In a month’s time Hampshire will stage the first test match on the south coast when England play Sri Lanka at the Rose Bowl.
But international cricket made its debut in Portsmouth 159 years ago as this delightful poster shows.
It comes from the Rose Bowl’s archives and was sent by club archivist Dave Allen. It was promoting a match between England and 19 gentlemen of Hampshire.
He said: ‘This was a decade before the formation of Hampshire County Cricket Club and the ground was near where the Taswell Arms is situated in Southsea.’
Note the first name listed under the England team – Wisden.
This was John Wisden now best known for launching the eponymous Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack in 1864, the year after he retired from first class cricket.
He played 190 matches for Kent, Middlesex and Sussex. Dave added: ‘I also like the reference to Dinner on the Table.
‘Cricket’s always taken eating more seriously than most other sports.’