The History of Hambledon Cricket Club

Cricket at Hambledon in the 18th century
Cricket at Hambledon in the 18th century

Hambledon Cricket Club was founded in 1750 and soon became the most powerful club in the country. In taking on the responsibility for developing the laws of modern-day cricket – including such introductions as length bowling and the addition of a third stump, and the regulation of bat width! – the club earned its reputation as “the cradle of cricket”, a title by which it is still known. It is this history and reputation which today draws cricketers (including visiting Test teams) and cricket lovers from around the world on a pilgrimage to Hambledon – especially to the Bat & Ball pub where club meetings were once held and such laws drafted.

It was during those “glory years” of Hambledon Cricket Club, throughout the latter half of the 18th century, that the club played an England XI on fifty-one occasions and managed to defeat them twenty-nine times. Perhaps only Australia can similarly claim to have had the better of England over the years! The development of the game then passed to the MCC in 1787 with Hambledon reverting to a village Club.

In recent times, Hambledon’s greatest senior team triumph was to reach the 1989 final of the national village knock-out cup at Lords. In this, the club achieved much, made new friends, and the world’s media embraced our historic club’s fairytale. Loyal supporters lived every match as much as the players, providing all with memories to last a lifetime.

The club is now based at Ridge Meadow, an idyllic cricket ground set amongst some of Hampshire’s prettiest countryside just down the road from the Bat & Ball pub and Broadhalfpenny Down. Undoubtedly in store lies another season of daily action, dedication, drama, challenge and, above all, fun!