By David Henderson
Broadhalfpenny Down has been host to diverse forms of cricket in its more than 250 year history, including the venue for some of Hampshire Blind & Visually Impaired cricketers.
Blind cricket was invented in Melbourne in 1922 by two blind factory workers who improvised the game using a tin can containing rocks. The Victorian Blind Cricket Association was founded shortly after (in 1922 so this year is a Centenary). The first sports ground and clubhouse for blind cricket was built at Kooyong, Melbourne in 1928.
The world's first Test Cricket match for the Blind was played between Pakistan and South Africa in 2000 in which Pakistan defeated South Africa by 94 runs and England take on Australia later this year in the Blind & Visually Impaired Ashes.
Most of the laws of cricket are observed with a few notable changes; the ball is a Size 3 ball with a noise making device and balls that burst are replaced immediately. The wickets are slightly larger than sighted red-ball cricket and the ball can bounce up to 4 times when bowled.
Photographs kindly provided by PictureExclusive.com