A new series from Hampshire Cricket historian Dave Allen marks the birthdays of notable and fondly remembered Hampshire cricketers
Bob Cottam was born in Cleethorpes in 1944. He was one of the finest fast-medium bowlers in Hampshire’s history, and through the 1960s, was a member of a trio with Shackleton and White – all three England Test cricketers - that was surely the most complete Hampshire pace attack. Bob played for Hampshire 2nd XI in 1962, age 18, and the next year, made his first-class debut in the annual Whitsun match v Kent at Southampton.
In 1965, he took part in two remarkable games against the two ‘Roses’ counties. At Middlesborough in mid-May, he took 6-47 in the match, as Hampshire’s pace trio dismissed Yorkshire for 125 & 23 – their lowest ever total – and won by 10 wickets. A month later, they beat Lancashire at Old Trafford by 13 runs, after Bob took 9-25, still the best figures in Hampshire’s history.
He took 208 first-class wickets in his first four seasons, 1963-1966, then more than 100 in each of the three years 1967-1969.
In 1968/9, he went to Pakistan and played in two Tests for England, taking overall 9-180 which was a good debut record but not one that secured his place. Four years later he played in two more Tests in India, but by then he had moved to Northamptonshire. After five years in the Midlands he retired, having taken over 1,000 first-class wickets.
For Hampshire, he took 693 wickets at 20.71 – only Andy Roberts, Derek Shackleton, Malcolm Marshall and Kyle Abbott can better his average, and he also caught well close to the wicket, although he was a true tail-end batsman with an average of 5.44 from 615 runs (HS 35). For Hampshire, he also took 91 limited-overs wickets at an average of 21.15. After retiring he played for Devon and became a respected coach, working with England, Somerset and Warwickshire.
We also celebrate the birthday of one of our current crop of players as Sam Northeast turns 31 today.
Born in Ashford, Kent, Sam started his professional career at Kent County Cricket Club in 2007, appearing in 136 First-Class matches and accumulating more than 8,000 runs for his home county whilst also being awarded the Kent Club captaincy in 2015.
His hard-work and success earned him a spot in the South team, for the 2016-17 and 2018 North v South series', before earning a call-up to the England Lions squad for their first-class and List A series in the Caribbean last February.
The right-hander sealed a move to Hampshire ahead of the 2018 season, and he made his debut in the Club's season-opener that year against Worcestershire in April.
A finger fracture prevented him from featuring for the majority of May and June, however Sam returned to feature in Hampshire's final two matches of their triumphant 2018 Royal London One-Day Cup campaign, striking two half-centuries in as many games - including a superb 75* against his former side in the Lord's final - to contribute to the Club's first limited-overs trophy in six years.
Northeast notched up well over 1000 runs in 2019 and 969 of those came in the County Championship, which was enough to earn him an England Lions call up. Sam also stood in as captain during the absence of James Vince due to his international commitments that year and led this squad again in 2020 in both the Bob Willis Trophy and at the start of the Vitality Blast.
The Southern Vipers all-rounder has been suspended from bowling in ECB competitions following an independent assessment of her bowling action conducted at Loughborough University
The Rt Hon the Lord Lancaster TD has been appointed a Non-Executive Board Director of RB Sport and Leisure Holdings Ltd