Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies making it the worlds most popular sport, the game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal, players are not allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it is in play, unless they are goalkeepers. Other players mainly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, the team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is level at the end of the game, the Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association in 1863. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, the first written reference to the inflated ball used in the game was in the mid-14th century, Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe. The Online Etymology Dictionary states that the word soccer was split off in 1863, according to Partha Mazumdar, the term soccer originated in England, first appearing in the 1880s as an Oxford -er abbreviation of the word association. Within the English-speaking world, association football is now usually called football in the United Kingdom and mainly soccer in Canada and the United States. People in Australia, Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand use either or both terms, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now primarily use football for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is scientific evidence, cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net. It was remarkably similar to football, though similarities to rugby occurred. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established, phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup, athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda, episkyros and harpastum were played involving hands and violence and they all appear to have resembled rugby football, wrestling and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified mob football, the antecedent of all football codes. Non-competitive games included kemari in Japan, chuk-guk in Korea and woggabaliri in Australia, Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other games played around the world FIFA have recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe. The modern rules of football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the widely varying forms of football played in the public schools of England
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in international football and is controlled by The Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England are one of the two oldest national teams in football, alongside Scotland, whom played in the worlds first international football match in 1872. Englands home ground is Wembley Stadium, London, and the current manager is Gareth Southgate, England contest the FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championship, which alternate biennially. In contesting for the World Cup seventeen times over the past sixty four years, England won the 1966 World Cup, when they hosted the finals, the England national football team is the joint-oldest in the world, it was formed at the same time as Scotland. A representative match between England and Scotland was played on 5 March 1870, having been organised by the Football Association, a return fixture was organised by representatives of Scottish football teams on 30 November 1872. Over the next forty years, England played exclusively with the other three Home Nations—Scotland, Wales and Ireland—in the British Home Championship, to begin with, England had no permanent home stadium. They joined FIFA in 1906 and played their first ever games against countries other than the Home Nations on a tour of Central Europe in 1908, Wembley Stadium was opened in 1923 and became their home ground. The relationship between England and FIFA became strained, and this resulted in their departure from FIFA in 1928 and their first ever defeat on home soil to a foreign team was a 0–2 loss to the Republic of Ireland, on 21 September 1949 at Goodison Park. A 6–3 loss in 1953 to Hungary, was their defeat by a foreign team at Wembley. In the return match in Budapest, Hungary won 7–1 and this still stands as Englands worst ever defeat. After the game, a bewildered Syd Owen said, it was like playing men from outer space, in the 1954 FIFA World Cup, England reached the quarter-finals for the first time, and lost 4–2 to reigning champions Uruguay. Although Walter Winterbottom was appointed as Englands first ever manager in 1946. In UEFA Euro 1968, the reached the semi-finals for the first time. England qualified for the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico as reigning champions, and reached the quarter-finals, England had been 2–0 up, but were eventually beaten 3–2 after extra time. They failed in qualification for the 1974, leading to Ramseys dismissal, under Ron Greenwood, they managed to qualify for the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain, despite not losing a game, they were eliminated in the second group stage. Despite losing to Italy in the third place play-off, the members of the England team were given bronze medals identical to the Italians’, the England team of 1990 were welcomed home as heroes and thousands of people lined the streets, for a spectacular open-top bus parade. However, the team did not win any matches in UEFA Euro 1992, drawing with tournament winners Denmark, the 1990s saw four England managers, each in the role for a relatively brief period. Graham Taylor was Robsons successor, but resigned after England failed to qualify for the 1994 FIFA World Cup, at UEFA Euro 1996, held in England, Terry Venables led England, equalling their best performance at a European Championship, reaching the semi-finals as they did in 1968
Birmingham City F.C.
