The last of a series of black and white photographs from the old ground at Twentylands comes from an actual game played and shows the roughness and height of the outfield. In the background is the hills of Gotham.
The advantage at Twentyfields for the outfield was that the cows kept the grass down to a reasonable level. The problem with the cows was that what ever went in at the front end, had to come out at the back end.
Before a game as much cow manure as possible was cleared
One of the reasons for the manure problem was the creeping buttercup. The Ranunculus Repens can cause diarrhoea in sheep and cattle and there was a fair share of buttercups in the outfield.
The best way to score a boundary was to clear the ropes as the slightly long grass and slow outfield made it hard to score four runs.
There were times when the ball did land in a cowpat of hot steaming manure and with the competitiveness of the teams, the onus was for the fielder to return the ball to the wicketkeepers gloves as soon as possible. This he would do by retrieving the ball and wiping in the grass before throwing it back in. With a bit of cow sh*t added this was probably a good way of getting a bit of shine on one side of the ball.
By the end of a game the colour of a players whites were buttercup yellow to the ankles with a few grass stains and if unlucky in the field the odd patch of cowpat brown.
Updated 09:08 - 30 Dec 2017 by Mark Sampson