Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/364

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was first laid out, many changes have taken place: the old orchard, where practice took place on match-days, has been handed over to the builders, and part of an adjacent field has been secured in its stead; the gaol, a notable mark for a square-leg hit, has given way to a row of trim villas; the old shanty—it really was little better—which was the only shelter for 'Varsity cricketers and athletes, has been replaced by a charming and commodious pavilion. But in one point there is no change—i.e., in that close, smooth turf, and that beautifully level sheet of ground on which, as has been rightly said, the wickets might be pitched anywhere without previous notice to the groundman, and a three-day match played without the pitch wearing or a batsman being hurt. It is no small debt that Cambridge cricketers and their visitors owe to F. P. Fenner, and to Walter Watts, who for thirty-six years has had the management of the ground and running-track, and seems as full of vigour as he was a quarter of a century ago. It was not till 1875 that the Cambridge Cricket and Athletic Clubs obtained a long lease of the ground from Caius College, and felt justified in erecting a proper pavilion, the whole business being managed by the Rev. A. R. Ward, the father and devoted friend of Cambridge cricket, of whom more will be said hereafter. This pavilion was paid for by the subscriptions of numerous friends and patrons of cricket, including the Prince of Wales. In 1892 a still more important step was taken, and the freehold of the ground purchased from Caius College, which foundation behaved most generously and handsomely in matters financial. Hence what was once "Fenner's" is now "The Cambridge University Cricket-Ground," though for two terms in the year it is handed over, with its superb running-track, to the Athletic Club, which worked shoulder to shoulder with its cricketing brethren to secure its acquisition, and uses it for its own and for college sports!

Before the days of "Fenner's," the famous green known as "Parker's Piece" was the playground of the University and colleges. The fact that this was the only available ground in early days may supply the reason that no Inter-University match has been played at Cambridge: an open public space, intersected with many paths, was scarcely suitable. Yet excellent wickets were to be obtained on this great and level area, where everything was run out, and hits for 8 and 9 were not uncommon. Five-and-twenty years ago few colleges had grounds of their own—Trinity, St John's, Jesus, and Caius being the lucky ones, though the "Amalgamation" ground was opened by three or