New cricketing guide launched

Press Release: 24/06/2009

Dr Nigel Paterson, Chair of Alresford Town Partnership, and the Mayor of Winchester, Cllr Dominic Hiscock – both helping to launch the new Cricketing

As 2012 approaches and the UK gets set to celebrate sport in all its forms, Hampshire’s links with a traditional British team game are being revealed in a brand new tourism publication by Winchester City Council.

The leaflet, which explores the development of cricket and its links to the Winchester District and wider county of Hampshire, was launched at a special ‘Celebration of Cricket’ event in New Alresford on Sunday 21st June.

The event was organised by Alresford Town Partnership, who also unveiled a memorial plaque to one of the most famous former residents of Alresford, the broadcaster and writer
John Arlott. According to John Arlott, once dubbed ‘the voice of cricket’, Alresford Cricket Club was, at one time, one of the strongest cricket teams in England. The event on 21st June included a commemorative community cricket match, which marked the strong cricketing history of this beautiful Georgian town.

Hampshire’s cricketing history owes much to the legacy of the Hambledon and Alresford Cricket Clubs, as well as pre-eminent players educated at Winchester College such as the famous Ashton Brothers and Douglas Jardine – captain of the England cricket team in the early 1930s. And the links continue today – local clubs are listed in the leaflet to encourage visitors to watch a match whilst in the county.

Ellen Simpson, Winchester City Council’s Tourism Marketing and Development Manager, said:

“We are always on the look-out for
different ways for our visitors to experience the district and, we think this leaflet will set our visitors off on a trail of discovery by joining together a collection of notable landmarks and associations. To help people plan a longer visit we have pointed out local inns and hostelries in rural areas with links to the game - such as The Thomas Lord in West Meon and The Bat & Ball Inn in Hambledon.”

Dr Nigel Paterson, Chair of Alresford Town Partnership, added:

“When we first discussed the idea of a plaque being put up on John Arlott’s former home in our lovely East Street, we never imagined we would have the added pleasure of launching a brand new tourism guide to the whole of Hampshire.  As one who keeps on the look-out for good ideas and themes for leisurely visits, I hope this new leaflet will help inspire many a happy day in the towns and villages of Hampshire.”

Cllr George Beckett, Leader of Winchester City Council and Portfolio Holder for Economy and Tourism, commented:

“This Council has committed itself to supporting the rural economy.  This cricket initiative encourages visits to and spending in our delightful market towns and villages.  I would like to thank the Alresford Town Partnership for sowing the seeds of an excellent idea.  Now that cricket season is here and the sun is shining, it’s the perfect time to get out for the day and explore our fascinating local cricketing connections.

The free leaflet, available from Winchester Tourist Information Centre and other outlets, is complemented by a dedicated website  that provides more in-depth information for cricket enthusiasts and those with just a keen interest in the local history of the surrounding area.