IPL 2021 CHAMPION

IPL 2021 CHAMPION -CSK

Courtesy:- Business-standard.com

“That was a great day. 100th IPL game, special day. I loved my time here at CSK, almost 10 years. No 4 in the IPL trophy cabinet is really good. Rutu is a special talent. Indian cricket is generally very blessed with young talents. Rutu has got a great head on his shoulders. He has got a great future”.

Man-of-the-Match Faf du Plessis (86 off 59 balls)

The former Proteas captain’s assertion is suffice to the CSK’s tinge of success as these two openers were the toast of the tournament as they compete and compliment each other.  In fact they  vied with each other to claim the top position  as they finished the first and second places in the list of highest number of runs of the tournament  viz., 635 and 633 runs as Rutu piped Faf at the post by a margin of just 2 runs.  Of course MVP award was snatched by Harshal Patel ( also Purple cap holder) of RCB with  his sterling performance with the cherry with 32 wickets, including the only HAT TRICK in this edition .

Dad’s Army did it again for the second time.  It was Shane Watson in 2018 and now it’s Faf du Plesis in 2021 for CSK  who held the innings till the end and was out only in the ultimate ball of the Innings. The CSK which was bruising its wound of last year finishing at the bottom of the table, turned the tables on this time and became victorious, lifting the coveted trophy.

The ethereal  Ruturaj Gaikwad ,   who was in sublime form,  with rare gem of beautiful  strokes along with  charm and timing went on to bag the Orange Cap with 635 runs.  And Faf in his own inimitable style hit a magnificent  86 runs and laid the foundation for a big score on the big stage as CSK could post 192/3 at the end.

CSK’s opening batters carved out a niche for themselves and they were ruthless as both Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf, the tournament’s best opening pair, once again put on 61 runs.  Incidentally,  this opening pair scored 53% of CSK’s runs in this tournament setting a new record for openers in IPL.  Then came  the sixers’ carnage from Robin Uthappa ( 3 sixes) and Moeen Ali ( 3 sixes) in the company of Faf , who also helped himself with 3 sixes,  CSK set a tantalisingly high score ( 192/3) for the finals .

MSD’s CSK lifted the coveted glittering IPL trophy 2021 for the fourth time in the IPL history in the Dubai International stadium. There were rambunctious celebrations as the players and support staff from the dugout ran to the centre of the ground. 

Courtesy : BCCI.tv

Dhoni, the epicentre of all this tamasha,  strolls past the centre casually even as the world around goes ecstatic in celebration. 300 T20s old as leader and he remains grounded, calm and composed as ever, and in the twilight of his career, he remains the King of the ring!

It was a reminiscence of the 2012 IPL final between the same opponents .  In 2012 there was  Manvinder Bisla who orchestrated the title win for KKR  chasing 191 runs at M.A.C. Stadium , Chennai.  This time around the opening pair of Venkatesh Iyer and Subhman Gill was threatening to take the game away from CSK as they put on 91 runs in a quickfire session until the “Lord “ Shardul Thakur’s double strike put the brakes and suddenly the adrenalin of CSK players came to the fore.  And from 91/1 became 125/8 as KKR were losing wickets in clusters.  The only vvv2012 KKR’s winning team duos Sunil Naraine and Shakib Al Hasan couldn’t shine with the bat and the other batters wilted under pressure including their Captain.  The KKR captain Eoin Morgan’s batting woes continued in the final also as his powerful pull found a fielder  near the ropes. Only a late cameo from Shivam Mavi delayed the proceedings of CSK’s march to the 4th IPL title.

The KKR which was in the 7th position in the table before the U.A.E. Leg came back strongly and set up a summit clash with the three times champion, CSK. 

KKR’s Openers gave a rousing start as the opening pair put on 90 runs and specially Venkatesh Iyer, the find of the tournament , was cutting loose before Shardul Thakur teased him with a nagging delivery and Iyer trying to dominate the bowlers was allured into slicing a wide delivery and the ball soared so high nearly to hit the spider camera and the athletic ebullient Jaddu running from sweeper cover nearly misjudged it but still managed to hold on the catch.  The No.1 threat was gone as Iyer walking back to the pavilion with a neat half century couldn’t conceal his disappointment. 

Then Nitish Rana, who was in horrible form with the bat and succumbed to a committed stroke, ballooned  a simple catch to Faf at mid-off.  And this double strike of Thakur deflated KKR’s hopes of a revival.  And suddenly the panic button was pressed into KKR’s quest for the 3rd title.  And Sunil Naraine’s extravagant stroke found the ever vigilant near the ropes, Jaddu to take a fantastic catch.  And the reticent opener Gill followed suit.  And though a late burst of sixers by Mavi helped by a wayward bowling of Thakur and Bravo was only delaying in the inevitable,  and couldn’t deny CSK a fourth title.  CSK won the match by 27 runs and lifted the glittering trophy with a purse of Rs.20 crores.

