Itchin Stoke Down
|Location||near Alresford, Hampshire|
|Home club||Alresford Cricket Club
|County club||Hampshire (pre-county club)|
In the contemporary records, the venue's name is often shortened to "Stoke Down", which is incorrect, as is a popular notion that it is near Hambledon like the other two famous Hampshire venues of the time: Broadhalfpenny Down and Windmill Down.
Itchin Stoke Down is first referenced as the venue for the Hambledon Club v Hambledon Parish match on Saturday 30 May 1778. The result is unknown. The game was pre-announced in the Hampshire Chronicle on Monday 18 May as "Hambledon Club v Hambledon Parish with Noah Mann". This was more in the way of a local match, possibly a practice match by the Hambledon Club and perhaps even to give the venue a trial.
The first important match known to have taken place on the Down is Hampshire versus All-England on 6 & 7 July 1778. All-England won by 45 runs, thanks largely to the bowling of Edward "Lumpy" Stevens.
The Down was used as an occasional venue by Hampshire teams from then until the beginning of the 19th century and it survived the Hambledon Club. It was still in use for a Hampshire v All-England match as late as 1806, which was several years after the demise of Hambledon.
- H T Waghorn, The Dawn of Cricket, Electric Press, 1906
- Ashley Mote, The Glory Days of Cricket, Robson, 1997
- Ashley Mote, John Nyren's "The Cricketers of my Time", Robson, 1998
- David Underdown, Start of Play, Allen Lane, 2000
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