Birmingham City Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Birmingham, England. Formed in 1875 as Small Heath Alliance, they became Small Heath in 1888, then Birmingham in 1905, the team compete in the EFL Championship, the second tier of the English football league system. As Small Heath, they played in the Football Alliance before becoming founder members, the most successful period in their history was in the 1950s and early 1960s. They won the competition for the second time in 2011. St Andrews has been their ground since 1906. They have a long-standing and fierce rivalry with Aston Villa, their nearest neighbours, the clubs nickname is Blues, due to the colour of their kit, and their fans are known as Bluenoses. Birmingham City were founded as Small Heath Alliance in 1875, the club turned professional in 1885, and three years later became the first football club to become a limited company with a board of directors, under the name of Small Heath F. C. Ltd. From the 1889–90 season they played in the Football Alliance, which ran alongside the Football League, in 1892, Small Heath, along with the other Alliance teams, were invited to join the newly formed Football League Second Division. The club adopted the name Birmingham Football Club in 1905, and moved into their new home, St Andrews Ground, matters on the field failed to live up to their surroundings. Birmingham were relegated in 1908, obliged to apply for two years later, and remained in the Second Division until after the First World War. Frank Womacks captaincy and the creativity of Scottish international playmaker Johnny Crosbie contributed much to Birmingham winning their second Division Two title in 1920–21, Womack went on to make 515 appearances, a club record for an outfielder, over a twenty-year career. 1920 also saw the debut of the 19-year-old Joe Bradford, who went on to score a club record 267 goals in 445 games, and won 12 caps for England. In 1931, manager Leslie Knighton led the club to their first FA Cup Final and they were finally relegated in 1939, the last full season before the Football League was abandoned for the duration of the Second World War. The name Birmingham City F. C. was adopted in 1943, under Harry Storer, appointed manager in 1945, the club won the Football League South wartime league and reached the semifinal of the first post-war FA Cup. Two years later won their third Second Division title, conceding only 24 goals in the 42-game season. Storers successor Bob Brocklebank, though unable to stave off relegation in 1950, when Arthur Turner took over as manager in November 1954, he made them play closer to their potential, and a 5–1 win on the last day of the 1954–55 season confirmed them as champions. In their first season back in the First Division, Birmingham achieved their highest league finish of sixth place. They also reached the FA Cup final, losing 3–1 to Manchester City in the game notable for Citys goalkeeper Bert Trautmann playing the last 20 minutes with a bone in his neck
Aston Villa F.C.
Aston Villa Football Club is a professional association football club based in Aston, Birmingham, that plays in the Championship, the second level of English football. Founded in 1874, they have played at their current home ground, Villa Park, Aston Villa were one of the founder members of the Football League in 1888. They were also one of the members of the Premier League in 1992. Aston Villa are one of only five English clubs to be crowned champions of Europe and they have also won the First Division Championship seven times, the FA Cup seven times, the Football League Cup five times, and the UEFA Super Cup once. They have a local rivalry with Birmingham City and the Second City derby between the sides has been played since 1879. The clubs traditional kit colours are claret shirts with sky blue sleeves, white shorts and their traditional badge is of a rampant lion, which was introduced by the clubs Scottish chairman William McGregor in honour of the Royal Standard of Scotland. The club is owned by Recon Group Limited, a company chaired by Chinese businessman Tony Xia. Aston Villa Football Club were formed in March 1874, by members of the Villa Cross Wesleyan Chapel in Handsworth which is now part of Birmingham, the four founders of Aston Villa were Jack Hughes, Frederick Matthews, Walter Price and William Scattergood. Aston Villas first match was against the local Aston Brook St Marys Rugby team, as a condition of the match, the Villa side had to agree to play the first half under Rugby rules and the second half under Association rules. The club won their first FA Cup in 1887 with captain Archie Hunter becoming one of the games first household names. Aston Villa were one of the teams that competed in the inaugural Football League in 1888 with one of the clubs directors. Aston Villa emerged as the most successful English club of the Victorian era, winning no fewer than five League titles, in 1897, the year Villa won The Double, they moved into their present home, the Aston Lower Grounds. Supporters coined the name Villa Park, no official declaration listed the ground as Villa Park. This was largely the result of a defensive record, they conceded 110 goals in 42 games,7 of them coming from Arsenals Ted Drake in an infamous 1–7 defeat at Villa Park. Like all English clubs, Villa lost seven seasons to the Second World War, the team was rebuilt under the guidance of former player Alex Massie for the remainder of the 1940s. The team struggled in the league though and were relegated two seasons later, due in part to complacency. However, under the stewardship of manager Joe Mercer Villa returned to the top-flight in 1960 as Second Division Champions, the following season Aston Villa became the first team to win the Football League Cup. Mercers forced retirement from the club in 1964 signalled a period of deep turmoil, the most successful club in England was struggling to keep pace with changes in the modern game, with Villa being relegated for the third time, under manager Dick Taylor in 1967
