Afghanistan v Bhutan at Lalitpur, Asian Cricket Council Twenty20 Cup

I really phoned in Friday’s blog about Glamorgan, and I honestly feel a little bad about that.  No, really.  But I have a good excuse: my work computer has what is known as a “Google Redirect Virus” – which is exactly what it sounds like: whenever I Google a term and click on a result, I am redirected to a spam website.  It is terrifically annoying and evil.  And as you can well imagine, it makes it very difficult to write about a County Cricket Club.

(This is a shared work station, so please no “stop downloading porn vids at work, dude” comments.)

I alerted IT, of course, but the virus is still there.  The good news is that I have found a workaround, so let’s do this:

Today we will talk about the county that is by far the most difficult to spell: Gloucestershire.

The club was formed in 1870, made its first class debut the following year, and has never won a First Class County Championship (though they won three “unofficial” titles in the 1870s.)  They were runners up in 1930, 1931, 1947, 1959, 1969, and 1986, but they have never reached the pinnacle of the English County Game.  Officially, anyway.

They have won several one day trophies.  Nine, in fact.  Most recently in 2004, and have recently become, according to Sam Collins, the “team to beat” when it comes to one day cricket.

Gloucestershire (got it right on the first try, no ctrl-v even) plays the majority of its home matches at the quaint little County Ground on Nevil Road in Bristol.

It seats 7,000 during county matches and 15,000 during ODIs (it hosts about one a year.)

It has been the home for Gloucestershire since 1889 and while most would not call it England’s most picturesque ground, it is steeped in history, as it was home to Gloucestershire’s most notable players, and one of the most famous and important men in the history of English cricket:  W.G. Grace:

He was captain of the side from 1870 until 1898, piling up 22,808 runs and taking 1,339 wickets.  He is widely considered to be England’s first true all rounder, and one of the greatest cricketers of all time.

Along with his two brothers, he also played in 22 tests for England.

His Wikipedia entry is long and fascinating, and worth a read.  The County game as we know it does not exist without his influence.

The most runs in the club’s history were actually scored by another very famous cricketer, Wally Hammond, with 33,664.  Hammond played for the club for 31 years and also played in 85 tests for England, and was captain of his country in 20 of those matches.  He knocked 22 test centuries and like WG Grace, was another true all-rounder, taking 732 first class wickets during his remarkable career.

Hammond reads like cricket’s version of Ty Cobb though: hard to get along with yet extremely talented.

Charlie Parker took 3,170 wickets for the club, the most in Gloucestershire’s history, and the third most in the history of First Class Cricket.

And in so many words, that is Gloucestershire County Cricket Club.

As always, special thanks to Cricinfo.com and Wikipedia.org.

***********************************************************************

Back on the pitch: not too terribly much happening.  The West Indies beat India by 16 runs in the 3rd ODI in Ahmedebab, their first win on the tour, and that was the only international match happening in the last 24 hours.

But there is a whole lot of test cricket about to happen: the 2nd test between Australia and New Zealand starts on the 9th and is available to watch on Willow.tv.  The first test between Bangladesh and Pakistan also starts on the 9th and is available to watch on ESPN3.  And…AND…the first test between South Africa and Sri Lanka starts on the 15th and is also available on Willow.tv.  Life is good for cricket fans in the states right now, that is for sure.

Until next time.

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