MORNE MORKEL- PROTEAS BLUE EYED BABY

MORNE MORKEL – PROTEAS BLUE EYED BABY

Morne Morkel cut his teeth at Easterns and rose to prominence in the 2006-07 season when he was picked for a Rest of South Africa side against the touring Indians.

A family of cricketers was a very good breeding ground for Morne.  His sibling Albie Morkel also played for South Africa in ODIs, T20 games.  His father Albert Morkel also played grade cricket for South Africa.

He spent 2007 trying to establish himself in international cricket and broke through the ranks of the Proteas team in 2008. Morkel was the joint leading wicket-taker on South Africa’s tour of England and played a key part in their first series win there since readmission. 

He was picked for South Africa’s tour to Australia in December 2008 on the basis of the form he displayed in county cricket, but to everyone’s dismay he flattered to deceive, dishing out some insipid bowling spells.

He was once again drafted into the squad for the World T20 in June 2009 in England, where he had moderate success before being overlooked for the Champions Trophy at home.

Morne honed the skill and returned the next year, after Makhaya Ntini’s retirement, to share the new ball with Dale Steyn, and had great success. He took Test 49 wickets in 2010, his highest in a calendar year. The following year he had ODI success, taking 26 wickets at 17.65 in three series 

Constant monitoring by Allan Donald did him a world of good. His ability to hit the deck hard and generate extra bounce at a searing pace has been amongst the primary reasons for his success. He has had his share of injury worries, but his gifted ability to extract awkward bounce from a length at good pace has meant that he has always been a part of the South African bowling attack.

He was a major cog in the wheel of the Proteas that dethroned England to claim the ICC’s Test mace for the first time and contributed more than he received recognition for. Morkel was the top wicket-taker on the 2012 tour to Australia, where South Africa successfully defended the No. 1 ranking. 

Morkel also enjoyed bragging rights over some of the world’s best batsmen. His bunnies were Michel Hussey and Andrew Strauss whom he has dismissed most times in Tests., viz., 9 times and 8 times respectively.

He was then picked for the home series against England, in which his match-winning spell with the ball on the first morning of the fourth Test at Wanderers proved to be decisive, going a long way in helping South Africa win the Test and level the series, thus preventing a complete humiliation at the hands of England, whom they had convincingly beaten on their previous tour in 2008.

After a lackluster 2009, Morkel had his best year in Tests to date. He went on to form a formidable combo with Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander, arguably the best attack in the world for the next 2-3 years. Morkel played his 50th Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.

With regards to the IPL, after having little success with Rajasthan, he was picked up by Delhi in 2011 for USD 475,000. He had a moderate first season, where his team finished at the bottom. However, he went on to become the leading wicket-taker in 2012 with 25 sticks, finishing with the purple cap as well. During the 2014 auction, he was picked up by Kolkata.

Morkel finished as the leading wicket-taker for South Africa in the 2015 ODI World Cup.

In Feb.2018, Morne Morkel made a startling  decision to quit international cricket post Australia’s visit in February-April. He put the decision to retire down to a young family and a demanding international schedule.

Surrey have signed South African fast bowler Morne Morkel on a two-year Kolpak deal, in 2018. He had a very good stint with Surrey including the County side winning the County cup.

And now he’s part of BBL’s Brisbane Heat team of Australia.

Happy birthday Morne Morkel.

CRICKET IN ARABIAN DESERT

CRICKET  IN ARABIAN DESERT

Now, the 2nd phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021  is under way in U.A.E. played in 3 grounds, viz., Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah . Let’s trace the history of International cricket in the  Arabian Desert.  

Sharjah stadium  was the brainchild of the Arabian Business tycoon, Abdul Rahman Bukathir, who was the driving force of building an International cricket stadium at Sharjah, U.A.E. In fact Sharjah cricket Association has been one of the founding members of U.A.E. Cricket Association in 1971..

The sudden influx of expats and oil exploring companies in U.A.E.  saw the emergence of  many workers especially from the  Asian sub-continent employed there.  It was a workplace for them.  During the weekends, these expats used to  watch cricket and it continues now also.

The cricket  ground in Sharjah is in the midst of an industrial area and people use to peep in the evening whenever the floodlight is switched on and the cricket is played there. 

In 1976 a Pakistan International Airlines side –  which drew the big names of Pakistan cricket such as Wasim Bari, Majid Khan, and Sarfraz Nawaz – came over to play.  In fact that  was the precursor to the heady days ahead, although first a proper ground was required. Abdul Rahman Bukhatir, who was known as “ the father of cricket” in U.A.E. earmarked a plot of land by the Sharjah Sports Club and, with the advantage of having a construction company as part of his portfolio, set about building one.

INTERNATIONAL  CRICKET

The first ODI was played way back in 1984 in Sharjah, when Pakistan faced Sri Lanka . Pakistan had Zaheer Abbas as captain and Srilankan team was headed by the diminutive Duleep Mendis.  When Srilankan tigers prevailed over Pakistan and coasted to victory with consummate ease by 5 wickets.  Arjuna Ranatunga took 3 for 38 and Roy Dias made a match-winning 57. 