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard-long pitch with a wicket at each end. One team bats, attempting to score as many runs as possible, each phase of play is called an innings. After either ten batsmen have been dismissed or a number of overs have been completed, the innings ends. The winning team is the one that scores the most runs, including any extras gained, at the start of each game, two batsmen and eleven fielders enter the field of play. The striker takes guard on a crease drawn on the four feet in front of the wicket. His role is to prevent the ball hitting the stumps by use of his bat. The other batsman, known as the non-striker, waits at the end of the pitch near the bowler. A dismissed batsman must leave the field, and a teammate replaces him, the bowlers objectives are to prevent the scoring of runs and to dismiss the batsman. An over is a set of six deliveries bowled by the same bowler, the next over is bowled from the other end of the pitch by a different bowler. If a fielder retrieves the ball enough to put down the wicket with a batsman not having reached the crease at that end of the pitch. Adjudication is performed on the field by two umpires, the laws of cricket are maintained by the International Cricket Council and the Marylebone Cricket Club. Traditionally cricketers play in all-white kit, but in limited overs cricket they wear club or team colours. In addition to the kit, some players wear protective gear to prevent injury caused by the ball. Although crickets origins are uncertain, it is first recorded in south-east England in the 16th century and it spread globally with the expansion of the British Empire, leading to the first international matches in the mid-19th century. ICC, the governing body, has over 100 members. The sport is followed primarily in Australasia, Britain, the Indian subcontinent, southern Africa, womens cricket, which is organised and played separately, has also achieved international standard. A number of words have been suggested as sources for the term cricket, in the earliest definite reference to the sport in 1598 it is called creckett. One possible source for the name is the Old English cricc or cryce meaning a crutch or staff, in Samuel Johnsons Dictionary, he derived cricket from cryce, Saxon, a stick
The wicket-keeper in the sport of cricket is the player on the fielding side who stands behind the wicket or stumps being guarded by the batsman currently on strike. The wicket-keeper is the member of the fielding side permitted to wear gloves. The wicket-keeper may also wear a helmet with a face guard to help protect from injury. It is essentially a specialist role, the role of the keeper is governed by Law 40 of the Laws of Cricket. Initially, during the bowling of the ball the wicket-keeper crouches in a squatting position. Australian wicket-keeper Sammy Carter was the first to squat on his haunches rather than bend over from the waist, sometimes the keeper is also in the best position to catch a ball which has been hit high in the air. More catches are taken by wicket-keepers than by any other fielding position, the keeper can stump the batsman by using the ball to remove the bails from the stumps, if the batsman is out of his crease after a delivery has passed the stumps into keepers hands. The keeper must then dislodge the bail and the batsman is out, when the ball is hit into the outfield, the keeper moves close to the stumps to catch the return throw from a fielder and, if possible, to run out a batsman. The more skilled the keeper, the faster the bowling to which he is able to stand up, wicket-keeping is a specialist discipline and it requires training consistent with the level expected of a specialist batsman or bowler. However, the keeper is also expected to possess reasonable batting skill. They typically bat at number 7 in first class cricket, wicket-keepers who are also capable of batting at the top of the order are known informally as keeper/batsmen and is more typically seen in limited overs cricket. Since there is room for one keeper in a cricket side. One such selection dilemma was that faced by England selectors in the 1990s between Jack Russell and Alec Stewart, the keeper may also have a captaincy role. Uniquely, they are involved in every delivery of an innings. They can frequently be heard encouraging the bowler, and may also indulge in the practice of sledging the batsman with well timed comments about their skill, appearance or personal habits. The Indian wicket-keeper batsman MS Dhoni is a notable wicket-keeper captain who captained India in 331 matches across three formats, next best being Mushfiqur Rahim of Bangladesh. The keeper is the only allowed to touch the ball with protective equipment. The protection offered by the gloves is not always adequate, the England keeper Alan Knott sometimes placed steaks inside his gloves for added cushioning
