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An attractive cricket ground located near the seaside resort of Brighton, Hove is the current home of Sussex CCC. It’s a regular destination for cricket lovers in England, and this popular stadium in the UK is definitely one to tick off the list for groundhoppers.
Because Hove isn’t currently used for international cricket, it may not be familiar to all fans of the sport, so here is an essential guide.
History of Hove Cricket Ground
The cricket ground in Hove was opened in 1872. At that time, Sussex County Cricket Club were already established, and were playing their home games at the nearby Royal Brunswick Ground. As the county grew, they needed better facilities, and the land on which the Hove stadium now stands was opened in 1871.
While Sussex has played at other grounds around the county, Hove has been their base and their main facility from 1872 onwards.
Hove is not considered for international men’s cricket at the moment, but it has previously hosted one senior ODI. It was part of the 1999 World Cup in England and the game between India and South Africa took place here.
Women’s international cricket has also been played at Hove, and this may continue in the future. England first played a women’s ODI here way back in 1973 when they took on an International XI at the World Cup. The first women’s test at Hove was between England and Australia in 1987.
Capacity and Dimensions
The capacity at Hove is currently 6,000. This is quite small compared to other county grounds and that’s the main reason why the ground doesn’t host bigger matches.
This is also one of the smaller cricket grounds on the county circuit. All around the ground from the square, the boundaries will tend to extend up to a maximum of 70 metres. This means that it’s a good location for limited overs matches, where there are likely to be plenty of runs. The small area means that England are unlikely to play any senior games here, but it’s possible that there may be more minor internationals at Hove in the future.
How to find Hove Cricket Ground
Hove Cricket Ground is situated on the south coast of England in the county of West Sussex. It forms part of the city of Brighton and Hove and the stadium is just a short walk away from the busy Brighton seafront.
The roads around Brighton are quite busy, so those travelling by car will need to park away from the main centre. The train station is around a 20 minute walk away, but there are many buses and taxis that will take visitors to the ground itself.
Tickets and Seating Plan
Because the capacity of the Hove Cricket Ground is so small, it’s recommended that tickets are purchased in advance. For county games, smaller attendances mean that it should be OK to turn up on the day, but this may not be the case for One Day Cup and T20 Blast matches.
The Sussex County Cricket Club ticket office is the best place to access match day tickets.
The two ends at Hove are known as the Cromwell Road End and the Sea End. Many cricket lovers that have been here recommend watching a game from the South Stand. This is quite high up, behind the bowler’s arm and above the media centre, but it offers a great view of the playing area.
There will also be corporate hospitality areas and a family stand in place for limited overs games. For certain matches, it will also be possible to sit on grass banks at the Cromwell Road end of the Hove ground. This is the best way for spectators to get close to the action and to enjoy a ‘worm’s eye’ view of the cricket.
Owners, Operators and Tenants
The Hove Cricket Ground is owned and operated by Sussex Cricket Limited. As of 2023, the CEO of Sussex Cricket is Rob Andrew, the former England rugby union international, who also played first class cricket.
The company focuses on the needs of the county and is run in the best interests of Sussex CCC. It’s unlikely that there will be a change of ownership in the near future.
Sussex County Cricket Club continue to play the majority of their home matches at Hove. The ground is used for all three major formats and, in the T20 Blast, the team is known as the Sussex Sharks.
Other Sports Played At The Hove Cricket Ground
Away from cricket, other sports have been played at Hove in the past. In the 1890s, association football took place here, and the ground was used by Brighton United and Brighton Athletic. Tennis was also played here in the late 19th century.
A rugby union match took place at Hove in 1948 but, since then, the ground has been used exclusively for cricket. Like a number of other county facilities around England and Wales, Hove is also used for concerts which are useful for boosting revenue.
Hove Cricket Ground Records
In that solitary men’s ODI which was played here in 1999, the highest individual score was 97, made by India’s Sourav Ganguly. The best bowling figures in that game were the 3/66 by South Africa’s Lance Klusener.
The highest score by an individual batsman at Hove is an undefeated 335 by Murray Goodwin for Sussex in 2003. At the time, this was also the highest first class score by a Sussex batter.