dre beat headphones best buy Gloucestershire County Cricket Club
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Gloucestershire County Cricket Club is one of the 18 first class county cricket clubs which make up the English domestic structure. The club represents the historic county of Gloucestershire. Its limited overs team is called the Gloucestershire Gladiators.
The club plays most of its home games at its County Ground in Nevil Road, Bristol, which it has used since 1888. A number of games are played each season at the Cheltenham and Gloucester cricket festivals on College Ground, Cheltenham and The King’s School, Gloucester.
Gloucestershire has never won the official County Championship but it has been one of the most successful limited overs teams in English cricket. It is known that the related sport of “Stow Ball” aka “Stob Ball” was played in the county during the 16th century. In this game, the bat was called a “stave”.
A game in Gloucester on 22 September 1729 is the earliest definite reference to cricket in the county. The match was advertised in The Weekly Journal dated 15 September as an 11 a side match for “upwards of 20 guineas” to take place “in the Town Ham of this City”. From then until the foundation of the county club, very little has been found outside parish cricket.
Origin of club
Dr Henry Grace, the father of W G Grace, and his brother in law Alfred Pocock founded the Mangotsfield Cricket Club in 1845 to represent several neighbouring villages including Downend, where the Grace family resided. In 1846, this club merged with the West Gloucestershire Cricket Club whose name was adopted until 1867. It has been said that the Grace family ran the West Gloucestershire “almost as a private club”. Henry Grace managed to organise matches against Lansdown Cricket Club in Bath, which was the premier West Country club. West Gloucestershire fared poorly in these games and, sometime in the 1850s, Henry Grace and Alfred Pocock decided to join Lansdown, although they continued to run the West Gloucestershire and this remained their primary club.
In 1867, West Gloucestershire changed its name to Gloucestershire County Cricket Club. Henry Grace hoped to compete against the first class county clubs but the situation had been complicated in 1863 by the formation of a rival club called the Cheltenham and Gloucestershire Cricket Club. Nevertheless, Dr Grace’s club played Gloucestershire’s inaugural first class match versus Surrey at Durdham Down near Bristol on 2, 3 4 June 1870. The existence of the Cheltenham club seems to have forestalled the installation of Gloucestershire’s “constitutional trappings”, but the Cheltenham club was wound up in March 1871 and its chief officials accepted positions in the hierarchy of Gloucestershire. So, although the exact details and dates of the county club’s foundation are uncertain, it has always been assumed that the year was 1870 and the club celebrated its centenary in 1970.
What is certain is that Dr Grace was able to form the county club because of its playing strength, especially his three sons WG, EM and Fred.
1870 to 1889
It follows that the early history of Gloucestershire is dominated by the Grace family, especially WG himself. He was the club’s original captain and held the post until his departure for London in 1899. His elder brother EM, although an active player, was the original club secretary. With the three Grace brothers, batsman Frank Townsend and Australian professional all rounder Billy Midwinter, Gloucestershire had a formidable team in the 1870s and claimed outright the unofficial “Champion County” titles of 1874, 1876 and 1877 as well as a share with Nottinghamshire of the 1873 title.
After their heady start, Gloucestershire declined in the 1880s. One of the main reasons was the early death of Fred Grace from pneumonia in 1880, there being a view that “the county was never quite the same without him”. Apart from WG himself, the only players of Fred’s calibre at this time were the leading professionals. Unlike the south east and northern counties, Gloucestershire had neither the large home gates nor the necessary funds that could have secured the services of good quality professionals. This was at a time when a new generation of professionals was emerging and, as a result, Gloucestershire fell away in county competition and could no longer match Lancashire, Nottinghamshire and Surrey who had the strongest sides in the 1880s.
William Woof was the first of several outstanding spin bowlers to represent Gloucestershire. He made his debut in 1878 and bowled slow left arm orthodox spin (SLA),
taking 100 wickets in both the 1884 and 1885 seasons. After that, his appearances were limited by his professional commitments.
1890 to 1914
Subsequently, Gloucestershire’s fortunes have been mixed and they have not yet won the official County Championship, which began in 1890 with Gloucestershire one of its 8 inaugural members. There has been a pattern of teams that sometimes contained great players but never enough good players; the county has always seemed to lack the strength in depth that clubs like Yorkshire and Surrey have generally enjoyed. Gloucestershire’s main problem has often been far too much dependency on one or two outstanding players, repeatedly mirroring a situation in the 1880s when WG effectively “carried” the team. He never played for England but he had a good understanding with wicket keeper Jack Board who did play 6 Tests for England. Board played for Gloucestershire from 1891 to the outbreak of World War I although he did for a time join WG at London County. J J Ferris, like Billy Midwinter a dual international, played for Gloucestershire between 1892 and 1895 but he was not as successful as had been hoped.
Charlie Townsend, son of Frank Townsend, made his debut in 1893 and had a distinguished career with the county until his profession severely limited his appearances. Even so, he continued till 1922. He played only twice for England. Townsend was a left handed bat (LHB) who bowled right arm leg breaks (LB). It was said of him that he “spun the ball so prodigiously that even the most experienced players found him baffling to play”. He took a unique “hat trick” when all three batsmen were stumped (by W H Brain).
Gilbert Jessop, who played for the county from 1894 to 1914, was one of its greatest players and succeeded WG as club captain, holding the post from 1900 to 1912. Known as “The Croucher” from his unusual stance, he was famed for his big hitting and fast scoring. He was a brilliant cover fielder, perhaps the best there has ever been, with outstandingly accurate throwing skills and quickness across the ground. He started as a genuine right arm fast bowler (RF) but his effectiveness was reduced following a back injury in 1899 and he became a batting all rounder.
Although Jessop always did his best for the county, the years of his captaincy saw Gloucestershire struggling in the championship and they never got into top half of the table. They finished bottom in 1909 and again, under Jessop’s successor Cyril Sewell, in 1914.
1919 to 1939
But Jessop’s captaincy had a lasting benefit because, under him, several stawart professionals were brought into the team whose legacy was a foundation upon which to build a very good inter war team. For many years in this period, Gloucestershire was the only southern team that could challenge the northern powerhouses of Yorkshire, Lancashire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire who dominated the championship for nearly two decades. It was not until 1921, when they finished 7th, that Gloucestershire returned to the top half of the championship, but the trend after that was generally an upward one. The key players who returned after the war for the 1919 season were George Dennett, Alf Dipper, Charlie Parker and Harry Smith.
Dennett, a slow left arm spinner, holds the unlucky record of having taken the most wickets (2,147) in his first class career among players who never played Test cricket. Charlie Parker was one of the great slow left armers, though he bowled at something approaching medium pace. He is the third highest wicket taker (3,278) in first class cricket behind only Wilfred Rhodes and Tich Freeman; yet he only played once for England. Alf Dipper played from 1908 to 1932 and was a resolute and very careful opening batsman who scored 28,075 runs with 53 centuries. Like Parker, he made just one appearance for England. And another who made a single Test appearance was Harry Smith,
who succeeded Jack Board in 1914 and was the county’s wicket keeper until 1935.