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The County Ground was bought by WG Grace in 1889 (he lived nearby) and although it has had a somewhat troubled existence - more than once the county has considered leaving the ground - it remains the home of Gloucestershire, and is now even host to the occasional ODI. In 1919 the county sold the venue to Fry's, the confectionary firm, who brought in their own groundsman and, for a time, changed the name. In 1933 the county bought it back again. In 1976 they once again sold it, this time to Royal & Sun Alliance, buying it back in 2004.
The venue is not beautiful but it is steeped in cricket history, from the moment spectators enter via the Grace Gates, the role that legends such Gilbert Jessop and Wally Hammond have played is unmistakable. The ground is full of character, fringed by trees, with a solid Edwardian pavillion. The wicket is good, and can favour spinners. Difficult conditions can prevail, as when Gloucestershire played Middlesex here in 1909, when the game was completed in a single day, or when Tom Goddard took 17 wickets in a day here in 1939. In another Gloucestershire-Middlesex game in 1938, Jim Smith made the fastest uncontrived first-class fifty (11 minutes, 6 sixes, 2 fours). Grace scored a triple century here in 1896 against Sussex, a feat matched by Hammond in 1934 v Glamorgan.
The ground now acts as a general sports centre, with squash and tennis courts, and in winter the turf serves as the target for a golf driving range.
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Thu Jul 23
ICC Women's Championship
2nd ODI - England Women v Australia Women
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