The Hampshire Hogs Cricket Club, founded in 1887, is proud of its role in the great tradition of County Wandering Cricket.
As cricket gained in popularity in the 19th Century, the ethos of Wandering Cricket was entirely Amateur, at a time when people were starting to be paid to play the game for the first time. It was a movement inspired by Gentlemen of the Military and Public Schools to play good cricket with their peers.
The MCC remains the oldest cricket Club in the world (founded in 1787, when cricket was a much gambled on sport, played by the Social Elite who would also often also shoot and hunt).
The Oldest and most famous Wandering sides were not in fact County inspired but the I Zingari (1845) and Free Foresters (1856), who wanted to promote the ethos of Amateur cricket and to quote the IZ founders: ‘To play cricket without a home ground, the club would rely on the generosity of its hosts”.
The Free Foresters stated their mission as being ‘to play against County, University, College, Schools, Regimental XI’s and with recognised clubs in desirable localities.’
The Hampshire Hogs were very much at the forefront of this cricketing revolution and were founded in 1887, (the County did not achieve First Class status until 1894). The Band of Brothers (1858), the Yorkshire Gentlemen (1863), who were the beneficiaries of the hospitality of the Earl Fitzwilliam at Castle Howard were ahead of us. The Somerset Stragglers (1900), Devon Dumplings (1902), Sussex Martletts (1905) and Wiltshire Queries (1933) all followed. All of the afore mentioned Clubs are teams that we enjoy playing cricket against, many of them to this day.
In recent years we have re-doubled our efforts as Club with a thriving Hoggets section, our first Ladies fixture in 2016, and an Under 25 Academy.
And so to the Anachronism of the Hogs – a Wandering side with its’ own Cricket ground?
The Hogs moved to Warnford, a beautiful, picturesque ground set in the heart of the Meon Valley, in 1966. We bought the ground in 1994 from the local landowner, and it now sits in trust to the Members.
In this respect the Hogs are unique. Without a benefactor and not having the benefit of the subsidy of using pitches from other Clubs, the Hogs survive solely on the Membership and Match Fees that we charge, along with Social Events that make the books balance. In fact, 2013 was the first year we made a ‘profit’ on our Match income and Membership Fees as a result of the fabulous weather.
All the while the Club continues to invest in the pitches, ground, nets, and people that make our Club an outstanding success where many others have fallen.
Come and join us at Warnford. Relish a fabulous day’s cricket with great people, the history, the ground, our lunches and teas, good beer. Come and try and beat us, playing competitive cricket and help preserve a key part of cricketing history. We bet you will have a fabulous and unique day.