Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/340

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by Frederick Charles Plumptre, Vice-Chancellor, on the one part, and William Ridding, steward of the University Cricket Club, on the other part, the Magdalen ground was let to the University Club, which thus for the first time became practically permanent lessees of an enclosed ground. This advantage was due to the forethought of Dr Plumptre, and it is a pleasing reflection that throughout the history of cricket at Oxford, as at Cambridge, there have always been seniors who have taken care for the games played by junior members of the university.

The same tendency to enclosure formed the college cricketgrounds at Cowley. Brasenose and St John's came down from Bullingdon to a field, which they shared with Exeter and Wadham, as lessees under the university. In another field Balliol, Trinity, Queen's, New College, C.C.C., Pembroke, &c., became lessees of Christ Church. Part of the university ground was sublet by the University Cricket Club to University College by the agreement of 7th June 1851. Later on, in 1860, another part, between the university ground and the University College ground, was let to Oriel, "on condition that the Oriel Club does not play a match on any day when there may be a match on the Magdalen ground." Finally, Christ Church, which had had a ground not far from the Old White House, and on the right of the Great Western Railway as one goes towards London, made a new ground on the Iffley Road, the nearest to Oxford, the finest up to the time, and even now one of the finest grounds in Oxford. Thus college cricket, which had in 1827 scarcely existed, gradually grew. Starting from Bullingdon, it came closer and closer to Oxford, and by about 1862 was furnished with a series of college grounds, the nearest of which was Christ Church, but all on the Cowley side of Oxford.

Now that we have traced the rise and first development of Oxford cricket, we may pause to notice the early university matches down to 1862, when an important change took place, to be noticed hereafter. At this point a debt of gratitude must be paid to Mr Knight for his work on 'Cricket. Oxford v. Cambridge from 1827 to 1876' (Wisden and Co., 1877), without which the following account of the early matches would have been a task of some difficulty. It is our duty to keep a special eye for Oxford successes.

1. It has already been noticed that the first match was in 1827, and was drawn owing to wet. It was greatly in favour of Oxford, which made 258, while Cambridge made 92 in the first innings. Among the players for Oxford was the Right Rev. Charles