St Lawrence Ground

St Lawrence Ground

Cricket Ground
Cricket Ground Less

St Lawrence Ground

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The St Lawrence Ground is a cricket ground in Canterbury, Kent and is the home of Kent County Cricket Club. It is one of the oldest grounds on which first-class cricket is played, having been in use since 1847. It is also notable as one of the two grounds used regularly for first-class cricket that have a tree within the boundary (the other is Pietermaritzburg Oval in South Africa).

Capacity at the ground was increased to 15,000 in 2000, and four One Day International matches have been played there, one each in 1999 (part of the 1999 Cricket World Cup), 2000, 2003 and 2005. There are hopes that the English cricket team may play Test matches at the St Lawrence Ground at some point in the future.

Cricket grounds in most parts of the world are devoid of any trees or shrubs. The lime tree at the St Lawrence Ground was an exception: the ground opened as the Beverley ground in 1847, and was built around the tree.

The presence of a tree within the playing area required special local rules. Shots blocked by the tree were counted as a four. Only four cricketers have cleared the tree to score a six: Arthur 'Jacko' Watson of Sussex in 1925, the West Indies' Learie Constantine (1928), Middlesex's Jim Smith (1939), and Carl Hooper (1992).

The tree was diagnosed with heartwood fungus in the 1990s, and it was pollarded to encourage new growth, reducing it from over 120 feet to around 90 feet in height. Finally, high winds in England on 7 January 2005 caused the 200...
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