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The Ageas Bowl

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 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.

Cricket World Cup 2019

The ICC Cricket World Cup returns to Hampshire for the first time in 20 years with five fixtures taking place at the Hampshire Bowl announced for this year's competition.
Five ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 fixtures will be played at the Hampshire Bowl as the tournament returns to England and Wales in June. The five matches will see England, South Africa, India, West Indies, Bangladesh and Afghanistan all compete at the 'Hampshire Bowl', with matches held at the venue between Wednesday 5th June and Monday 24th June.
In total, 11 venues will be used for the 12th edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup. Lord’s and The Oval will be 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 are in Southampton, Hampshire?

South Africa will take on the India in the first match on Wednesday 5th June, while South Africa then play West Indies in the third group game on Monday 10th June.
England then arrive on Friday 14th June to play the West Indies, before the venue hosts India and Afghanistan on Saturday 22nd June. The final group game will see Bangladesh take on Afghanistan on Monday 24th June.
South Africa vs India                                Wednesday 5th June 2019
South Africa vs West Indies                     Monday 10th June 2019
England vs West Indies                             Friday 14th June 2019
India vs Afghanistan                                 Saturday 22nd June 2019
Bangladesh vs Afghanistan                      Monday 24th June 2019
Find out more about the Cricket World Cup in Hampshire

Ageas Bowl, Hampshire

Where is Southampton's Cricket World Cup Fanzone?

England and Wales will be awash with Cricket World Cup fever this summer and the free-to-enter city centre fanzone will be the ultimate hub of Cricket World Cup action as tournament fixtures are shown live in Southampton's Westquay area. Along with cricket activities, a range of multi-cultural food, music and entertainment will be on offer as the fanzones provide a fun and safe environment for all cricket fans.

Find out more about Southampton's Cricket World Cup Fanzone

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.