Rose Bowl Cricket Ground Southampton: A Sporting Gem

The World Test Championship Final between India and New Zealand was held at the magnificent Rose Bowl Cricket Ground in 2021, which became the centre of attention. The Rose Bowl transformed into a tank of emotion during this historic match. On Day 1, excessive rain caused an unprecedented sixth reserve day. When play resumed, New Zealand's crucial toss victory set the stage for an intense battle with India suffering on Day 3 despite a promising start. The Rose Bowl witnessed history as New Zealand triumphed, becoming the first country to win the coveted World Test Championship, forever etching this ground into the cricket’s history.

The Southampton, England-based Rose Bowl Cricket Ground is a location rich in sporting heritage. It has seen several legendary events over the years that have left an everlasting impression on the sport’s enthusiasts all over the world. The ground, located in the West End of Southampton, was built in the late 80s and early 90s to replace the old, poorly drained Hampshire ground. Designed by architect Michael Hopkins, the stadium's most striking feature is its amphitheatre like design, resembling a bowl. It also boasts a three-story pavilion with a unique canopy-shaped roof. The ground is home to Hampshire County and has hosted many iconic events in the sport.

The view of the Rose Bowl Cricket Ground's tented roof

Credit: Wikimedia Images

In this chapter by ZAP, let's dive deep and learn more about the Rose Bowl Cricket Ground in Southampton. 

The history of the Rose Bowl Cricket Ground (The Ageas Bowl):

The Rose Bowl Cricket Ground known as the Ageas bowl due to sponsorship reasons, was made when the Hampshire County Club needed a new venue. They played at the Northlands Road in Southampton, which was completely cramped and hindered with Hampshire’s ambition for expansion. The idea of relocation was discussed as early as 1987, and a site outside Southampton was chosen. Architect Sir Michael Hopkins designed the stadium, featuring a distinctive pavilion with a tented roof resembling Lord's Ground's Mound Stand. The construction of the stadium began in 1997 and after some financial issues, it was finally completed in 2001. The ground's unique amphitheater-like layout is due to its positioning on a sloping hill. The name "The Rose Bowl" was chosen in honor of the club's emblem and the bowl-shaped design. The ground is now also known as the Ageas bowl now because of sponsorship reasons. 

Rose Bowl Cricket Ground Capacity and Boundary Length:

The capacity of the stadium now sits at 6500, which can be increased to 20,000 people with temporary seating. The pavilion end and the hotel end are the two bowling ends at the stadium. Onside and offside, the pitch's centre and the boundary are separated by a distance of roughly 76 metres, 82 metres on the Pavilion end side, and 82 metres on the Hotel end side.

Read More: Largest Cricket Ground in the World

The Rose Bowl Cricket Stadium Pitch Report:

The pitch at the Rose Bowl Cricket Ground


The Rose Bowl Stadium's pitch favours bowlers more than batsmen, making it difficult for opening batsmen in particular. Because the new cricket ball moves a lot, fast bowlers here have enormous swing, which makes things very difficult for top-order batsmen. Fast bowlers can benefit from additional bounce on this field. For spin bowlers, the surface is also very helpful since it gives them good turn and bounce. Although historically it has been an excellent place for batting because it is England's quickest track, bowlers now predominate in most games.

Important Matches played at the Southampton Cricket Ground:

The First Test Match:

The first ever test match game played at the Southampton Cricket Stadium was the The England-Sri Lanka Test encounter from 2011. This first test match saw Stuart Broad mark the stadium’s debut with a lovely hat trick. In the record books of the Rose Bowl Ground, Broad's hat-trick is still regarded as one of the most memorable events. This event was particularly memorable due to the stunning surroundings as well as the thrilling game. The picturesque surroundings, along with the outfield's lush greenery, made for the ideal setting for a thrilling game that both participants and spectators delighted in.

Indian Despair at the Ageas Bowl:

Tim Southee and Colin De Grandhomme celebrate a wicket against India at the WTC Final

Credit: DNA India

Fast forward to 2021, and the Rose Bowl Cricket Ground once again became the center of attention. It hosted the much-awaited World Test Championship Final between India and New Zealand. The match was a rollercoaster ride of emotions for both sets of fans. Heavy rain on Day 1 led to a sixth reserve day, and when play resumed, it was New Zealand who won the toss and put India to bat.

India struggled on Day 3 despite posting a respectable total of 146 for 3 on Day 2, with New Zealand bowling them out for 217. Thanks to a strong opening partnership of 70 and a half centuries by Devon Conway, the Kiwis went on to establish a commanding advantage. Kane Williamson and BJ Watling's consistent combination on Day 4 prepared New Zealand for a declaration at 339 for 8 on Day 5. India's hopes were soon dashed as they continued to lose wickets and were eventually bowled out for 170. New Zealand won by 8 wickets to become the first nation to win a World Test Championship.

Rose Bowl Cricket Ground Records:

Test Match Records:

A total of 7 test matches have been played at the Southampton cricket ground, with the WTC Final of 2021 being the most important of those. The England Cricket Board (ECB) even announced that the Rose Bowl in Southampton will host its first Ashes game in 2027 when England's men's team takes on Australia in a five-match series. Of the 7 tests played, here are the stats that stand out:

  • Highest team total: 583/8d by England against Pakistan, 2020
  • Lowest team total: 170 by India against New Zealand, 2021
  • Highest individual innings: 267 by Zak Crawley for England against Pakistan, 2020
  • Best bowling in an innings: 6/42 by Jason Holder for West Indies against England, 2020
  • Best bowling in a match: 9/137 by Shannon Gabriel for West Indies against England, 2020

ODI Cricket Records:

Eoin Morgan raises his bat to celebrate a century at the Rose Bowl Cricket Ground

Credit: Sportscafe

A total of 31 ODI games have been played at the venue and here are the ODI stats at this ground. 

  • Highest team total: 373/3 (50 overs) by England against Pakistan, 2019
  • Lowest team total: 65 (24 overs) by USA against Australia, 2004
  • Highest individual innings: 189 not out by Martin Guptill for New Zealand against England, 2013
  • Best bowling in an innings: 5/29 by Mervyn Dillon for West Indies against Bangladesh, 2004 and 5/29 by Shakib Al Hasan for Bangladesh against Afghanistan, 2019

T20 Cricket Records:

England players celebrate a wicket against South Africa at the Rose Bowl Cricket Ground

Credit: ESPN Cricinfo

9 T20Is have been played at the Rose Bowl, with the first one being played between the fierce rival England and Australia. Here are the underlying stats of those 9 matches. 

  • Highest team total: 248/6 (20 overs) by Australia against England, 2013
  • Lowest team total: 79 (14.3 overs) by Australia against England, 2005
  • Highest individual innings: 156 by Aaron Finch for Australia against England, 2013
  • Best bowling in an innings: 4/22 by Paul Collingwood for England against Australia, 2005


Q- Is Rose Bowl cricket ground batting or bowling pitch?

The Stadium's pitch favors bowlers, making it challenging for opening batsmen due to their large swing and the frequent movement of the new ball.

Q- What is the cricket ground at Southampton called?

The Southampton ground is called the Rose Bowl Cricket Ground or Ageas Bowl due to sponsorship reasons. 

Now that you have read about the Rose Bowl Cricket Ground in Southampton, here are some we recommend reading:

Melbourne Cricket Ground | Old Trafford Ground in Manchester | Origin and History of Cricket | Sydney Cricket Ground

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