Worcester is a city in Worcestershire, England,31 miles southwest of Birmingham and 27 miles north of Gloucester. The River Severn flanks the western side of the city centre, the Battle of Worcester was the final battle of the English Civil War, where Oliver Cromwells New Model Army defeated King Charles Is Cavaliers. Worcester is known as the home of Royal Worcester Porcelain, composer Edward Elgar, Lea & Perrins, makers of traditional Worcestershire sauce, the trade route past Worcester which later formed part of the Roman Ryknild Street dates to Neolithic times. The position commanded a ford over the River Severn and was fortified by the Britons around 400 BC and it would have been on the northern border of the Dobunni and probably subject to the larger communities of the Malvern hillforts. It may have been the Vertis mentioned in the 7th-century Ravenna Cosmography, using charcoal from the Forest of Dean, the Romans operated pottery kilns and ironworks at the site and may have built a small fort. In the 3rd century, Roman Worcester occupied an area than the subsequent medieval city. Industrial production ceased and the settlement contracted to a position along the lines of the old British fort at the river terraces southern end. This settlement is identified with the Cair Guiragon listed among the 28 cities of Britain by the History of the Britons attributed to Nennius. This is not a British name but an adaption of its Old English name Weorgoran ceaster, the Weorgoran were precursors of Hwicce and probably West Saxons who entered the area some time after the 577 Battle of Dyrham. The oldest known church was St Helens, which was certainly British, the town was almost destroyed in 1041 after a rebellion against the punitive taxation of Harthacanute. During this time, the relocated to the nearby Bevere Island,2 miles upriver. The following century, the town was attacked several times during The Anarchy, by late medieval times the population had grown to around 10,000 as the manufacture of cloth started to become a large local industry. The town was designated a county corporate, giving it autonomy from local government. Worcester was the site of the Battle of Worcester, when Charles II attempted to regain the crown, in the fields a little to the west and south of the city. Worcester had supported the Parliamentary cause before the outbreak of war in 1642 but spent most of the war under Royalist occupation. After the war it used its location as the site of the final battles of the First Civil War. As part of this and not based upon any historical fact, it invented the epithet Fidelis Civitas, in 1670, the River Severn broke its banks and the subsequent flood was the worst ever seen by Worcester. The closest flood height to what is known as The Flood of 1670 was when the Severn flooded in the rains of July 2007
West Bromwich Albion F.C.
The club was formed in 1878 and has played at its home ground, The Hawthorns, since 1900. Albion were one of the members of the Football League in 1888 and have spent the majority of their existence in the top tier of English football. They have been champions of England once, in 1919–20 and have been runners-up twice but they have had success in the FA Cup. The first came in 1888, the year the league was founded, and they also won the Football League Cup at the first attempt in 1966. The clubs longest consecutive period in the top division spanned twenty-four years between 1949 and 1973, and from 1986 to 2002 they spent their longest ever spell out of the top division and they currently play in the Premier League. The team has played in blue and white stripes for most of the clubs history. The club was founded as West Bromwich Strollers in 1878 by workers from George Salters Spring Works in West Bromwich, the club joined the Birmingham & District Football Association in 1881 and became eligible for their first competition, the Birmingham Cup. They reached the quarter-finals, beating several longer-established clubs on the way, in 1883, Albion won their first trophy, the Staffordshire Cup. Albion joined the Football Association in the year, this enabled them to enter the FA Cup for the first time in the 1883–84 season. In 1885 the club turned professional, and in 1886 they reached the FA Cup final for the first time and they reached the final again in 1887, but lost 2–0 to Aston Villa. In 1888 the team won the trophy for the first time, as FA Cup winners, they qualified to play in a Football World Championship game against Scottish Cup winners Renton, which ended in a 4–1 defeat. Thus when the Football League started later that year, Albion became one of the founder members. Albions second FA Cup success came in 1892, beating Aston Villa 3–0 and they met Villa again in the 1895 final, but lost 1–0. The team suffered relegation to Division Two in 1900–01, their first season at The Hawthorns and they were promoted as champions the following season but relegated again in 1903–04. The club won the Division Two championship once more in 1910–11, and the season reached another FA Cup Final. Albion won the Football League title in 1919–20 for the time in their history following the end of World War I. The team finished as Division One runners-up in 1924–25, narrowly losing out to Huddersfield Town, in 1930–31, they won promotion as well as the FA Cup, beating Birmingham 2–1 in the final. The Double of winning the FA Cup and promotion has not been achieved before or since, Albion reached the final again in 1935, losing to Sheffield Wednesday, but were relegated three years later
