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Ground Guide by Cricket Tripper
The Rose Bowl Cricket Ground can be located in the borough of Eastleigh in Hampshire (England). For sponsorship reasons, it can also be known as the Ageas Bowl, and the Hampshire Bowl during the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. The Rose Bowl Cricket Ground takes its name from the rose and crown logo of Hampshire County Cricket Club’s logo. It currently has a hotel complex in the West End, and is home to Hampshire County Cricket Club who have called thi ground home since since 2001. Their first game at the ground was against Worcestershire that year, where the home side won by 124 runs. Hampshire County Cricket Ground used to play at the County Ground (Northlands Ground) in Southampton, Dean Park in Bournemouth, May’s Bounty in Basingstoke and the United Services Recreation Ground in Portsmouth since 1882, but Rose Bowl Cricket Ground gave the club a more permanent home ground, that no longer had the cramped and impossible situation that hosting games at Northlands Road had.
Rose Bowl Cricket Ground was designed by Sir Michael Hopkins, after Mark Nicholas had discussed the idea of building a cricket ground that could have the capability of hosting international cricket with Bill Hughes, who was the Hampshire County Cricket Club vice-chair at the time. Hopkins featured a centrepiece pavilion with its tented roof much like that of the one at Lord’s, which he also designed. Construction of the ground began in 1997. Building continued until 2001, however not before Hampshire County Cricket Club found themselves in financial trouble. Additional funding was secured, the building continued, and the final cost was £20 million, largely secured by the funding of the Lottery and Sport England. The clubs own financial future was secured with a new chairman of Rod Bransgrove.
The ground has hosted many international cricket fixtures since 2001, including One Day Internationals, matches in the 2004 Champions Trophy, two T20 Internationals, and Test Matches in 2011, 2014 and 2018. These Test Matches saw England play Sri Lanka and India. In 2020 it took on a different role as one of the two biosecure venues, alongside Old Trafford, for the tours that involved the West Indies, Pakistan and Ireland. These were severely regulated areas due to the COVID-19 pandemic and allowed play to continue despite the global situation.
The Rose Bowl Cricket Ground underwent redevelopment work in 2008 to allow it to host Test cricket. This included new stands being built to increase the capacity of spectators at the Test games as well as other construction work to allow Test matches at the Rose Bowl Cricket Ground to seem more viable. 2011 saw Hampshire Cricket Limited in financial trouble, causing the lease to be sold to Eastleigh Borough Council for £6.5 million, and a benefactor injecting a similar sum of money just one year later. The ground bounced back and in 2015, a four-star Hilton Hotel was built to overlook the ground. This hotel also had an integrated media centre within it which would allow the ground to facilitate the press easier.
Visiting the Ground - Travel
The Rose Bowl is located just on the outskirts of Southampton in the South of England, but with fantastic transport links.
Use SO30 3XH for the Satnav. The ground offers a lot of parking but it must be pre-booked as you won’t be able to pay on the day.
Train - Public Transport
The nearest Train station is Hedge End which is just a 13-minute walk from the ground. Trains from both London and Sussex will go to the station. If coming from the West, like Bournemouth then the nearest station is Parkway, which is about a 23-minute walk. There are plenty of Taxi cabs and buses from both stations if you don’t fancy the extra walk.
Airports and Flying
Southampton has it’s very own airport, aptly named Southampton Airport, which is just a 15-minute drive from the stadium. Flights to Southampton may be limited though so Heathrow is probably the largest airport which is just over a 1 hours drive from the stadium. You can always hop on the train as well after you get off the plane, please refer to the train instructions.