Saturday, 30 January 2010

On winter ground

Just up the road from me is a cricket ground which has been played on every year since 1770, the year that Marie Antionette arrived at the French court and James Cook discovered the coast of Australia. 

It's a typical village ground, by the pub and the duckpond, with a road barely one-car wide around three sides of the boundary, surrounded by old stone houses now worth millions. Today the low winter sun lit it up, frost still clinging to the iron posts that fence off the square. All of the humps and slopes on the outfield made by those hundreds of matches stood out in relief in the hard light. 

You can walk across it on a morning like this and think of Mumbai and Trinidad and Sydney and Columbo and a hundred other, grander places where cricket has travelled to from here, and of the many great players who've never seen this ground, never heard of it, but who have something in common with it. It's quite a place, even in winter.

I've played on it a few times, mainly in junior cricket, and done alright there too. Today, that felt kind of good.  


Brian Carpenter said...

You've 'done alright' here too, OB. Great stuff.

Tom Redfern said...

er where is it
sounds a bit like Warborough and Shillingford

Ceci said...

Lovely start to February OB!

The Old Batsman said...

Thanks, it's glorious there - it's Hartley Wintney

Pay per head services said...

you know I really hate winter, during winter you cannot do some things that become important things when you notice them, like baseball for instead