There is no doubt moving from Northlands Road behind The Dell in Southampton was the saving of Hampshire cricket, also Southampton FC. For HCCC, it needed them to change them from a members club to a business overnight in 2000/1. The Rose Bowl and St Marys were and are proper jewels in a regional city, replicated in Cardiff just a few years later.
To observe both changes in both cities to beome international venues at close hand draws comparisons and differences. Glam redeveloped and moved into the Gardens for their first own permanent home. Easy to get to on foot etc. The ground in the borough of Eastleigh however not so easy to get to if you don't drive. The place now realising it's full potential with the upmarket hotel and its Ian Botham inspired restaurant...plus more stands around the bowl itself. The ground and the whole adjoining land with a golf course a vast area, like a country club. The whole Hampshire cricket operation centralised from there and a nursery ground too for their twos and colts. First xi outgrounds being culled as a result of having their own facility. Basingstoke, Bournemouth and Portsmouth no more. They still talk down there about a return to May's Bounty. No 24 cc matches these days yet we retain Swansea and Colwyn Bay.
From the time present umpire Billy Taylor sent the first ever ball there down at the track for Sussex until now has seen trophies in the prominent commercial era of county clubs. They even had a link with an IPL side Rajasthan Royals...no IPL tops in their club shop when we won in the ODC earlier in the summer.
On the park Hampshire too have their mix of home grown, signings from other counties, overseas and kolpaks. This has brought them much success, especially in t20. This proves Glam are similar to the other counties. Rilee Roussow one of their gun players now, like our Ingram can win the game in half an hour or so.
The t20 cup was launched at the Rose Bowl back in 2003. This is a big one for both sides...the top 4 cut is in sight. The trophy needs a new name, so why not us?
http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/co ... 79245.html