If you wish to use our images please take the time to give us an accreditation. Thank you.

Bucks CCC v Herts CCC




Unicorns Championship ED: Bucks host Hertfordshire in final game

Bucks CCC play their final fixture of the 2018 season when they host Hertfordshire in the Unicorns Championship, Eastern Division at Tring Park on Sunday.

Tom Hampton

The squad for the 3 day game v Hertfordshire starting this Sunday 2nd September is:

Bucks CCC: Masoor Khan (Clevedon CC), AJ Woodland (Tring Park CC), Dan Marles (High Wycombe CC), Mike Payne (Tring Park CC), Garry Park (Swarkestone CC), Teddy Casterton (High Wycombe CC), Shelvin Gumbs (Tring Park CC), Robin Pritchard Wkt (Chesham  CC), Cam Parsons (High Wycombe CC), Tom Hampton, Capt (High Wycombe CC), Jon Burden (High Wycombe CC), Stephen Croft (Harefield CC).


Unicorns Championship: Bucks opener’s determination scores another victory

Masoor Khan has spoken of his delight at helping take Bucks to a Unicorns Championship, Eastern Division victory against Staffordshire at Longton earlier this week.

Masoor Khan

Khan played the anchor role not once but twice as he contributed heavily to the victory.

A maiden century for Bucks in the first innings saw Khan finally dismissed for 133.

With an achievable target of 179 to win, Khan again dug in and helped take his side to victory, still being there unbeaten on 75 at the end.

The left handed batsman discussed his own performance but was also keen to reflect how well the team had done.

It’s obviously a huge sense of relief to get my first 100 for Buckinghamshire but I’m more delighted for the team to get that important win.

From Jonathan Burden’s five-for in the first innings to Robin (Pritchard) making a quick-fire 24 to help us get over the line, everyone contributed in some shape or form to get the win. It’s great to see everyone enjoying my success, that’s the sign of a true team and I feel the team is going from strength to strength from when I first joined last season.

Although he made his maiden century for the county, his second knock proved to mean a lot too.

My second innings might just be one of my most memorable innings I’ve ever played. I’ve always wanted to play a match winning innings and I was delighted that I could get us over the line. The plan was to just bat time, we knew as a team that if we batted long enough we would get to the total. After a few hiccups along the road and some nervy moments I’m just delighted we go to Tring with 3 wins from 5 and mathematically a chance to still finish top.

Bucks are currently fifth in the table with one game to play.



Unicorns Championship, ED: Park’s record breaking ton helps set up victory at Staffs

Garry Park scored probably the fastest ever century in Buckinghamshire’s long history in their exciting three-wicket victory over Staffordshire at Longton.

Garry Park


Park slammed 100 not out off just 50 balls, striking ten sixes, as Bucks secured their third Eastern Division win of the summer in the Unicorns Counties Championship.

Going back into history, the speed of innings was based on time at the crease, rather than balls faced, but there is no recorded instance of a faster century for Bucks than Park’s magnificent effort.

A Bucks win did not look likely on the first day, when Staffordshire made 361 all out after being put into bat. This was despite fine bowling from High Wycombe seamer Jonathan Burden, who took 5-96 from 22 overs.

Bucks’ reply was based on an opening stand of 160 between AJ Woodland (61) and Masoor Khan, who scored a splendid 133 from 229 balls with a six and 12 fours.

However his innings was overshadowed by Park’s spectacular knock. He dominated an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 141 with Michael Payne (57no) as the visitors reached 396-3 – a first innings lead of 35.

A fine spell from Chesham off-spinner Matt Rance, who took 4-17 from nine overs, helped reduce Staffs from 118-2 to 213 all out in their second innings.

This left Bucks needing 179 for victory. At 40-3, the result was in doubt. But the first-innings centurions Khan and Park (40) added 82, and Khan was still there on 75 not out as Bucks crossed the line with seven wickets down.

The victory puts Bucks fifth in the table but only 12 points behind leaders Lincolnshire with one game to play – against Hertfordshire at Tring Park, starting on Sunday, September 2.

Scores in brief:

Staffs 361 (89.2 ovs, D Brierley 70no, T Maxfield 58, K Ali 56, S Kelsall 43, J Burden 5-96) & 213 (52.3 ovs, S Kelsall 72, M Rance 4-17), Bucks 396-3 (90 ovs, M Khan 133,G Park 100no, A Woodland 61) & 183-7 (66.4 ovs, M Khan 75no, G Park 40).Bucks won by 3 wkts.

Unicorns Championship, ED: Hampton looks ahead to Bucks trip to Staffordshire

Bucks CCC skipper Tom Hampton will be looking for his side to get back to winning ways when they head to Staffordshire in the Unicorns Championship, Eastern Division on Sunday.

Tom Hampton

Bucks CCC have been chasing the previous two games after losing early wickets in the first hour. In truth it is something they have been left to rue.

Good early season promise was clearly there, with Michael Payne, in particular, enjoying an incredible season. Hampton’s young side now need to add consistency to their game.

Looking ahead to this weekend’s encounter, Hampton told Sports Shots:

It was a game of frustrations last time round against Cambridge. We played on a wicket that offered lots of spin and variable pace and bounce from day one which was a shame because we had the best of the pitch as we batted first!

Unfortunately we didn’t bat well enough to post a big enough score to take control of the game. Some of the guys played well but when we had the opportunity to take the game by the scruff of its neck we let it slip. This happens though and to fight hard in the last innings and to have them 8 down was a great effort.

Moving into the next game we have to make sure when we have the opportunity to take control we take it, it’s a good chance to finish the year well.

Bucks CCC: Masoor Khan (Clevedon CC), AJ Woodland (Tring Park CC), Dan Marles (High Wycombe CC), Mike Payne (Tring Park CC), Garry Park (Swarkestone CC), Teddy Casterton (High Wycombe CC), Robin Pritchard Wkt (Chesham  CC), Matt Rance (Chesham CC), Cam Parsons (High Wycombe CC), Tom Hampton, Capt (High Wycombe CC), Andy Harris (Tring park CC), Jon Burden (High Wycombe CC)

Bucks CCC Academy coach enthuses over bright future

Bucks CCC skipper and Academy coach Tom Hampton has enthused as his young guns have enjoyed a positive summer campaign.

Tom Hampton

Hampton told Sports Shots:

The academy make it 3 wins from 3 games in our three-day championship and winning the Tom Orford Trophy.

The lads have played brilliantly in all 3 games and I feel we have dominated all but two of the sessions of cricket we have played.

The side has been superbly captained by Cam (Parsons) and Jon (Burden) and it’s brilliant that two guys playing first team cricket are happy to play their part in developing the younger generation.

As a coach it’s been brilliant that every player that has played in the three games has looked at home at the level and to a man have put in a performance along the way.

AJ and Ted have shown why they are the two young batsmen in the first eleven and both contributed heavily, whilst our young spin trio have been superb, led by the youngest of them all in Farhan.

It’s been great to see that the future of Bucks cricket is bright!

We move on into the one day games now and hopefully the lads take every confidence into these games!