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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 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 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 

Ageas Bowl, Hampshire

2019 will see cricket come home, with 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