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Village Cricket

The historian GM Trevelyan described "the cricket field is the essence of Englishness".

At Broadhalfpenny Down, near Hambledon, a weekend visitor should see two teams in white playing cricket and find cream teas and a pub on the boundary; a place where locals come to cheer on Hambledon or Brigands Cricket Club and enjoy a cold pint or two in the sun.

Players of all ages, from teenagers revising for their exams to retired naval commanders and businessmen tired of their Zoom calls, gather on the field to engage in a game that is equal parts tradition and excitement.

The game may have its frustrations - moving sight screens, bad umpiring decisions, and lost balls - but it's all part of the charm. The great joy of village cricket is that you are never quite sure what is going to happen.

The game has also seen a rise in women players in recent years, and blind and visually impaired cricket is played regularly, adding new layers to the story.

It's about community, it's about the laughter, it's about the friendship. That is the beauty of village cricket.

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