Updated: Jan 11
Hampshire cricket legend, Christopher Bazalgette, has passed away aged 85. A well-known character in the cricketing world, he played for Hampshire Hogs, Hambledon CC, Broadhalfpenny Brigands, and Bat & Ball CC amongst others, was an advertising executive for The Cricketer magazine, and wrote multiple cricket books.
He was a member of Hambledon CC for more than forty years and helped organise many cricket matches, including some of the high-profile anniversary games at Broadhalfpenny Down.
He recorded bowling figures of 8-76 against London New Zealand at Broadhalfpenny Down. The Kiwis weren't the only ones to struggle; Brigand Clive Barnett said that he "lost count of the number of times he was outwitted by Bazalgette's non-turning off-spin".
He took over 2,500 career wickets, including former Hampshire captain turned commentator Mark Nicholas, with over half of these taken for Hampshire Hogs, for whom he made over 800 appearances.
Mike Beardall, Chairman of Broadhalfpenny Down Preservation Trust, remarked that Bazalgette was "perhaps the most prodigious wicket-taker in Hampshire through flight and guile; an absolute legend". Gerry Northwood, Chairman of Broadhalfpenny Brigands, described him as "really entertaining and a highly competitive cricketer who could not only tell you how many wickets he had taken in a season but how many catches had been dropped off his bowling too!"
In the Summer of 2000, Bazalgette appeared on Channel 4 television when Borat Sagdiyev, a Kazakh television journalist following Cambridge University students around the UK, stopped at the Bat and Ball to learn about cricket.
A friend wrote that in his final days, he was surrounded by pictures of Robin Smith, his beloved Warnford, many pictures of his family, and Sky Sports on the TV. Fittingly, the funeral at St James Church, Southwick is to be a celebration of Christopher's life with bright colours and cricket blazers encouraged.