Hampshire captain Jimmy Adams is eager to take the field at Dean Park cricket ground in Bournemouth as part of its inaugural Festival of Cricket over the May Day bank holiday weekend (1-4 May).
As part of his benefit year he’ll skipper a full-strength Hampshire side for a T20 showdown with Dorset on 4 May – the highlight of the four-day festival.
“It’ll be a great day as I spent a good portion of my formative cricketing years in Dorset,” he says.
“Dean Park has a wonderful history and association with Hampshire and it will be great to finally get back on the pitch there after a number of weather-affected years!”
He can expect T20 with all the trimmings as Dean Park plans to lay on a full show for the occasion with cheerleaders, live music, coloured kits and video replay technology. AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe – hopefully fresh from securing promotion to the Premier League for the first time in the club’s history – will be on hand to toss the coin and start the game.
“The match will be important also as part of the campaign to keep Dean Park as a cricket venue and so we hope for a bumper crowd,” adds Keith Brewer, Dorset’s county cricket development manager.
The Dorset v Hants T20 match gets underway on Monday 4 May at 2.30pm and is preceded by a county U17s match with loads of fun events for younger cricketers from have-a-go sessions to mini-games and skill-based activities.
It’s the only event of the four-day Festival of Cricket for which an entry fee applies. The weekend begins with the Mayor’s XI taking on Dorset Ladies at 6pm on Friday 1 May, then continues on Saturday from 1pm when Parley CC meet Wimborne & Colehill CC; while on Sunday Dorset CCC play reigning champions Devon in a 50-over match from 11am.
That clash should present Dorset fans with an early chance to see highly rated new signing Chris Jones in action. The former Somerset run-getter, a Minor Counties record-breaker for Dorset in 2012, will feature regularly for the Dean Park outfit over the course of the season.
Dean Park will be operating a full bistro bar and catering service through the festival weekend with teas and home-baked cakes, a local ale and cider festival, wood-fired pizzas and gourmet barbecue with locally sourced burgers and pulled pork.
A full range of sponsorship opportunities and hospitality packages has been created for the Festival of Cricket. Full details at www.dorsetcricketboard.co.uk, or tel 01202 881349.