Knowing how passionate cricket groundsmen are about their hallowed turf, and more often like to know everything about their ground. A recent publication by Chris Arnot, called Britain's Lost Cricket Grounds, provides a great insight to why and how important your cricket grounds are to the community and society in general.
The value of cricket clubs and what they mean to the local community should not be underestimated. They are often found in the most picturesque of settings, offering a safe haven for many of the younger playing generation whilst they are learning their cricketing skills.
Every ground has its own unique character with the square being the centre of attention, the age, condition and management of the square often dictates or influences the game of cricket. Most players will have experienced good and bad moments when batting or bowling on their pitches, and often remember some unusual feat during a particular match.
Chris Arnot's book gives an interesting insight to some of the grounds that have been lost to cricket, a hardback copy filled with nostalgia and fantastic pictures of these memorable cricket grounds. The book features forty grounds that have been lost to cricket, these include the likes of Hastings, Tonbridge, Stroud, Bramall Lane, Bletchley Park, Rodney Parade to name a few.
I am sure most cricket lovers will appreciate the memories of long ago, of both people and places, coupled with some stunning photographs. I am sure the book will make a good present for most practising groundsmen and have a useful place in any club house. it is important to take note of these losses, and ensure that others do not follow suit in the coming years. How do you put a price on the value of these wonderful facilities? In my opinion, they are priceless.
Chris Arnot is a freelance writer and a regular contributor to the Guardian, and has written articles for many of the other major newspapers. He has had a long association with cricket and, in my opinion, has written a very interesting book about these lost grounds. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who's interested in cricket (and, for that matter, social history), and would like congratulate Chris on his achievement.
The book can be purchased at most leading bookshops and online with a RRP of £25.00