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Thursday, 11 October, 2001, 23:35 GMT 00:35 UK
Keswick wins beauty parade
Fitz Park, Keswick
Fitz Park's appeal is plain to see
Of all the cricket grounds in all of England, Keswick's is the most picturesque.

That, at least, is the conclusion of Wisden Cricket Monthly's Loveliest Cricket Ground 2001 competition, the results of which are published on Friday.

Magazine editor Stephen Fay sought entries from the more spectacular cricket grounds all over the country.

  Loveliest Grounds
Keswick CC, Cumbria
Lynton CC, Devon
The Racecourse Ground, Durham
Monkton Combe School, Bath
Cholmondeley CC, Cheshire
Hawarden Park CC, North Wales

His mission was to look less at the quality of the pitch or pavilion facilities than for the most harmonious relationship between ground and surrounding landscape.

From a selection of 30 serious contenders, he drew up a shortlist of six and toured the country to see for himself before passing judgment.

"The competition was fierce," Fay said. "Among the six grounds, there was not a single dud."

Nestling beneath Latrigg and Skiddaw mountains on the banks of Derwentwater, cricket has been played at Fitz Park, in the Lake District, for more than 100 years.

The Keswick first team play in the North Lancashire and Cumbria Cricket League First Division.

Darren Gough, Hansie Cronje and David Boon have all graced the square for benefit matches in recent seasons.

Cumberland entertain Nottinghamshire Cricket Board in the Cheltenham and Gloucester Trophy there next August.

Things like this give the whole area a big lift after some difficult times
Keith Richardson
Secretary, Keswick CC

"We've only just started staging county matches," club secretary Keith Richardson said.

"It's our ambition to have a first-class county team at the ground.

"We're absolutely delighted to win this award at the first time of asking.

"It has given the club a great lift and it is good for the town as well.

"The council are already talking about marketing Keswick on the back of it.

"Things like this give the whole area a big lift after some difficult times."

The club will be presented with a plaque and a crate of champagne at the start of the 2002 season.

See also:

12 Oct 01 |  Photo Galleries
You little beauties
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