The County Ground, Taunton on a Tuesday in August. The first day of a County Championship match. Maybe it was the weather that contributed to an above average gate but more likely a familiar name on the visitor’s team sheet. Fresh from the controversy where it was alleged he had sent tactically sensitive texts to the South African dressing room about his England team mates, the day marked the first century by Kevin Pietersen since his exile from the England Squad. His 163 wasn’t enough to earn earn a victory for his new County with the match ending in a draw.
Adjacent to the Ship Inn, The Ship Field has been home to Thornbury Cricket Club since 1871, soon after two local clubs merged under the influence of WG Grace’s older brother Edward Mills Grace. A tree sits within the boundary and local rules dictate that a direct hit results in 4 runs. A distinctive two storey motel style hotel runs along much of the north side of the ground, the balconies of which provide guests with a wonderful view of the cricket.
The newly renamed Brightside Ground may not specifically refer to the optimistic outlook required to watch County Championship cricket in April but with the likelyhood of rain interrupting play and sub-zero temperatures, it could do. You have to look closely to pick out the occasional hardy soul beneath Gloucestershire’s new floodlights, installed with International cricket in mind and the full houses that come with it.
The Clanage, Bedminster Cricket Club, Bristol
An Under 15 representative team from the Bristol Youth Cricket League entertain Canberra Grammar School from Australia at Bedminster Cricket Club. The tourists proved too strong for their hosts as the attacking field suggests but with Brunnel’s iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge in the background and a towering bank of cumulonimbus rolling up the River Avon the experience couldn’t have been more quintessentially English.