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Broadhalfpenny Down (brawdhaypenny) was home to Hambledon Cricket Club between c1750-87, which drew up the modern rules of cricket in the pub opposite, the Bat and Ball (then called ‘The Hutt’). Among other things, they determined the size of the bat and introduced the third stump. The captain of HCC was one Richard Nyren (1734-97), who was also landlord of the pub.
The first recognised first-class cricket match was played at Broadhalfpenny Down over 24-25 June 1772 between a Hambledon XI, consisting of the finest players in Hampshire, against an All England XI consisting of the finest players from Surrey and Kent. The prize was 500 Guineas. I've no idea who won, but 'tis said that the 'formidable' Hambledon team played All England elevens on 51 occasions, winning 29 of the matches.
Hambledon CC’s efforts helped transform cricket from an occasional local knockabout to an international sport; and it all happened at Broadhalfpenny Down. It is now home to Brigands Cricket Club.
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