Balmer Lawn Cricket Pitch

Balmer Lawn Cricket Pitch

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

Broadhalfpenny Down is the cricket ground adjacent to the Bat and Ball public house, which served as the 18th century clubhouse. Internationally famous, the pub continues to attract many ‘cricketing pilgrims’ from around the world. 

While the sport itself may have pre-dated 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 Hambledon with a bat wider than the wicket.  Within two days the club had legislated 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 matches organised by the Hambledon Club.  Those matches were all played between a Hampshire XI and an England XI at Broadhalfpenny Down. The two leading online cricket archives begin their first-class coverage with these matches, 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 village 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.

The Hundred at the Ageas Bowl 

The Hundred is an, action-packed cricket competition coming to The Ageas Bowl in Hampshire. Featuring some of the biggest names in the game, these world-class players will make up eight city-based women's and men's cricket teams that compete over five weeks. The 100 ball family-friend competition is sure to be the sporting highlight in Hampshire this summer that will keep you on the edge of your seat! 

Find out more about The Hundred and how to get your tickets here 

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 a local pub beside the village cricket ground.

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 a hospitality suite for the day. The hotel restaurant “Beefy’s” is named after cricket legend Sir Ian Botham and whilst you are there you can also check-in to the spa and boundary lakes golf course. 

Find out more about the 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 of the Marylebone Cricket Club.  Relax in its beautifully designed rooms and enjoy its fantastic food.   

Find out more about the Thomas Lord

New Place, Shirrell Heath

New Place Hotel, Shirrell Heath, Hampshire

This 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 about 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 in the New Forest

Balmer Lawn Hotel, Brockenhurst, New Forest, Hampshire

This four-star hotel located on the outskirts of the quaint village of Brockenhurst in the New Forest overlooks the village cricket pitch. Matches can be watched from the terrace with a cocktail or local ale. After the cricket dine at Beresford’s, the hotel’s two AA rosette restaurant or take a dip in either the indoor and outdoor swimming pool.  

Find out more about Balmer Lawn Hotel

Bolton’s Bench, Lyndhurst in the New Forest

Bolton's Bench, Lyndhurst, New Forest, Hampshire

In the heart of the New Forest is Lyndhurst, where 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. A perfect place to pitch up with a picnic and watch the match. 

Find out more about Lyndhurst

The Cricketers, Hartley Wintney (North Hampshire) 

The pretty village of Hartley Wintney is home to The Cricketers public house, which dates back to 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 Hosted in Hampshire

The ICC Cricket World Cup returned to Hampshire for the first time in 20 years with five fixtures taking place at the Hampshire Bowl in summer 2019.
Five ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 fixtures were played at the Hampshire Bowl when the tournament returned to England and Wales in June 2019. The five matches saw England, South Africa, India, West Indies, Bangladesh and Afghanistan all compete at the 'Hampshire Bowl'.
In total, 11 venues were used for the 12th edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup. Lord’s and The Oval was used in London, in addition to Edgbaston, Old Trafford, Bristol County Ground, Cardiff Wales Stadium, The Riverside, Headingley, Trent Bridge, The County Ground, Taunton and the Hampshire Bowl (Ageas Bowl).

What Cricket World Cup Matches were played in Southampton, Hampshire?

South Africa will took on India in the first match, while South Africa then played the West Indies in the third group game. England then arrived to play the West Indies, before the venue hosted India and Afghanistan. The final group game saw Bangladesh take on Afghanistan.