KENT'S CRICKET GROUND TREE is over. It is stumped. May it rest in pieces.
Like many an England batsman, the Lime Tree which famously grew within the boundary rope of the Kent County Cricket Ground in Canterbury has fallen victim to the windies; strong gales have sent it to the county ground in the sky.
It was long favoured by fans of cricketing trivia, who could display their knowledge of the law applying to trees within the field of play (any batsman whose shot hits the tree, however, high or low, scores four runs; batsmen cannot be caught off the tree). It was also long treasured by followers of Kent cricket, who could console themselves that even when their team was unremarkable, there was at least one way they were unique.
Friends were concerned for the tree's well-being during Michael Fish's Hurricane Tour of 1987; seven oak trees in nearby Sevenoaks were nearly felled in their entirety by those winds. But the tree soldiered on until the weekend, when weakened by disease it finally succumbed. Like a cricketing Ozymandias, a seven-foot stump now stands like a vast and trunkless leg of stone.
Just three batsmen are officially recorded as having hit balls which went over the top of the tree completely; one was from rival Middlesex, two were from the West Indies, though the last man to do so, Carl Hooper, at least had the good form to be playing for Kent when he did it.
The tree is survived by an offshoot which has spent some years in the nursery, ready to step into its forefather's rootball. At just five feet tall, there are doubts if it is yet tree enough to withstand the impact from fielders or balls; the county's officials will debate if this is a part of the game's tradition they want to preserve.
But the old tree may now go the way of old wood... ashes to ashes.
Send your tributes, using the form below.
It makes my sap rise
It had a good innings.
No more the thwock of Leather on Lime.
Pete Nightingale, Reading UK
KCC Tree st Wind b Weather ..... 200 (at least)
Robert A, Cirencester, UK
Out - log before wicket
Jake Hadlee, London, England
Tree strikes - you're out
Dave, London, UK
Owzat? Knot out.
Neil Franklin, Southampton, UK
2004 Part of Kent Matches
2005 Part of Swan Matches
Billy H, Tobyville, Kent
Out playing no shoot
Mark, Bristol, UK
Julian Hemsi, Modbury, Devon
Yeti, Loglow, Midlands.
These jokes are limentable.
Logs Bring Warmth
P Clifton (aged 11)
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