Sparsholt Cricket Club
Location: The Norman Edwards Ground, Locks Lane, SO21 2LU, Sparsholt, Hampshire
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Sparsholt C.C. is a premier cricket club, sponsored by Cala Homes. The club’s home is the Norman Edwards Ground, named after the club’s greatest servant, who passed on in 2002. The ground is situated in the heart of the picturesque village of Sparsholt, just outside the historical city of Winchester.
Although games were played in the area in the late 19th century, Sparsholt CC in its present form was formed in 1935. The early 1970's saw the advent of Hampshire League cricket, and Sparsholt joined up in 1975. In 1979 Sparsholt won the South West Division 2, and then in 1982 the South West Division 1 title.
During this period the need for a brick built pavilion was turned into a reality with the construction, largely by craftsmen club members, of the existing pavilion, at a cost of £8,000. The original building has been extended on two occasions. The facilities continue to be developed, with an electronic scoreboard and replacement covers being among recent additions. This winter has seen a major pavilion refurbishment, along with the provision of a wireless network and laptop scoring.
In the 1980's the club grew rapidly, fielding a Second eleven in the league in 1983. In the same year the First team were runners up in HCL Division 3, and promoted to Division 2 for the following season, and then promoted to Division 1 where they remained until 2000, with the exception of the 1994 season in the Southern League after winning promotion in 1993. The Club gained admission to Division 3 of the newly formed ECB Southern Premier League in 2000, and promptly gained promotion to Division 2 as runners up.
The Second eleven was promoted into HCL West Division 1 for the 1992 season, the year in which a major extension was added to the pavilion. The Seconds gained promotion to Division 1 in 2001, the year in which another major extension was completed at the Club.
In 1991, the Third eleven was created, and a flourishing junior section now offers cricket to those aged between 8 and 16. Each summer the club hosts a young Overseas player (usually Australian), and last year Dan Payne from Adelaide was the league's leading run-scorer. This link has also led to a number of Sparsholt players visiting (and playing in) Australia.
In 2013, Payne's efforts helped the First XI finished seventh in Division 2 of the ECB Southern League, proudly finishing above many clubs of considerably 'greater status'.The Second team achieved a twelfth place finish in the Hampshire County Division Four North. The Third team finished sixth in the Hampshire Regional Division Four North West, but more importantly gave a number of juniors their first taste of senior cricket.
As well as league cricket, the club has an excellent record in knockout competitions. Always a strong contender in the Hampshire group of the National Village Knockout, the club has won the county final on three occasions, reaching the national quarter final in 2000, two games away from Lords. They are also regular contenders for the local Tichborne and Igglesden trophies in evening knockouts.