County Championship returns to Isle of Wight

Newclose cricket ground

The Isle of Wight has staged a County Championship match for the first time since 1962.
The game took place at the Ageas Bowl. Hampshire County Cricket Club had to ferry their players and equipment to Newclose, Newport. Hampshire has agreed to play on the Island for at least the next four years following discussions between the Isle of Wight Cricket Board and cross-Solent ferry firm, Red Funnel.
Club cricket has been played at Newclose since 2009 and it has also been used by Hampshire’s second XI and the MCC, with success.
The match was brokered thanks to the efforts of Newclose general manager, Hugh Griffiths, and his team. The England Cricket Board (ECB) has, since the agreement was rubber-stamped, sent a groundsman to inspect the square. They also discussed with Newclose owner Martin Gardener the provision of funds for improving drainage at Newclose.
Hampshire last played a county match on the Isle of Wight at the J.Samuel White ground in Cowes, which is now disused. Chairman of the Isle of Wight Cricket Board, Phil Mew is delighted with the return of the County Championship to the island. “We think it’s fantastic for the Isle of Wight and the whole Island community, to be able to bring top class cricket here for the first time for many years. “The Board will be throwing its entire weight behind it to make sure it is a great success. Another benefit too is that it will also attract more people to the Island.”

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