THURSDAY 10 th AUG 2017

After the sensational events at last night’s tour farewell dinner the energizer bunnies emerged gingerly from their burrows this morning.

Full English breakfast at the fashionable time at 9am was the norm as the beer; scotches; baileys and celebratory champagne washed through the system. For the Captain and his fiancée the main purpose of the day was to find a decently expensive diamond ring in Exeter where we were playing today vs. Devon 050s.

The sun was shining so life was wonderful for the soon to be newlyweds. As for the rest of the team they liked the idea of a wedding proposal every day as was a reasonable excuse for a party and it seemed to guarantee fine sunny weather for cricket.

We travelled the 33 mile journey quickly today and arrived at Exeter’s CC beautiful ground next to the University.

They started playing cricket in Exeter in 1824 but Devon County CC and Exeter CC transferred to this site when WG Grace and his brother opened the ground in a celebration game on 30/31 May 1902.

A local rugby benefactor Richard West gifted the land but died soon after. The ground was then granted to Exeter’s CC on a 100 year lease which came up for renewal in 2002. President Bob Price deftly negotiated a new lease for another 30 years with West’s 3 cousins and also did a deal with the local developer who purchased some land from the Club to build a student accommodation complex and as a trade- off built the club a 1million UK pound clubhouse complete with internal lift. The beautiful clubhouse was opened in April 2016 and the hire of it to the adjacent bowls /squash club returns the Club 5000 uk pound a year in revenue. A remarkable achievement by President Bob.

During the intervening years the New Zealand test team played here in 1927 and the West Indies team played Devon County here in 1928. It is the main ground in the town of Exeter which boasts a current population of 88,000.