RETIRING chairman Rod Bransgrove wants to ensure Hampshire Cricket Club is in a healthy financial position going forward, as he prepares to step down.

Bransgrove has spent 23 years in charge of Hampshire and has overseen England test matches at the Ageas Bowl, as well as an unprecedented level of success in the white-ball game.

It was announced in June that the home of Hampshire Cricket will host an Ashes test in 2027 which was a long-term goal for the chairman.

He has also made it clear that he still has an important role in making sure plans for that test are not affected.

In the open letter to members and fans, he insisted: "Although I am stepping down, I am not leaving.

"I have an important role now to make sure that our plans for the Ashes in 2027 are underpinned by long-term financial security.

"I promised at the outset that Hampshire Cricket will never again be threatened by insolvency and I intend to fulfil this commitment before I put my feet up."

Hampshire made it to T20 finals day again in 2023 but they were ultimately beaten by Essex in the semi-final at Edgbaston in July.

They also progressed to the Metro Bank One-Day Cup final but they fell short again as they were beaten by Leicestershire at Lords.

Despite that, Bransgrove is proud of the overall success the club has achieved over the years.

He continued: "Reflecting on my 23 years of tenure, it is extraordinary to see how far we have come and how much cricket has changed.

"On the field, our men’s teams have entertained us superbly over the years, reaching sixteen Finals/Finals Days, winning eight trophies, and becoming the most successful team in domestic T20 cricket.

"The belated advent and growth of professional women’s cricket has brought a new energy to the sport.

"Our very own Southern Vipers have been at the forefront of this change and we have made astonishing progress in a very short time.

"I am immensely proud of how we have led the way and am looking forward to continuing to pioneer the development of the sport as chair of the Vipers, as we plan for long-term sustainability."

Nick Pike, who has been the deputy chairman since 2021, will succeed Bransgrove in the position.

Bransgrove added: "Nick has been with me at this Club since we restructured in 2000.

"He is a shareholder, has been a director since the start, and, indeed, acted as managing director from 2002-2005.

"He knows the business inside out and will serve you well for the next three years."

Hampshire men will begin their 2024 season on Friday, April 5 against Durham in the County Championship.

The Southern Vipers will start with a Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy game against South East Stars on April 20.