But it was a match in 1981  that marked the beginning of Sharjah’s international days, when a Sunil Gavaskar XI faced a Javed Miandad XI on an astroturf wicket which was won by Javed Miandad XI.  This match generated a lot of heat as so many expats were from India and Pakistan and they acted as the 12th man for the teams. Though not an official international, given what would develop over the next 20 years it was arguably one of the most significant cricket matches. It was played as the Hanif Mohammad and Asif Iqbal benefit match , a theme that would become central to Sharjah cricket through the creation of the Cricketers Benefit Fund Series, for which the driving force was Bukhatir, who wanted to give something back to long-serving players.

Sharjah cricket Stadium. Courtesy : cricinfo.com

“In the initial days it was sometimes scary,” Mazhar remembers. “We had our first match with 8000-10,000 people sitting on the temporary scaffolding.”

MEMORABLE MATCHES AT SHARJAH 

Of all the famous matches here played in a surcharged atmosphere, Sachin Tendulkar’s Desert storm in the hot summer of April 1998 stands out tall at Sharjah.  In the heat gathering storm, the Master blaster hit back to back centuries against the Aussies and helped India to win the Coco-Cola cup title .

Pakistan’s Javed Miandad’s final ball six in the Austral-Asia cup in 1986 when India’s  Chetan Sharma try to bowl a yorker when 4 runs were required in the final ball but the Pakistan’s fox converted that shot and sent the ball into the stadium stands for a 6 and won the final.

In 2002, the invincible Aussies inflicted a humiliating Innings defeat on Pakistan in both Tests played here including a 58 & 59 runs in the 2nd Test. It was Pakistan’s worst performance in Tests at Sharjah as the Test was over inside 2 days.

UNIQUE RECORD AT SHARJAH

Courtesy : cricinfo.com

A board conspicuously displayed at Sharjah International Cricket ground ( in U.A.E.) way back in 2015  it held the record of  hosting most  ODIs (218) which is a world record. And even today in 2021 it holds the record of hosting the most ODIs( 240).

TEST STATUS FOR SHARJAH

 By 2011 the ground was suitable for the return of Full Member sides. When Pakistan,which adopted U.A.E. as a second home, it played host to a Test with Srilanka. The “home” supporters were given a treat, as Shahid Afridi produced a magnificent all-round display, first hitting 75 off 65 balls to lift Pakistan from 97 for 6 and then claimed five wickets after Sri Lanka had been 155 for 3 chasing 201. Sharjah was back.

“The less famous part of the Sharjah story is its role as a Test venue: England became the fifth “visiting” nation to play there when the ground hosted its 8th Test in 2015. However, Sharjah was the original neutral venue in the UAE – before Dubai and Abu Dhabi had international grounds — when Pakistan needed a second home.

Till now Sharjah stadium has hosted 9 Tests for Pakistan out of which Pakistan won 4 tests and lost 4 tests.

Later on, the strife ridden Afghanistan has adopted Sharjah as its home ground and played T20I matches here

DUBAI INTERNATIONAL STADIUM

Photo courtesy : Dubai Sports city

Project details

  • Year 2008
  • Work started in 2006
  • Work finished in 2008
  • Contractor Dubai Sports City
  • Cost approx. € 75 Million
  • Status Completed works
  • Type Sports Centres / Stadiums / Sports Facilities

Photo courtesy : archilovers.com

The Dubai International stadium  is a  multi – purpose stadium, in DUBAI, U.A.E. . It is mainly used for  cricket. It has a capacity of 25,000 spectators, but is expandable to 30,000 spectators. It is a part of the DUBAI SPORTS city .

The Dubai Cricket Stadium was designed by the internationally renowned architects Gerkan, Marg and Partners, based in Germany. -The roof structure was constructed in a cross-vaulted style. Steel trusses were covered with a laminated PTFE membrane. The structure provides cover for all the seats in the arena and offers protection from the sun and wind. – The roof pitch meets today’s ICC standards. – The 82 seats for sports journalists and 7 commentator boxes meet the requirements of today’s media. – ALPINE constructed one of the most modern sports stadiums in the world in just 28 months. 

The Dubai International Stadium is lit by a special system of floodlights named “Ring of Fire”. The 350 floodlights are fixed around the circumference of its round roof, thereby minimizing the shadows of objects in the ground and having no light towers.

So far, 62 T20I matches have been staged at the venue. And Pakistan which has adopted as Home ground played 13 Tests and out of which 7 tests were won by them.  And this ground hosted 34 ODIs including Asia Cup and Tri-nation series in which the local U.A.E.  team participated and won the two games.

The stadium will be one of the dedicated venues for the  2021 ICC Men’s T20 WORLD CUP  and is scheduled to host the Semi Final 2 and the Final of the latter on November 11, 2021 and November 14, 2021 respectively.

Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi

Courtesy : sportstime.com

The Zayed Cricket Stadium was first opened in 2006. It is a picturesque venue and one of the largest stadiums in the world in terms of ground area. The biggest challenge for teams in Abu Dhabi will be the length of the boundary ropes. With most Indian grounds having smaller boundaries, power hitters will play a massive role in matches staged in Abu Dhabi.

There has only been one score of 200 or more made in a T20I in Abu Dhabi in the 45 matches played at the venue. The team batting second has won 25 of the 45 matches played here in international T20s.

Abu Dhabi has practice net facilities with 24 lanes adjacent to each other meaning that there will be no shortage of space for preparations for the teams. There are also two other ovals, all of which are of standards befitting first-class cricket, aside from the Zayed Cricket Stadium.

It has hosted 14 Tests  out of this 12 Tests for Pakistan and 2 Tests for Afghanistan.  It also hosted 52 ODIs and 48 T20Is.

It will also be hosting T20 World cup matches later this year.

HEADINGLEY TEST 2021 REVIEW

Courtesy : Reuters

GRAVITATE ROBINSON

Bizarre ! Losing wickets in a heap inside a session on the fourth day at Headingley was incredible.  That’s how Indian batsmen catapulted from a commanding position at 215/2 at the close of the 3rd day and crumbled under the feet of an incisive swing bowling spell from the English bowler.  The Terminator, Ollie Robinson, used the ammunition of the second new ball. 

It’s difficult to fathom a bowler, facing a dangling damocles sword on his head for a 5 match suspension in next two years for his boorish comments on his Twitter handle in his boyhood days which was haunting him, gave credence to his selection. . Those revelations surrounding Robinson are laced with a tinge of irony.  It didn’t deter his spirit as he went about his business and made a mark in the English bowling attack.

The adulation of the rival captain that he is a “real find”  and his own Captain’s assertion of”phenomenal”  are indications of what will be in store  for the tall and suave  Ollie Robinson, who had a rich haul of 5fer at Headingley which decisively took the game away from India as India nosedived to a meek surrender and lost the Test by an Innings & 76 runs. 

When India were sitting pretty at 215/2 at the close on the 3rd day with Chateshwar Pujara finding his form and Kohli playing a second fiddle to him.  It seemed India would bounce back in the second essay like a rear guard action of India way back in 1967 when the young captain Nawab of Pataudi did it here.  But alas, Indian fans’ expectations were belied as this young man in his fourth test dented India’s hope with his persistent line and length.  Ollie Robinson’s “ace up my sleeves” performance with the red cherry tormented Indian batsmen and they were clueless to face him with the second newball.

Robinson’s five scalps in the second Indian innings was breathtaking. His candid admission that he learnt tricks from the senior pro, GOAT, Jimmy Anderson about gripping the seam, cadence repeatable action and his ability to thump out an excellent, consistent, probing length. He also produced a knuckleball – changing his grip even as he gathered to deliver – which also demonstrated his  range of skills.

His 7 wicket haul in the Test also earned him the Player of the  match award and with 16 wickets he’s the leading wicket taker of the 5 match series of either side.

In fact  with his stock ball the one delivered with a wobble seam got Kohli who was circumspect around outside off stump  as the ball drifted and straightened as Kohli edged it in the slip cauldron and was held by his English counterpart.

Next in his armoury was the innocuous delivery which darts back into the batsmen.  He also moves the ball in both ways sometimes confuses the batsmen and Chateshwar Pujara’s case was a classic example.  Pujara padded up an outswinger which would have hit his off stump and was plumb in front of the wicket.  Then there was a pageantry show of Indian batsmen walking to the pavilion as Craig Overton, a doppelganger of the ace swimmer, Michael Phelps giving the finishing touches to Indian innings.

Robinson eulogises the services of Jon Lewis, the bowling coach whose methodical approach helped him to hone his skills.

Ollie Robinson grew up as a seam bowler bowling a variety of slow balls, seldom bowling offspin.  He was no rabbit with the bat.  In fact he was a power hitting lower order batsman.

Under the tutorship of bowling coach Jason Gillespie at Sussex he furthered his reputation as one of the new ball bowlers of Sussex.

On his debut against the visiting New Zeland a few months back at Lord’s he had a dream debut taking 7 wickets in the match and in just 4 Tests he had 23 wickets including two 5fers against the visiting Indians.

LORD’S TEST REVIEW 2021

England vs India 2nd Test, Day 5 Highlights: India Beat England By 151 Runs To Take 1-0 Series Lead

LORD’s TEST REVIEW-2021

Courtesy : ndtv.com

“The way we played in the second innings after being put under pressure – Jasprit and Shami were outstanding. We had the belief we can get them out in 60 overs. The tension in the field in our second innings, what happened there, helped us. Putting their hand up was something we were really proud of, and we wanted to let them know,” said Virat Kohli in the post-match presentation.

In hindsight  India’s victory at Lord’s yesterday  may flatter you that it was a facile victory at the Home of Cricket but It was a hard fought victory.  It was an Independence Day bonanza for India.

It was India’s tailender batsmen who got the victory for India with their bat and ball.