Birmingham is a major city and metropolitan borough of West Midlands, England lying on the River Rea, a small river that runs through Birmingham. It is the largest and most populous British city outside London, the city is in the West Midlands Built-up Area, the third most populous urban area in the United Kingdom, with a population of 2,440,986 at the 2011 census. Birminghams metropolitan area is the second most populous in the UK with a population of 3.8 million and this also makes Birmingham the 8th most populous metropolitan area in Europe. By 1791 it was being hailed as the first manufacturing town in the world, perhaps the most important invention in British history, the industrial steam engine, was invented in Birmingham. From the summer of 1940 to the spring of 1943, Birmingham was bombed heavily by the German Luftwaffe in what is known as the Birmingham Blitz. The damage done to the infrastructure, in addition to a deliberate policy of demolition and new building by planners, led to extensive demolition. Today Birminghams economy is dominated by the service sector and its metropolitan economy is the second largest in the United Kingdom with a GDP of $121. 1bn, and its six universities make it the largest centre of higher education in the country outside London. Birmingham is the fourth-most visited city in the UK by foreign visitors, Birminghams sporting heritage can be felt worldwide, with the concept of the Football League and lawn tennis both originating from the city. Its most successful football club Aston Villa has won seven league titles, people from Birmingham are called Brummies, a term derived from the citys nickname of Brum. This originates from the citys name, Brummagem, which may in turn have been derived from one of the citys earlier names. There is a distinctive Brummie accent and dialect, Birminghams early history is that of a remote and marginal area. The main centres of population, power and wealth in the pre-industrial English Midlands lay in the fertile and accessible river valleys of the Trent, the Severn and the Avon. The area of modern Birmingham lay in between, on the upland Birmingham Plateau and within the wooded and sparsely populated Forest of Arden. Birmingham as a settlement dates from the Anglo-Saxon era, within a century of the charter Birmingham had grown into a prosperous urban centre of merchants and craftsmen. By 1327 it was the third-largest town in Warwickshire, a position it would retain for the next 200 years, by 1700 Birminghams population had increased fifteenfold and the town was the fifth-largest in England and Wales. The importance of the manufacture of goods to Birminghams economy was recognised as early as 1538. Equally significant was the emerging role as a centre for the iron merchants who organised finance, supplied raw materials. The 18th century saw this tradition of free-thinking and collaboration blossom into the phenomenon now known as the Midlands Enlightenment
Worcestershire is a county in the West Midlands of England. Between 1974 and 1998, it was merged with the county of Herefordshire as Hereford. The cathedral city of Worcester is the largest settlement and county town, other towns in the county include Redditch, Bromsgrove, Stourport-on-Severn, Droitwich, Evesham, Kidderminster, and Malvern. The north-east of Worcestershire includes part of the industrial West Midlands, the county is divided into six administrive districts, Worcester, Redditch, Wychavon, Malvern Hills, Wyre Forest, and Bromsgrove. The county borders Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands, Warwickshire, to the west, the county is bordered by the Malvern Hills and the spa town of Malvern. The south of the county is bordered by Gloucestershire and the edge of the Cotswolds. Two major rivers flow through the county, the Severn and the Avon, Worcestershire was the heartland of the early English kingdom of the Hwicce. It was absorbed by the Kingdom of Mercia during the 7th century and it was a separate ealdormanship briefly in the 10th century before forming part of the Earldom of Mercia in the 11th century. In the years leading up to the Norman conquest, the Church, supported by the cathedral, Evesham Abbey, Pershore Abbey, Malvern Priory, and other religious houses, increasingly dominated the county. The last known Anglo-Saxon sheriff of the county was Cyneweard of Laughern, on 4 August 1265, Simon de Montfort was killed in the Battle of Evesham in Worcestershire. In 1642, the Battle of Powick Bridge was the first major skirmish of the English Civil War, during the Middle Ages, much of the countys economy was based on the wool trade. Many areas of its forests, such as Feckenham Forest, Horewell Forest. Droitwich Spa, situated on large deposits of salt, was a centre of production from Roman times. These old industries have declined, to be replaced by other. The county is home to the worlds oldest continually published newspaper. Malvern was one of the centres of the 19th century rise in English spa towns due to Malvern water being believed to be very pure, containing nothing at all. The 2011 census found the population of Worcestershire to be 566,169, while this change is in line with the nationwide trend of White British peoples share of the population shrinking, Worcestershire is still much more ethnically homogeneous than the national average. In 2011 England as a whole was 79. 8% White British, the most notable were Dudley, Evenlode, and the area around Shipston-on-Stour
Yorkshire County Cricket Club
