Fenners is one of the country's oldest first-class grounds, with games being played there ever since 1848 when FP Fenner leased land which he lent to the university for cricket. The freehold was bought in 1894. For a century before the 1950s Cambridge were a match for most counties, but changing admission policies and priorities led to a gradual decline in standards, and in 2000 Cambridge became a University Centre of Cricketing Excellence. Until the 1950s the ground was surrounded by a running track and the land is still used for other sports in the winter. When the charming but cramped wooden pavilion was replaced with a more utilitarian and fairly characterless structure in 1972, the ground lost much of its old-world charm. There are no stands at Fenners, but it is one of the few places where first-class cricket can still be watched sitting on the grass. Traditionally, the pitch has been weighted in favour of batsmen. In 1938, Free Foresters scored 636 for 7 in a day against the university. Eleven years earlier, KS Duleepsinhji scored 254* for the university against Middlesex.
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