On the fourth day India was tottering at 181/6 with only Rishab Pant , the recognised batsman at the crease.

And soon England saw the back of Pant walking to the pavilion after he edged a delivery from Olie Robinson..   

And the Indian tailenders were exposed with just 157 runs lead.   And here Indian tailenders showed the grit and guts to stand up and challenge the England bowlers.  First Ishant Sharma who showed some resistance and batted for a while adding some useful runs.

Then came the unbroken 89 runs partnership for the 9th wicket between Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah  who hit  their career best  of 56 & 34 runs respectively and took the game away from England.  This wicket partnership was priceless. 

England lost the plot and the Indian tailender pair was piling on the agony of England players.  They were at their wits end.  The field placing was awful as both Shami and Bumrah were nudging singles and braces .

At 298/8 with a lead of 271 runs, the Indian captain declared the innings setting a tantalising total of 272 runs for England to chase in 60 overs.

England started the chase on a jarring note as both their openers were out for a duck and back in the pavilion.  And they lost another two wickets before tea was taken.

After tea, India’s champion bowler, who bowled horribly in the first innings bowled a beautiful outswinger and Joe Root’s defence only saw the ball lobbed into the waiting hands of his counterpart Kohli who grabbed it with both hands.  England’s main hope for the draw was gone.

And the situation would have been worse had the ever vigil  Kohli taken a catch from Buttler.  But the ball ballooned of his outstretched hands. Jos Buttler was just on 2 runs.  The lady luck smiled on England’s team.

Buttler and Moeen Ali batted with abundant caution for more than an hour.  But when Siraj came back for his second spell, he was highly motivated and straightaway stuck when his outswinger delivery saw Moeen edging it to Kohli at first slip.  And Sam Curran, who was on King pair, edged an outgoing delivery to keeper, Siraj was on cloud nine.  His double strike in the same over opened the gates for India to exploit the weaklink of England’s batting.

Then the obdurate pair of Buttler and Ollie Robinson saw their resistance and batted for almost an hour.   Time was running out for India.  Fortunately the light was not an issue.

Again the man of the hour stuck gold when his innocuous incoming delivery rapped on the left pad of Ollie Robinson.  The vociferous appeal by Indian players were not conceded by Umpire. Then Kohli immediately referred it to TV Umpire.  The TV Umpire stuck down the decision of the Umpire Richard Illingworth and asked him to reverse his original decision of Not Out.

So, England’s No.11 batsman James Anderson strolling to the wicket hanged around 2 balls of Siraj but his third ball saw it breached Anderson’s defence and he was bowled through the gates.  There was rambunctious celebration by Indians as they picked up the stumps as souvenirs for their victory.

India won by 151 runs and lead the 5 match series by 1-0 with 3 matches yet to be played.

Earlier put into bat under overcast conditions, India had a rousing start with Rohit Sharma going great guns hitting all over the park and K.L. Rahul played the second fiddle.  And after his exit at 126/1, it was K.L. Rahul who took control of the game played magnificently and hit a scintillating century ( 129 runs).  And India finished with 364 runs. And Jimmy Anderson finished with fifer and Ollie Robinson & Mark wood  also chipped in with couple of wickets each.

England with their captain Joe Root at his best piled up 391 runs with a masterful unbeaten by him ( 180*)  and Mohammed Siraj was the pick of the bowler with 4 wickets.

The Century by K.L. Rahul gave India strong foundation in the batting and also won him the Player of the Match award.

It was India’s 3rd win out of the 19 tests played here at the Home of Cricket. 

LORD’s TEST 2021 PREVIEW

LORD’S  TEST 2021  PREVIEW

Courtesy : Insidesports

INDIA -ENGLAND 2nd TEST

After nature played its game at Trent Bridge in the first test, the stage is set for yet another show at LORD’s , London tomorrow ( 12.8.2021).

The tame draw at Nottingham was cruel to India as they were sitting comfortably at 52/1 at the close of fourth day.  But the persistent rains prevented any play on the 5th day.   India brimming with that confidence in their ranks will try to keep that momentum in the second Test at Lord’s.

India started its Test cricket History at Lord’s way back in 1932 under the leadership of Col. C.K. Nayudu, suffered humiliating defeats at Lord’s , including India’s lowest score of 42 ( of course now 36 is their lowest score made  in Adelaide in 2020-21 ) in 1974 in the second innings. Until 1986 India couldn’t  muster a win  at Lord’s. 

In 1986 a spirited Indian team under the captaincy of India’s mercurial all rounder Kapil Dev won the Test series by 2-0 including  a win at Lord’s, thanks to all round performance of Kapil Dev.  Another win came in 2014 under Dhoni when Ishant Sharma & Bhuvnesh kumar made merry in bowling  and A. Rahane scored a century.

Though Lord’s is not a favourite hunting ground for India as they won only 2 times out of the 18 outings, but this time around India is capable of upsetting the applecart of England team as their bowling unit is raring to go at the opposition in full throttle as we have seen at Nottingham when England were skittled out just for 183 runs on the first day.

