General News | 1st July 2008

Archive Reveals Link To Tutankhamen

Cricket Historian Peter Wynne-Thomas looks at the players that have moved from Hampshire to Trent Bridge.

Checking through the archives, I am surprised to find only two cricketers who have appeared for Hampshire and then moved on to Trent Bridge.

The first is of course Adam Voges, our current overseas Australian star. In 2007 he was engaged by Hampshire only for the Twenty20 Cup. His best score was 66 not out against Sussex at Southampton, but Hampshire won only one game in the competition. Born near Perth, Voges has played for Western Australia since 2002-03 and created a new ING Cup record when he hit 100* off 62 balls against New South Wales in 2004-05.

The other cricketer is also of recent vintage. Simon Francis played one first-class game for Hampshire in 1997 and also appeared for the county in the Sunday League in the same year.

Although he was born in Kent, his higher education was at King Edward VI School in Southampton and he was on the Hampshire staff in 1996, playing, that summer, mainly for the Hampshire Under 19s. He also toured Pakistan with England Under 19s. Francis appeared briefly for Somerset in 2002.

Following some useful all-round performances for Notts 2nd XI last year, Francis played in two first-class and two Twenty20 games, but was not retained by Nottinghamshire for the current season.

Ransacking the records, I have unearthed one Nottinghamshire cricketer who was Hampshire born, namely the Hon. Mervyn Robert Howard Molyneux Herbert, son of the Earl of Carnarvon – the man who financed Howard Carter’s expedition to discover the antiquities of Egypt and in the process the tomb of Tutankhamen.

The curse on the tomb supposedly led to the death shortly afterwards of both the Earl and Carter. Mervyn Herbert qualified for Nottinghamshire through his residence in Teversal. The family owned vast acres in the county. He was born at Highclere Castle, which is still the family seat.

In 1901 he was in the Eton Eleven and also made his county debut as a batsman, but after six first-class games spread over two seasons he had only hit 112 runs. He began playing for Somerset in 1903 and appeared three times for Oxford University, but failed to gain a blue. His final first-class game was for Somerset in 1924 and he died at the British Embassy in Rome in 1929.

Tutankhamen

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