HAMPSHIRE will be playing on the Isle of Wight for the first time since 1962 next season.

It has been confirmed that they will be playing a Specsavers County Championship match at Newclose, near Newport from May 20, against Nottinghamshire, duw to World Cup matches being played at The Ageas Bowl.

Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove said: “Due to the exclusivity period around its ICC World Cup Tournament commitments next season, Hampshire Cricket is required to play a home fixture away from the Ageas Bowl and we are very excited to be staging a debut First Class fixture at Newclose Cricket Ground on the Isle of Wight.

“Having played Second XI matches there in recent years, we know that Newclose is a fantastic facility, with a good wicket and plenty of space for members and supporters.

“The club is working with a range of travel partners to ensure that as many of our mainland-based fans as possible will be able to join us for what should be a fantastic fixture.

“The four-day match against Nottinghamshire, on 20th-23rd May, is a fitting reward for the hard work of everyone concerned at Newclose and, in particular, the determination and commitment of the late Brian Gardener who would be absolutely thrilled at this outcome.”

Hampshire will begin the season with back-to-back home fixtures in the Championship, against Essex (April 5) and Yorkshire six days later.

Hampshire’s Royal London One-Day Cup defence begins on Wednesday, April 17 against Kent Spitfires at Canterbury - a repeat of last season’s Lord’s final.

As in previous years, the 50-over competition is divided into two regional divisions with Hampshire’s first home game against Glamorgan. They also play Somerset, Essex, Surrey and Gloucestershire before Sunday, May 5.