The injury scare is there for both teams with India missing Shardul Thakur who is nursing a calf muscle injury and both the senior pros of England bowling attack, Stuart Broad and James Anderson are doubtful starters for Lord’s Test.

For England their captain, Joe Root, one of the world’s best batsmen stood tall among the ruins at Trent Bridge. Sans Root, their batting unit is in shambles. Openers wobble and middle order is not firing and the tail didn’t wag as Bumrah cut them to size in both innings.  Now, with Moeen Ali , recalled from his THE HUNDRED tournament duties, may  replace the out of form Dan Lawrence.  And in the bowling department, two bowling spots up for grabs as the two senior pros are doubtful starters.  Mark Wood and Saqib Mahmood( who had a good outing in the shorter formats for England) may fill the void.

For India it will be a selection headache as to whether to include a fourth seamer or the spinner R. Ashwin in the playing XI. As Kohli prefers the template of 4 seamers and one spinner in England conditions, and in all likelihood Ishant Sharma will make the cut into the XI.  The batting performance of Indian team was good  despite the failure of the bigwigs,  viz., Pujara, Kohli and Rahane.  K.L. Rahul, fighting for his place in Tests, found his mojo and the indian tail wagged and put indian team in a commanding position at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.  So, there may not be any changes in batting line up. So, it’s advantage India at Lord’s. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

TRENT BRIDGE -2021 TEST REVIEW

TRENT BRIDGE TEST 2021 REVIEW

IND-ENG FIRST  TEST

Courtesy : AFP

To put it bluntly, the rain and Joe Root stood between India and victory  in the  first Test at Trent Bridge, Nottingham yesterday.  India was in a comfortable position after securing a formidable lead of 95 runs in the first innings and bowling out England in the second essay for 303 runs.  India were sitting comfortably at 52/1  at the close of the 4th day requiring another 157 runs in 90 0vers on the final day.  The rain god didn’t relent  and with persistent rain, the ground was in a puddle of water. 

Early Lunch was taken, early tea was taken and finally early bed time was taken on the final day on 8.8.2021. The Umpires were hapless and had to call it off and the play was abandoned on the 5th day..

Trent Bridge ground was helpful to Indian team whenever it played there. Out of the 8 outings here from 1959, India had lost just two times and won 2 tests including a series win 2007 with a win here.

The takeaway from this Test was K.L. Rahul on a comeback trail didn’t disappoint as his timely 84 runs in the first innings enabled India take a substantial lead in the first innings and India’s No.1 pace bowler ,Jasprit Bumrah found his rhythm and was among the wickets. His 9 scalps in the match will boost his confidence after a low lying performance in WTC Final.  The mercurial all rounder and athletic fielder, the familiar scene of Ravindra Jadeja swirling his bat in celebration after scoring a half century ( 56 runs) in the first innings  was visible and the Indian tail wagged contributing a valuable 46 runs after the exit of Jadeja.  The young diminutive  wicket keeper Rishab Pant was in his element behind the wickets and his useful call for a caught behind review was worth mentioning.   Indian’s choice of 4 seamers and one spinner paid off as all the pacers hit the deck and got wickets.  The continuous failure of the trio, viz., Pujara, Kohli and Rahane in the top order is a point of concern.

For England their mainstay was the Captain Joe Root who anchored both the innings and was the top scorer in the match including a Century.  In the second innings though not full of conviction, Root survived a close call in the leg side glance as well as early reprieve with the ball falling short of the slip cordon and run out chance.  The absence of neutral umpires was a point of bother for the Indians as the umpiring standard of English Umpires was below par level as Root’s leg side faint edge was well taken by wicket keeper and the Indian players vociferous appeal for the catch  was turned down by the Umpire  as India already exhausted 3 DRS reviews. It left a bitter taste for Indians as Root went on to score a century amidst the ruins in England’s second innings also.  The legendary English pacer hit a purple patch with the ball as he scalped 4 wickets including the prize wicket of Indian Captain, who edged an outswinger the very fast ball he faced.  And Olie Robinson, swinging the ball both ways got a fifer. 

Now the team caravan moves to Lord’s to play the next Test on 11th Aug with stakes high for both teams.

EDEN GARDENS STADIUM, KOLKATA

KOLKATA – EDEN GARDENS GROUND- MECCA OF INDIAN CRICKET

https://youtu.be/7CHC7Pp4WC8 (inside Ground- Video)

KOLKATA

Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), “ the city of Joy”,  is the capital of India’s Bengal state. Founded as an East India Company trading port, it was India’s capital under the British Raj from 1773–1911. Today it’s known for its grand colonial architecture, art galleries and cultural festivals. The famous Ramakrishna Math is situated in the outskirts at Belur, Kolkata.

EDEN GARDENS

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Although the original ownership of the land on which the cricket grounds now stand is disputed, it is likely that it was once owned by wealthy zamindars of the village of Gobindapur, which was combined with the villages of Kalikata and Sutanuti by Job Charnock in 1686 to create Calcutta. The zamindars, forced to leave their land, were compensated handsomely to settle in other parts of the city, and the property came under the control of the East India Company.

