Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/366

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under ordinary conditions of weather, it is not the fault of that classic ground.

Thanks to the abundant supply of cricket literature generally, the young cricketer who has made his mark at school, whether a big school or a little school, will find that his fame has preceded him, and that not only will his chances of a "blue" be freely discussed, but he will be given reasonable opportunities of showing what he is good for. Still, it need hardly be premised that a good start early in the season is all-important, as this is the surest way of catching the authorities' eye. He will, of course, join his college club, and will perhaps soon hear that he has been elected to some of the many wandering clubs with which Cambridge abounds, and which go about playing different colleges, having no grounds of their own, but probably a very gaudy ribbon or blazer by way of compensation. He will also join Fenner's for an entrance fee and subscription of a guinea, or can compound and become a life member for £5, 5s.—not a very ruinous extravagance. It is wise to go up to Cambridge as soon as term begins, so as to get as much practice as possible before the Freshmen's match, as a good début is most important, and it is only good school credentials or most persistent scoring in college matches which will cover the multitude of sins implied by a failure in the "Freshers'" match. For practice there is no time like the morning, though somehow deans, tutors, lecturers, and "coaches" look askance, and something more than askance, on the habit: but the facts remain, that the bowlers are fresh, that there is no distraction such as a long line of batsmen necessarily causes, and that a few quiet hints from the bowler are more readily given and more easily conveyed when the scene is comparatively private. A little hitting practice at college nets, where the professional is not likely to be very first-class, often passes away a stray hour; but the first introduction to Cambridge cricket, unless a casual college match has occurred, will probably be in the Freshmen's match, when the sides are captained by the 'Varsity captain and secretary respectively, and are, as far as is possible, chosen so as to be equally balanced. Success here will probably be followed by another trial, perhaps in such a match as the Eleven v. the Next Sixteen, or in a foreign match. But it is not enough to get runs or bowl wickets: the runs must be got in good style—bad style often excludes a man—and the lynx-eyed captain will soon see whether the capture of wickets is a fluke, or whether it is due to genuine skill, such as may foster the hope that other and doughtier batsmen than the opposing Freshmen may fall victims. It is the rule, by the way,