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Sussex by Bruce Talbot (2013)

 

 Hove (Brighton&HoveJobs.Com County Ground)

 

Email Bruce on: bruce.talbot@btinternet.com

 

Directions
 
Pick up the A27 westbound at the bottom of the A23 on the outskirts of Brighton. Take the first exit (signposted Hove) and pick up the yellow AA direction signs on the second exit signposted for Hove on Dyke Road. The ground is approx. 2 miles from here. Public transport from station - Trains from London Victoria on the Sussex coast line stop at Hove. The ground is ten minutes walk from the station. Turn
right out of the station entrance and follow the road round. At the junction turn right into The drive. Walk towards the sea to the traffic lights and turn left into Eaton Road. Ground is approx 200 yards on your left.
  
Ground Facilities
 
Car Parking - Best to ring the club's helpful media man Adam Matthews (07717 347773) to book a place, particularly for big matches such as Twenty20. Sam on the gate will always try and squeeze in polite journalists, although only someone as famous as CMJ gets his car parked for him! On Championship days you can normally park behind the South Stand by showing your ECB pass.
  
PA and local paper contact
 
The new PROBIZ media centre at the sea end is named after the doyen of the Hove press corps, the late Jack Arlidge, although the CWC plaque bearing his name has still to turn up since the media moved into this new facility in 2011. There are boxes for TV, radio and written media with a large kitchen. There is always a friendly welcome for visiting journalists. Ask for Bruce Talbot (PA) or Steve Hollis (Brighton Argus) if you need any assistance and Adam Matthews is always around to help as well as provide updates on his beloved Kidderminster Harriers.
 

Refreshments
 
Sandwiches, tea and coffee are provided and, uniquely among county grounds, there is even a dishwasher. Local boozers - Right outside the main gates, The Sussex Cricketer (whose freehold is owned by the club) is the traditional lunchtime and post-play watering hole for journalists, players and umpires (after play only of course.) Sandwich bars - Church Road, which is a five minute walk from the ground contains any number of delis and sandwich shops. The food on the ground is much improved as well, especially the pies.
 
Accommodation
 
Outside London, Brighton has one of the biggest concentrations of hotels, guest houses and B&Bs in the country so take your pick - the choice is endless. Most of the seafront 'chain' hotels, which are used by visiting journalists, get pretty good reports and all have gyms and swimming pools. You can normally negotiate a rate if you are staying for more than one night as you might anywhere else. The nearest hotel to the ground is the Courtlands in Third Avenue. It's clean and comfortable, has its own small(ish) pool and is a five-minute stroll from the ground. Smaller boutique hotels such as Tops (recommended by Ivo Tennant) are popular too.
 
Leisure
 
The same applies to entertainment and food. There are restaurants to suit all tastes and pockets on nearby Church Road - the main drag in Hove itself - while a short hop on the bus or a cab will get you into Brighton and the Laines, seafront and as many restaurants, pubs, cinemas and bars you could shake a stump at. Take your pick. There is generally something good on at the Theatre Royal where most companies stop off before heading to the West End. But it is unheard of in the Hove box for a journalist to utter the phrase: "I saw a really good play at the Theatre Royal last night." Golf is available locally at East Brighton, Brighton & Hove and Waterhall - a council-owned course off the A27 heading towards Lewes. Contact the clubs for details of tee times and green fees. 
 
Outgrounds - Horsham and Arundel
 

Sussex's two regular outgrounds are Horsham and Arundel.
 
Horsham Cricket Club play at Cricketfield Road, not far from the town centre and the ground is well signposted during Festival
Week off the A24 and A264.
  
Parking in the ground is on the outfield of the adjacent second ground. Press facilities are in a marquee at the church or town end. Press used to be housed at the end of the pavilion, but after the infamous incident when the late Christopher Wordsworth 'broke the only phone at Horsham' (it's mentioned in his Wisden obit) we were moved.
 
At Arundel, it's a similar scenario with a marquee at the Castle end, which is nearest the town. At both grounds Sussex provide refreshments but there is no wi-fi.
 
There are a couple of hotels in both towns. The Norfolk is the main hotel in Arundel but tends to get booked up quickly. There is a smaller hotel nearer the station and in Horsham a Travel Inn opposite the station.
 
Both towns have good pubs. Try the Malt Shovel in the centre of Horsham or at Arundel a couple of miles away in Houghton is the George and Dragon which offers decent ales, good food and fabulous views across the South Downs.