15: 24 August

Essex v Australian Imperial Forces
Southchurch Park, Southend-on-Sea
21st, 22nd, 23rd August 1919 (three-day match)

The big cricket news of the week is that to the general satisfaction of clubs and players alike, two-day cricket matches, after a stormy passage, have gone by the board. The Advisory Committee decided at their meeting on Tuesday last that next season the county championship games should be of three days’ duration. There will be many a sigh of relief, and scarcely one of regret, for the system which prevails this summer has very few friends. It was an experiment, and as an experiment was welcome, therefore it is unfair to those who fostered the idea to unduly castigate itOutpost, Leaves From My Notebook, Star Green ‘Un (Yorkshire), Sat 23 Aug 1919, p. 1..

Prior to our much needed rest in Scotland, our own players were feeling absolutely stale, and blamed nothing so much as the two-day matches. Even though few of the men have had experience of inter-State games “down under,” where matches usually last three or four days, none of the new men have taken kindly to the two-days system. It is rather remarkable that the present Australian team have compiled larger scores than any of their predecessors, even in two-day games, but we can scarcely say that we have seen the best of some of the players for the same reason that has militated against our seeing the best of some of the English colts – they have always been batting against timeFailure Of Two Day Cricket, Dundee Courier (Angus), Wed 27 Aug 1919, p. 3..

As for our boysPte. L. Best, At Home And At The Front, Rutherglen Sun and Chiltern Valley Advertiser (Vic), Tue 24 Sep 1918, p. 3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article121020855 , we only had the one game against Essex. Fine weather again prevailedEssex v. Australians, Leicester Daily Post (Leicestershire), Sat 23 Aug 1919, p. 4., as did the strong crowdsDay 1: 4000. Day 2: 2-3000. Day 3: 2000. Essex v. Australians, The Sportsman (London), Fri 22 Aug, 1919, p.1. Essex v. Australians, Leicester Daily Post (Leicestershire), Sat 23 Aug, 1919, p.4. Essex Humiliated, Star Green ‘Un (Yorkshire), Sat 23 Aug, 1919, p.2.. Bowling at a tremendous pace, with a stiff wind behind him, Gregory took five wickets for 34, humiliating Essex with a sound thrashing by 309 runsEssex Humiliated, Star Green ‘Un (Yorkshire), Sat 23 Aug 1919, p. 2..

There is apparently no prospect of a Test Match next year. Some people seem to think that there is enough to do in getting back to the old system of county cricket as played before the warFlashes and Glances, Star Green ‘Un (Yorkshire), Sat 23 Aug 1919, p. 1.. Going back to the three-days system is a good start, but the popularity of the game is noticeable elsewhere. People apparently do get excited about cricket sometimes, for at Gravesend on Wednesday, when Kent opposed Lancashire, the crowd forced the gates to see Woolley take his 100th wicket of the seasonFree Lance, Men and Matters, Star Green ‘Un (Yorkshire), Sat 23 Aug 1919, p. 1..

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