Hampshire set to host Essex on first day

Hampshire captain James Vince Picture: Neil Marshall
Hampshire captain James Vince Picture: Neil Marshall
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HAMPSHIRE have been handed back-to-back home fixtures for the start of the 2019 County Championship division one season.

James Vince’s side will play host to Essex on the opening day of the new term on Friday, April 5.

And that will be quickly followed by another encounter at the Ageas Bowl against Yorkshire on April 11.

Attention will then turn to Hampshire’s defence of the Royal London One-Day Cup, with the reigning champions set to face last season’s beaten finallists, Kent Spitfires, at Canterbury on Wednesday, April 17.

Glamorgan will provide the opposition in the opening home fixture of the competition on Friday, April 19.

That will be followed by matches against Middlesex (April 23) and Gloucestershire (April 26), with all three contests being played at the Ageas Bowl within the same week.

As in previous years, this year’s 50-over competition is divided into two divisions geographically as Hampshire also take on Essex (April 28 – away), Surrey (April 30 – away), Sussex (May 2 – home) and Somerset (May 5 – away).

The competition’s quarter-finals and semi-finals will then take place on May 10 and May 12 respectively, followed by the final, which is set to be played at Lord’s for the final time, on Saturday May 25.

Hampshire’s third Championship home fixture this season will see the side head to the Isle of Wight to take on Nottinghamshire at Newclose (May 20).

The match, which marks the first first-class fixture to be played on the Isle of Wight since 1962, is to be played away from the Ageas Bowl due to next summer’s ICC Cricket World Cup.

Club chairman, Rod Bransgrove, said: ‘Due to the exclusivity period around its ICC World Cup Tournament commitments next season, Hampshire Cricket is required to play a home fixture away from the Ageas Bowl and we are very excited to be staging a debut First Class fixture at Newclose Cricket Ground on the Isle of Wight.

‘Having played Second XI matches there in recent years, we know that Newclose is a fantastic facility, with a good wicket and plenty of space for members and supporters.’

The Ageas Bowl will host a four-day tour match between Australia v Australia A on July 23.