THE OVAL, LONDON

CRICKET GROUNDS

The Oval, London

The Oval currently known as Kia Oval ( for sponsorship) is an international cricket ground located in Kennington in the Borough of Lambeth, South London.  The oval is the homeground of Surrey county cricket club from 1845.   The club is celebrating its 175th year in 2020.

The oval was built on the former Kennington Common.  Cricket matches were played on the Common throughout the early 18th century.  However, as the common was also used regularly for public executions for convicts, cricket matches had moved away to Artillery grounds  1740s.  

In 1844, the site of Kennington oval was a market garden owned by Duchy of Cornwall.  The Duchy was willing to lease the land for the purpose of a cricket ground and on 10th March 1845, the first lease was made. 

 Prince Charles, Duchy of Cornwall, owner of the ground gets a slice of ticket prices , every drink, pie and programme sold.  Duchy of Cornwall, who is still the owner of the ground, the property Estate which generates profits 14 Million pounds last year, provided Prince Charles personal income.  Prince Charles, the 24th Duke of Cornwall became entitled to the full income from Duchy’s profit on his 21st birthday in 1969.

History at The Oval

The oval hosted the First FA Cup Final in 1872..  Football Association cup is an annual knockout football competition in Men’s domestic English football.

England’s First international Rugby match was also held in 1872

England hosted Australia at The Oval in 1880 it’s First ever test match

In 1882, Australia defeated England at The oval for the first time on British soil, leading the “Sporting Times” newspaper to declare the death of English cricket and beginning what would become known as “The Ashes” test matches between these two countries

In 1884, the First double century in a test was scored by Australia’s captain Billy Murdoch.

England’s dramatic 1 wicket win in 1902 inspired by it’s batsman Gilbert  Joseph’s sensational century against Australia

Australia’s 701 in 1930 as Don Bradman ( 244) and Bill Ponsford (266) put on 451 runs for the 2nd wicket and win for Australia by an Innings & 39 runs

England’s 903/7 their highest in tests till date and they beat Australia by an Innings & 579 runs in 1938 and it was Australia’s heaviest defeat in Tests , when Len Hutton scored a  monumental triple century ( 364 ) 

Don Bradman’s farewell duck in 1948

Michael Holding’s 14 wickets & Vivian Richards blitzkrieg 291 ensured Windies win

England’s speedster Devon Malcolm’s 9/57 against S.A. in 1994 set up win for England

In 100th Test at The Oval, England’s win by 239 runs over South Africa  in 2017 inspired by a brilliant century by Ben Stokes , debutant Toby Roland Jones’s 5/57  and Moeen Ali’s (England’s off spinner) Hat trick, first time at The Oval

Unique Featrues

The Gasholders outside the ground belong to the Victorian age, which means they were properly constructed.  Since they have not developed a crack, let alone a leak from the supply that is still in everyday use.

Courtesy : kiaoval.com

VAUXHALL PLEASURE GARDENS

The vauxhall pleasure gardens are located near to the Oval ground. The first and most important of these gardens, Vauxhall, was established in 1729 by the entrepreneur Jonathan Tyers. While the site had been a place for Londoners to gather and buy refreshments since the 1660s, Tyers realised that there was a market for paid entertainment. He also knew that charging an admission fee (of one shilling) would discourage pickpockets and prostitutes.

MUSIC CONNECTION 

The connection between Music hall and cricket was strong in the 19th century and 20th century.  Matches pitting teams of county players against comedy stars of the day were regularly played and raised large sums of the money went to charity.  In 1873, the Oval hosted a game that raised an amount of 70 pounds for the Music hall Sick Fund.  In late 1890s, Dam Leno, a comedy star of the day formed a group called the “Dainties” drawing many of the stars to play in such fixtures.  In 1898, Dan Leno’s team attracted wide publicity when they took on the employees of Dulwich’s Grove Hotel, it was well received by spectators.    

DEVELOPMENT 

The oval overhauled their drainage and irrigation system at a cost of 7,50,000 pounds.  The project aimed at draining 30 mm of rain water per hour in order to resume cricket match as early as possible.

4 permanent flood lights masts have been installed at The Oval. these new lights have been developed combining latest technologies to ensure that the lights will remain focussed in the ground and not neighbouring areas.  These new lights were installed in 2008.

In 2002 started the redeveloping of Vauxhall end which included demolishing outdated Surride, Fender, Jardeine & Peter May North ends and creating in their place a single four-tier ground stand, currently known as 1845 Stand.

In 2007, the Lock & Laker & Peter May South stands were replaced.

In 2013, a new project was started called “wings” to either side of the 1845 stand at the vauxhall end of the ground. The development helped to increase the total capacity to 24,500.

In 2015, the Peter May & Tony lock stands were demolished and replaced by a single new and much larger stand named as Peter May.

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