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EDEN GARDEN STADIUM

Courtesy : Google

Location: Dr. B. C. Roy Club House, Eden Gardens, Kolkata

Established: 1864

Seating Capacity: 66,000

Floodlights: Yes

End Names: High Court End, Pavilion End

Home Team: Bengal and Kolkata Knight Riders (IPL)

DISTANCE OF PITCH

According to Wikipedia distances from the center of the pitch to the boundary is about offside 66 Meters and onside 69 Meters, High Court end side 64 meters and Pavilion 71 Meters around the ground.

HISTORY

Though there is no definite information about the history of Eden Gardens, some believe that the land belonged to the Maharaja of Cooch-Behar, while some are of the opinion that it was the property of the Auckland Family. However, one thing which is certain is that the land was conferred to Governor General’s family, who, in turn, presented it to the citizens of Calcutta for recreational purposes.

It was, then, that the Calcutta Cricket Club was established, Eden Gardens serving as it’s headquarter. In the year 1871, the pavilion was built with which started the history of playing cricket in the ground, amidst Sylvan surroundings. However, it was in the year 1917-18 that the first ever first-class match was played. The foremost test match played was in January1934, against Douglas Jardine’s MCC. Since this first match, the ground has hosted more test matches than any other venue in India. Talking about the one day internationals, the first match was played in 1987 February against Pakistan.

Popularly called the Lord’s of Asia, Eden Gardens is the oldest cricket ground in India and also one of the finest in the world. It was established in the year 1864 .Apart from a cricket ground, Eden Garden comprises an indoor cricket stadium, two indoor sports complexes and the All India Radio building. The stadium hosted its first ever first-class cricket match in 1917-18. The first test match of this stadium was played in January 1934. A one day match was played here for the first time in February 1987, between India and Pakistan.

LOCATION

The stadium is situated in B.B.D. Bagh area of the Kolkata city near Secretariat and Calcutta High Court.  It stands in more than 50 acres of blissful landscape.  The verdant pathways of Eden Gardens are shaded by huge mahogany, mango and Banyan trees that make it a peaceful place to sit and enjoy the marvels of nature.  There is also a 3 storeyed Burmese Pagoda in red and yellow that was brought here by Lord Dalhousie.  

A brand new pitch cover was installed in 2016 from England. The entire ground can be covered in 15-20 minutes.

It’s the second largest stadium in the country with 66,000 capacity after renovation.  It  is also used for Football matches.

The entire stadium and the surrounding land still is administered by the Defence Ministry, without whose permission no event  can take place. The Cricket Association of Bengal is merely a lesser and not the owner. 

Modernization Of Eden Garden

The first time ever Eden Gardens was revamped was in the 1987 World Cup. Being the venue wherein the final match was to take place, the ground was given a face lift and covered stands were built all around, with a modern ClubHouse and pavilion. In the present times, the Club House holds the office of the Cricket Association of Bengal. Floodlights were first installed in the year 1993, in the stadium, on the eve of the five-nation tournament, held to celebrate the CAB Diamond Jubilee. The ground played host to all the day-night one-day international matches in the tournament.

Present Scenario

Eden Gardens holds the distinction of being one of  the largest cricketing facilities in the world. It is a dream-come-true for all the cricketers in the world, when they play in this magnificent and gigantic lush green stadium. Boasting of one of the largest seating arrangements in the world, the average number of people attending the matches has never been less than 50, 000. The stadium is always filled with people, who cheer the players and keep their hopes alive and the spectators play as the 12th man for the home team. . However, on the flip side, crowd violence has marred some of the key matches played in this ground.

Eden Gardens, today, is basking in the glory and has reached the pinnacle of success. Whether it was the epic India-Australia Test match in 2001, or the hat-trick clinched by Indian spinner, Harbhajan Singh, against Australia or South Africa’s comeback into International cricket, or even matches against the arch-rivals Pakistan, Eden Gardens has always been known to produce some of the most exciting and electrifying cricket encounters. The stadium is also the home ground of Kolkata Knight Riders, a franchise of the recently started India Premier League (IPL).

UNIQUE  ARTWORK

The walls of the ‘Pride of Indian cricket’ gets wall art like any other cricket stadium. What’s fascinating about the wall art is that it has been prepared by over 25 students from Kolkata’s Government College of Art & Craft. The decoration of the project was managed by Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB). The wall art is about four storeys tall on one side.

“Our basic idea was to capture the feeling – the awe and excitement people feel when for the first time they see the historic field,” said Sayan Mukherjee one of the artists responsible for the work, “As children, when we walked in for the first time here in the stands, we felt like it was a magic, a transformation and through this work, we wanted to highlight that. 

”Here are a few photos of Eden Gardens’ wall art work :-

Photo Courtesy: Indian Express

Photo Courtesy: Indian Express

The Kolkata stadium also has the paintings of cricketers celebrating their success. The entrance of the stadium has photos of legendary cricketers Kapil Dev, Sourav Ganguly, Jhulan Goswami and others. 

