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The OCS Stand, completed in 2005
|Location||Kennington, London, England|
|Owner||Duchy of Cornwall|
|Tenants||Surrey County Cricket Club|
|First Test||6 September 1880: England v Australia|
|Last Test||21 July 2013: England v Australia|
|First ODI||7 September 1973: England v West Indies|
|Last ODI||31 August 2012: England v South Africa|
|Domestic team information|
|Surrey (1846 – present)|
|As of September 2012
The Oval has been the home ground of Surrey County Cricket Club since it was built in 1845.
It was the first ground in England to host international Test cricket, in September 1880. The final Test match of the English season is traditionally played there.
In addition to cricket, it has hosted many other important sporting occasions and can lay claim to being the most historically important general sports ground in the world. It staged the first FA Cup final in 1872 and was the home of the FA Cup final between 1874 and 1892. In 1870, it staged the first England football international, against Scotland. In 1876, it held England v Wales and England v Scotland rugby internationals, and in 1877 rugby's first Varsity match.
- 1 History
- 2 End names
- 3 21st century redevelopment
- 4 Football
- 5 Rugby
- 6 Other events
- 7 Floor directory
- 8 Transport connections
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
In 1844, Kennington Oval was a market garden. The Oval was then (and still is) owned by the Duchy of Cornwall. Surrey County Cricket Club was set up in 1845. The Duchy was willing to grant a lease of the land for the purpose of a cricket ground, and, on 10 March 1845, the club signed a lease with the Otter Trustees, who held the land from the Duchy of Cornwall, 'to convert it into a subscription cricket ground', for 31 years at a rent of £120 per annum plus taxes (£20 more). The original contract for turfing the Oval cost £300; 10,000 grass turfs came from Tooting Common.
In 1868, 20,000 spectators gathered at the Oval for the first game of the 1868 Aboriginal cricket tour of England, the first tour of England by any foreign side.
Thanks to C. W. Alcock, the Secretary of Surrey from 1872 to 1907, the first ever Test match in England was played at the Oval in 1880 between England and Australia. The Oval thereby became the second ground to stage a Test, after the MCG. In 1882, Australia won the Test by seven runs within two days. The Sporting Times printed a mocking obituary notice for English cricket, which led to the creation of the Ashes trophy, which is still contested whenever England plays Australia. The first Test double century was scored at the Oval in 1884 by Australia's Billy Murdoch.
The current pavilion was completed in time for the 1898 season.
In 1907, South Africa became the 2nd visiting Test team to play a Test match at this venue. In 1928, West Indies played its first Test match at this venue followed by New Zealand in 1931. In 1936, India became the 5th foreign visiting Test side to play at the Oval, followed by Pakistan in 1954 and Sri Lanka in 1998. Zimbabwe and Bangladesh are yet to play a Test match at the venue.
The Oval is referenced by the poet Philip Larkin in his poem about the First World War, "MCMXIV". During the Second World War, the Oval was intended for use as a prisoner of war camp, although it was never employed as such. Instead, it housed searchlights and anti-aircraft guns used during the London blitz.
The first One Day International match at this venue was played on 7 September 1973 between England and West Indies. It had the privilege of hosting matches of the 1975, 1979, 1983 and 1999 World Cups. It also hosted five of the fifteen matches in the 2004 ICC Champions Trophy, including the final. No floodlit day/night international match has been played here to date, although Surrey have played several floodlit one-day matches. In fact, Surrey's ground is noted as having the first floodlights at a sport arena in the form of gas-lamps dating back to 1889.
The ground also had a Zeppelin and later a hot air balloon employed for aerial views during tests but this was never commercially viable and was gone by the turn of the millennium. Several other British grounds had this feature also such as Edgbaston. The Oval once held the record for the largest playing area of any Test venue in the world, but that record has since been surpassed by Gaddafi Stadium in Pakistan (though it remains the largest in Britain).
The famous gasholders just outside the Oval's wall are actually newer than the ground by several years, having been built around 1853. Now disused, there has been much speculation of late as to whether they should be demolished; however, many believe they are an integral part of the Oval's landscape and therefore their future looks secure.
The names of the ends are the Pavilion End and the Vauxhall End.
21st century redevelopment
At the end of the 2002 cricket season, Surrey started redeveloping the Vauxhall End. The development included knocking down the outdated Surridge, Fender, Jardine and Peter May north stands and creating in their place a single four tier grandstand, now known as the OCS Stand. This work was completed in May 2005 and increased ground capacity to around 23,000.
In January 2007, Surrey announced plans to increase capacity by a further 2,000 seats, this time by redeveloping the Pavilion End. The Lock, Laker and Peter May south stands will be replaced with a new stand, which will have a hotel backing on to it. The Surrey Tavern at the entrance to the ground will be demolished and a new pedestrian plaza will be created in its place, improving access to the ground and opening up views of the historic pavilion. These plans were delayed by objections raised by the Health & Safety Executive as the ground is close to a gasometer. Planning permission was eventually granted, but not before the credit crunch struck. As of November 2010, Surrey still plans to proceed with the development when its hotel partner can obtain funding.
In 2009, permanent floodlights were installed for use in day/night matches. The floodlights are telescopic and are retracted when not in use.
The Oval was also an important site in the historical development of football, before the game had its own separate national stadium. Football had been played in this part of London for many years prior to the inauguration of the Oval: "The Gymnastic Society", arguably the world's first football club, met regularly at Kennington Common during the second half of the eighteenth century to play football.
First international football match
The Oval was home to the first ever international football match on 5 March 1870, England against Scotland, organised by The Football Association. The game resulted in a 1–1 draw. Similar international matches between England and Scotland took place at the Oval in 1871, in February 1872 and 1873. On 8 March 1873, the England national team beat Scotland 4–2. England would continue to play occasionally at the Oval until 1889.
