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Ashbrooke and the Americans

Folks may be a little surprised to find an international cricket competition being played partly in the United States - as it is with the current World T20s. However the Americas have quite a history when it comes to cricket and Ashbrooke is part of it. In 1887, the very year that Ashbrooke opened, a Canadian side came here to play against what was then minor county Durham. In 1907 the Gentlemen of Philadelphia also came and won a dramatic victory by skittling Durham out in the home side's second innings. One of the stars of the American side was an Australian , the other a man credited with introducing swing bowling - Bart King. The 'Echo' report of the match suggests that the crowd were open mouthed at his approach to bowling which, unsurprisingly perhaps, was based on the style adopted by baseball pitchers. Here too is a nice link with Ashbrooke's bowls' section. In 1907 the bowls pavilion had just opened and it was seen as so photogenic that the Durham and Philadelphian sides were photographed outside (see picture). This turned into a habit and the archive at Ashbrooke has many photos of the good and great of cricket pictured outside our still recognisable bowling club clubhouse.

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