From Vimps At The Crease, 31 December 2021
In the 18th Century, Broadhalfpenny Down was home to the legendary Hambledon Club, then the acknowledged authority on the Laws of Cricket, and was the location of the inaugural First Class cricket match in 1772 between Hampshire and an All-England team.
The picturesque ground, next to the Bat and Ball pub, was responsible for the development of new techniques and the laws of cricket, from the addition of a third stump to the size of the bat.
The Chairman of the charitable trust that now looks after the ground, Mike Beardall, said: “We hold the unique honour of starting the journey of First Class cricket in 1772 with a famous ‘grand match’ so now, 250 years on, we want to commemorate and celebrate this significant historical event by holding diverse and inclusive cricketing events throughout the year.”
Weather permitting, tomorrow will only be the third time that the ground has seen play on New Year's Day. The Broadhalfpenny Brigands will play the Hampshire Huskies, an invitational team of local club cricketers in a 20-over match starting at noon.
Among the participants are Havant father and son combo Peter and Matty Hayward, Portsmouth chairman Rick Marston, Hambledon brothers Chris and Jonny Pratt, Huw Turbevill (Editor of The Cricketer magazine) and Rory Tennant, son of the famed Times cricket correspondent.