Yorkshire County Cricket Club is one of eighteen first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It represents the county of Yorkshire. The clubs limited overs team is called the Yorkshire Vikings, the teams most recent Championship title was in 2015, following on from that achieved in 2014. The clubs limited-overs kit colours are purple, black and yellow with Mazars as the main sponsor, Yorkshire play most of their home games at Headingley Stadium in Leeds. Another significant venue is at North Marine Road Ground, Scarborough, Sheffield Cricket Club was probably formed about this time and there are references to Sheffield matches in Derbyshire in 1757 and at Leeds in 1761. A club was formed in York in 1784, bedale in North Yorkshire was a noted centre in the early 19th century. But cricket in most rural areas was slow to develop, Yorkshire cricket became centred around Sheffield, where it was more organised than in the rest of the county. From 1771, Sheffield played semi-regular matches against Nottingham Cricket Club, Nottingham was generally the better side and Sheffield sometimes played with more players to give them a greater chance of victory. Nevertheless, the Sheffield player Tom Marsden was regarded as one of the players in the country in the 1820s. Cricket increased in popularity after a match was played at the purpose-built Darnall New Ground in Sheffield to evaluate the new style of roundarm bowling. After this match, many new clubs were formed in the county. In 1833, Yorkshire was first used as a name, although it contained 11 Sheffield players. The name may have arisen from a need to match the status of Norfolk as a county rather than a city, there were some differences in the organisation of the Yorkshire team vis-à-vis those called Sheffield as it included three amateurs while Sheffield teams were entirely professional. Yorkshire, as such, played intermittently over the thirty years but was not organised in any formal way. Some of their opponents were Sussex in 1835, Manchester in 1844 and 1845, also in 1849, Yorkshire played against a Lancashire team for the first time, though it was really a Sheffield v Manchester match. By 1855, Sheffield and Yorkshire were playing at Bramall Lane, on 7 March 1861, during a meeting at the Adelphi Hotel in Sheffield, a Match Fund Committee was established to run Yorkshire county matches. The committee was made up from the management committee of the Bramall Lane ground, but the committee was unable to persuade other clubs that it was not seeking to promote Sheffield cricket and a lack of funds prevented some matches being played in 1862. By this time, there were several cricketers with good reputations, consequently, on 8 January 1863, Yorkshire County Cricket Club was formed
Hampshire County Cricket Club
Hampshire County Cricket Club is one of eighteen first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It represents the county of Hampshire. Hampshire teams formed by earlier organisations, principally the Hambledon Club, always had important match status, because of poor performances for several seasons, Hampshire then lost its status for nine seasons until it was invited into the County Championship in 1895. The club was founded in 1863 and played at the Antelope Ground and they relocated to the County Ground, Southampton until 2000, before moving to the purpose-built Rose Bowl in West End, which is in the Borough of Eastleigh. Hampshire played its first important match in 1864, losing to Sussex at the Antelope Ground, Hampshire had poor results for many seasons and lost its important match status in 1885. They achieved official first-class status in 1895 when they were invited to join the County Championship, the club has twice won the County Championship, in the 1961 and 1973 seasons. It has twice won the Benson & Hedges Cup, in 1988 and 1991, the Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy once in 2005, having first played Twenty20 cricket in 2003, Hampshire won the Friends Provident t20 in 2010. The County Championship was restructured in 2000, and at the end of the 2002 Hampshire was relegated for the first time, the club remained in the second division for three seasons and since 2004 had competed in the top tier. However, the club was relegated once more in 2011, the club won both the Friends Life t20 and ECB40 in 2012, but it wasnt until 2014 before they were promoted to the first division again. They narrowly avoided relegation in 2015 before being relegated again in 2016, phil Mead is the clubs leading run-scorer with 48,892 runs in 700 matches for Hampshire between 1905 and 1936. Fast bowler Derek Shackleton took 2,669 wickets in 583 first-class matches between 1948 and 1969 which remains a club record. Alec Kennedy, whose career lasted from 1907 to 1936, was the first player to score 10,000 runs, Colin Ingleby-Mackenzie was both Hampshire last amateur captain and first professional captain. If authentic, this is the earliest known mention of cricket in Hampshire, but, with the sport having originated in Saxon or Norman times on the Weald, it must have reached Hampshire long before 1647. In 1680, lines written in an old Bible invite All you that do delight in Cricket, come to Marden, Marden is in Sussex, north of Chichester, and interestingly close to Hambledon, which is just across the county boundary in Hampshire. Hampshire is used in a name for the first time in August 1729. The origin of the legendary Hambledon Club is lost, Hambledon had presumably earned recognition as the best parish team in Hampshire, but no reports of their local matches have been found. We do not know when the Hambledon Club was founded and it likely that some kind of parish organisation was operating in 1756. The Sussex v Hampshire match in June 1766 is the earliest reference to Hampshire as a county team