The cricket eleven last year had without doubt the most successful season in the history of cricket at Harvard. The team had for its backbone Scattergood and Douglass Adams besides several other old Harverford men and, as a consequence, had an unbroken record of victories. Not only were there good cricketers here, but the interest in the game was greatly increased and new material was abundant. It looked as if cricket had gained a lasting foothold at Harvard.
This year at the outset of the winter practice, which began directly after Christmas, the chances of success were, to say the least, not hopeful. Of last year's team seven of the best men had left college and of the four remaining, three had had only one season's experience.
Now, however, the outlook is more encouraging. About twenty new men have come out to try for the team, of whom seven have handled a bat before, either at St. Paul's School or near Philadelphia, from where almost all of the cricket material comes. The new men have been working daily from 11 to 1 in the cage of the Gymnasium, and most of them have by this time mastered the preliminary strokes and are beginning to hit the ball with more freedom and confidence.
So far attention has been paid entirely to the new candidates, in order to put them as nearly as possible on a par with the old men, who will be called out directly after the mid-years. Several other players will also come out then if their work permits.
As practice during the mid-years would at the best be very irregular, it has been omitted entirely. After the examinations, however, work will begin in earnest, and an effort to develop some good bowlers, in which the team is at present extremely weak, will be made. It is doubtful also, whether H. G. Gray, the only good wicket-keeper in college, will be able to play this year, on account of his Law School work; his place also will have to be filled.
Last year the team was most kindly allowed the use of the B. A. A. wicket grounds at Longwood, but this year as it will be impossible to play there, the Athletic Committee has granted Soldiers 'Varsity football field for the spring practice. Since the grounds are as a whole very level, although at present rather cut up, it should be possible with rolling to develop a very fair crease, certainly a spot large enough for practice.
The team plays all its games away from the University, because the other elevens always have the best creases, but next year it is hoped that some games may be played on a home field.
The team begins its series of games directly after the Easter recess, and ends the season with two intercollegiate matches against U. of P. and Haverford on May 21st and 23rd, respectively. As U. of P. is reported to have an exceptionally strong eleven this year, a great deal of work must be done by Harvard, if last year's record is to be repeated.