- Scores and results list England's goal tally first.
|5 March 1870||1–1||Friendly||Draw|
|19 November 1870||1–0||Friendly|
|25 February 1871||1–1||Friendly||Draw|
|17 November 1871||2–1||Friendly|
|24 February 1872||1–0||Friendly|
|8 March 1873||4–2||Friendly|
|6 March 1875||2–2||Friendly||Draw|
|3 March 1877||1–3||Friendly|
|5 April 1879||5–4||Friendly|
|12 March 1881||1–6||Friendly|
|21 March 1885||1–1||Home International||Draw|
|13 April 1889||2–3||Home International|
First FA Cup final
On 16 March 1872, The Wanderers beat the Royal Engineers 1–0 to win the first ever FA Cup. This final was notable for the Engineers' modern footballing style of teamwork rather than individual play. C. W. Alcock, Secretary of The Football Association, was the prime mover of the competition. He had just become Secretary of Surrey, so that The Oval was the natural choice of venue for the final. Alcock also captained the successful Wanderers side. The Oval hosted all subsequent FA Cup finals (1873 excluded) up until 1892.
The Oval is one of two grounds (Bramall Lane in Sheffield being the other) to have staged both England football and cricket internationals, and also FA Cup finals. The Oval also hosted the second ever Rugby Union international between England and Scotland in 1872 (the first was hosted at Raeburn Place a year earlier).
Results of FA Cup finals at the Oval
Between 1872 and 1879, the Oval held 7 full cap international rugby union matches, as follows:
|Date||Competition||Home team||Away team|
|5 February 1872||England||1G||Scotland||2G|
|23 February 1874||England||1G||Scotland||0G|
|15 February 1875||England||2G||Ireland||0G|
|6 March 1876||England||1G||Scotland||0G|
|5 February 1877||1877 Home Nations Championship||England||2G||Ireland||0G|
|4 March 1878||1878 Home Nations Championship||England||0G||Scotland||0G|
|24 Mar 1879||1879 Home Nations Championship||England||3G||Ireland||0G|
On Wednesday 3 March 1875, the Oval held the final of the United Hospitals Challenge Cup, the oldest rugby union cup competition in the world.
The ground has hosted many other events, including hockey fixtures, as well as concerts.
The Oval has hosted several exhibition matches for Australian rules football. The first such match was held between Carlton and a team of All-Stars in 1972. In 2005, a record crowd for Australian rules football in England (18,884) saw the Fremantle Dockers defeat the West Coast Eagles.
In October 2011 the grounds served as the practice facility for the NFL's Chicago Bears. The Bears were in London to play a match against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium as part of the NFL International Series.
|4th floor||Executive Boxes 33–41
CEO and Finance Department
|3rd floor||Executive Boxes 21–32
|2nd floor||The Montpelier Club
Surrey Cricket, England and Visiting Player Facilities
|1st floor||Staff Administration Offices
Upper Bedser Stand Seating
|Ground floor||Ken Barrington Cricket Centre Reception
The Brit Oval Retail Store
Prince's Trust Team Room
Staff and Player Entrance
|Basement floor||Ken Barrington Cricket Centre|
|4th floor||Roof Terrace|
|3rd floor||Executive Boxes 43–57
|2nd floor||England Suite
John Major Room
|1st floor||Australia Suite
CW Alcock Room
Mickey Stewart Surrey Club's Room
|4th floor||Pavilion Café Bar
Pavilion Top Seating
|3rd floor||Pavilion Restaurant
Pavilion Shelf Seating
|2nd floor||Committee Room
Prince of Wales Room
Pavilion Balcony Seating
|1st floor||Long Room and Ali Brown 268 Bar
Laker and Presidents Rooms
Pavilion Terrace Seating
|Ground floor||Members Entrance|
|London Buses||Oval Station||36, 185, 436||100 metres|
|Camberwell New Road||155, 333||200 metres|
|Oval Station||155, 333||190 metres|
|London Underground||Oval||190 metres|
|National Rail||South West Trains|
- List of cricket grounds in England and Wales
- List of Test cricket grounds
- History of Test cricket (to 1883)
- History of Test cricket (1884 to 1889)
- History of Test cricket (1890 to 1900)
- List of international cricket centuries at the Oval
- Gasworks Gallery, next to the ground
- Archbishop Tenison's School – an historic school located next to the ground, often used as a vantage point for TV cameras and crews
- [dead link]
- "As if they were stretched outside The Oval or Villa Park..." Philip Larkin, "MCMXIV".
- Cricket's Strangest Matches page 34 ISBN 1-86105-293-6
- "[Deathwatch] John Paul Getty II, billionaire , 70". Slick.org. 2003-04-17. Retrieved 2013-11-11.
- [dead link]
- Football The First Hundred Years: The Untold Story by Adrian Harvey, Routledge 2005, page 54
- "When and where was the first football match held? - The Times of India". Timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2013-11-11.
- "A Sporting Nation - The first international football match". BBC. Retrieved 2013-11-11.
- "Details of the 1872 FA Cup Final" (PDF). Innotts.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-11-11.
- Brown, Alf (30 October 1972). "Carlton won match, but not the English". The Herald (Melbourne). p. 24.
- "Stop N to Lockwood House - Google Maps". Maps.google.co.uk. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2013-11-11.
- "Stop Q to Kennington Oval - Google Maps". Maps.google.co.uk. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2013-11-11.
- "S Lambeth Pl to Kennington Oval - Google Maps". Maps.google.co.uk. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2013-11-11.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to The Oval cricket ground, London.|
- Surrey Cricket web site
- Cricinfo page on The Oval
- Aerial view of The Oval at Google Maps
- Annotated aerial photograph
- Images of The Oval