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T20 Match at The Ageas Bowl

T20 Match at The Ageas Bowl

Cricket in Hampshire

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History of Cricket in Hampshire - The "Cradle of  Cricket"

Hampshire has a long-standing association with cricket from the 18th century to the present day. 

Hambledon in the South Downs is world famous as the ‘Cradle of Cricket’ and where the game we know today evolved. Hambledon Cricket Club was the foremost cricket club in England and developed many of the rules in the 18th century, prior to the focus moving to the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), better known as Lords Cricket Ground located in St John’s Wood in London.  

Broadhalfpenny Down is the green adjacent to the Bat and Ball public house, which served as the clubhouse, and is internationally famous and continues to attract many ‘cricketing pilgrims’ from around the world. 

While the sport itself may have predated the Hampshire club and ground by at least two centuries, Hambledon’s standing in the sport was such, that it could even influence, and change, the laws of the game. 

In 1771, for example, noted English cricketer Shock White batted against them with a bat wider than the wicket.  Within two days Hambledon had legislated as to the maximum width of a bat and produced a metal gauge to help enforce the amendment. 

The 1772 season was also notable in English cricket history because it is from this moment onwards that surviving scorecards become more common - and three of these are from 1772 matches organised by the Hambledon Club.  Those matches were all played between a Hampshire XI and an England XI - the first of them taking place at Broadhalfpenny Down on 24 and 25 June.  The two leading online cricket archives begin their first-class coverage with this match, which is numbered "first-class no. 1".  And the rest, as they say, is history. 

Thomas Lord founder of the MCC is buried in West Meon Church graveyard, near Winchester. The village pub the Thomas Lord is named after him. 

One of the MCC’s star players was William Nicholson who supposedly gave the club its colours. He lived in Privett, near Petersfield and the colours from his family’s Nicholson Gin are also to be seen in the village church. 

Hampshire County Cricket Club was founded in 1863 and is now based at the Ageas Bowl on the outskirts of Southampton in the town of Hedge End. With a capacity of over 15,000 seats, The Ageas Bowl welcomes County matches, Twenty20, Test and one day international cricket as well as music concerts and seasonal events. 


Cricket Breaks 

With Hampshire being instrumental to the sport, we are here to help you create your quintessential English Cricket break, you’ll find high quality accommodation and great places to pitch up with a picnic or have a pint at the local pub beside the village green.  

Hilton at the Ageas Bowl

Hedge End (Outskirts of Southampton) 

Ageas Hilton Bedroom overlooking Ageas Bowl Cricket Pitch, Hampshire

If you want to stay close to the cricket action, then the Hilton at The Ageas Bowl offers a selection of stunning bedrooms which over-look the cricket pitch. Either book a room for an overnight stay or as hospitality suite for the day.  The hotel has “Beefy’s”, their restaurant named after cricket legend Sir Ian Botham and whilst you are they you can also check-in to the spa and boundary lakes golf course. 

Find out more - Hilton Ageas Bowl  

Thomas Lord

West Meon  

If you are looking for somewhere a little more rural to stay then look no further than the Thomas Lord pub in the South Downs National Park.  The pub is named after the founder or the Marylebone Cricket Club.  Relax in it’s beautifully designed rooms, the pub also served fantastic food.   

Find out more - Thomas Lord

New Place

Shirrell Heath 

New Place Hotel, Shirrell Heath, Hampshire

A Grade I listed hotel situated between Southampton and Portsmouth has a fantastic terrace which overlooks the hotels grounds and their own cricket pitch! The perfect place for lunch or afternoon tea. The cricket pitch can be hired for special events. 

Find out more - New Place


If you are looking to catch the action, village cricket is regularly played across Hampshire during the summer months and there are some stunning cricket pitches worth visiting. 

Balmer Lawn Hotel

Brockenhurst, New Forest 

Balmer Lawn Hotel, Brockenhurst, New Forest, Hampshire

The four-star hotel located on the outskirts of the quaint village of Brockenhurst in the New Forest, overlooks Brockenhurst Cricket Club home ground. Matches can be watched from the terrace with a cocktail or locale ale.  After the cricket dine at Bereford’s, the hotel’s two AA rossette restaurant or take a dip in either the indoor and outdoor swimming pool.  

Find out more – Balmer Lawn Hotel 

Bolton’s Bench

Lyndhurst, New Forest 

Bolton's Bench, Lyndhurst, New Forest, Hampshire

In the heart of the New Forest is Lyndhurst a short walk from the village centre you will find Bolton’s Bench, a stunning pitch amongst the heathland, where fielders are often “marked” by New Forest ponies, donkeys and cattle.  Bolton’s Bench is a perfect place to pitch up with a picnic and watch the match. 

Find out more - Lyndhurst, New Forest

The Cricketers

Hartley Wintney (North Hampshire) 

The pretty village of Hartley Wintney is home to The Cricketers public house, established back in the 18th Century.  The pub overlooks the village cricket green and is the oldest, continually played, cricket pitch and club in England. A fantastic spot for a pint or glass of wine and to watch the action. 


Cricket World Cup 2019 

Ageas Bowl, Hampshire

2019 will see cricket come home, with a festival like atmosphere of the Cricket World Cup being hosted by England and Wales from 30 May – 14 July 2019.  Hampshire will host five International Cricket World Cup matches in June 2019, which promise to be a sell-out. 

Find out more about the Cricket World Cup in Hampshire