Hampshire's members unanimously voted to ratify the move by the club into a public limited company at their Annual General Meeting on Wednesday.

Hants AGM
The company will be looking to raise £4.5 million pounds in a share offer being launched at the end of next month. A further application has been made to Sport England to raise a six figure sum.

Speaking to the assembled members, Rod Bransgrove the club chairman agreed that Hampshire will become the first plc cricket club in the country. He stated the original plan would be that shares would be offered to members only, but that more is required to develop the Rose Bowl into what the committee hope will hold Test matches in the future. The club was delighted to announce last year that one-day International status had been afforded the ground for 2004 season.

"A year ago," said Rod Bransgrove "we were wondering if we were going to have a club at all."

Speaking about the Ground for the 2002 season, he was delighted with the work progressing inside the pavilion for the opening in 9 weeks time, and any revenue from Sport England will also go into developing the new ground.

"We are currently in negotiations to develop our commercial activities, which includes a major golf driving range" continued the Chairman.

Feed back from members was extremely useful in finding what they wanted from the Rose Bowl, and work is in hand on this, which includes amongst other things, an improved public address system and railings to the spectator areas for this elderly or disabled.

Former Hampshire captain Colin Ingleby-Mackenzie was elected the new Club President. "Colin" said Bransgrove "is symbolic of our success, having lead Hampshire to their first Championship in 1961, and was the first to earn the club the nickname Happy Hants."