BIG  BELL

Kapil Dev rung the bell just before the Indian and New Zealand teams walked out for the national anthem on the opening day of the second Test at the Eden Gardens at Kolkata on Friday. ( in 2016)

India vs New Zealand: Kapil Dev inaugurates bell ringing ritual at Eden Gardens

Former Indian captain Kapil Dev with CAB’s president Sourav Ganguly. AP

India’s first World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev rung the bell just before the Indian and New Zealand teams walked out for the national anthem on the opening day of the second Test at the Eden Gardens at Kolkata on Friday.

Accompanied by Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) President and former India captain Sourav Ganguly, Dev completed the much sought-after ritual in front of a motley  crowd.

Looking dapper in a suit, the 1983 hero wore a wry smile on his face as all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was seen witnessing the event keenly from the players’ dressing room. The ringing of the five-minute bell, introduced at Lord’s, London is a ritual started in 2007. An international cricketer or administrator or a well-known enthusiast of the sport is asked to perform the act.

Ganguly had stated that every morning it will be rung by a cricketer from either side or ex-players.

The one at Lord’s is located outside the Bowlers’ Bar of the pavilion and is rung to signify the imminent start of play.

FACILITIES

The stadium’s outfield and drainage system came under a lot of criticism.  When Sourav Ganguly became CAB President in 2016, he made sure that a new covering process was done in the outfield , so that the outfield does not remain waterlogged for long.  The drainage system was also upgraded. Previously the CAB had only 3 super soppers in place.  Keeping in mind the unpredictable weather conditions, Sourav ordered 2 more super soppers from Australia so that even if it rained, the ground could be made ready for the match to resume quickly.

Eden Gardens had installed a new electronic scoreboard like MCG.  The new scoreboard will show all the details, highlights and graphics of a match.

The raised sight screens would provide the Indian batsman a better view of Pakistani pacer Mohammad Irfan, who stands 7 feet and one inch tall.

“After consulting the umpires, we have raised the height of the sight screens which has resulted in reduction of around 850 seats at the Club House and High Court ends,” Cricket Association of Bengal joint secretary Subir Ganguly said.

The reduction of the seats is a blow to the ordinary cricket spectators.

NEW DRESSING ROOMS

The International Cricket Council (ICC) wanted  two more dressing rooms at the Eden Gardens which will host the World Twenty20 final in 2016. The Eden Gardens had only two dressing rooms, one for the home team and the other for the visiting team before T20 WC 2016. . But as the women’s World T20 final will also be held on the same day, cricket’s world governing body has asked the CAB for four change rooms and now it has 4 dressing rooms.

2011 Renovation

Eden Gardens underwent renovation for the 2011 World cup.  Renovation had been undertaken to meet the standards set by the ICC for the 2011 World Cup. The  Cricket Association of Bengal retained the team of Burt Hill and VMS to renovate the Eden Gardens Cricket Stadium. The plans for the renovated stadium included a new clubhouse and players’ facilities, upgrades of the exterior walls to give the stadium a new look, cladding the existing roof structure with a new metal skin, new/upgraded patron amenities & signage and general infrastructure improvements. The upgrade also meant reduction of the seating capacity to about 68,000 from around 94,000 before the upgrade.

The stadium hosted three scheduled World Cup 2011 Matches on 15, 18 and 20 March 2011. In the last of these three matches (Kenya vs Zimbabwe), the stadium had the lowest ticket-purchasing crowd in its recorded history with 15 spectators having bought tickets.

The Historic stands of Eden Gardens

The stands of the Eden Gardens stadium in Kolkata are named after prominent cricketers and soldiers of Indian Army. The names include that of Sourav Ganguly, Pankaj Roy, Jagmohan Dalmiya, and B. N. Dutt.

Some of the names of the Soldiers after whom 4 stands are named include, Colonel Neelakantan Jayachandran Nair, Havildar Hangpan Dada, Major Dhan Singh Thapa and Subedar Joginder Singh Sahnan.

LC Dhan Singh Thapa and Subedar Joginder Singh were the war heroes of 1962 Sino- Indian War and were awarded posthumously with Param Vir Chakra, the highest wartime military gallantry award in India. Col NJ Nair and Havildar Dada sacrificed their lives while fighting insurgents in Nagaland and Kashmir respectively. Both were awarded posthumously with Ashok Chakra, India’s highest peacetime military gallantry award

.Best Moments 

  • In 1977,  New York Cosmos played a Football match against Mohun Bagun at the stadium.  Edson Arantes do Nascimento “aka”  Pelé played in that match for the Cosmos. The match was drawn at 2–2.
  • 16 football fans died in a stampede after a derby league game between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan on 16 August 1980.
  • Eden Gardens hosted the 1987 Cricket World Cup Final  which was the first ever Cricket World Cup final hosted outside England. The match ended with Australia defeating England by 7 runs. This was the first time Australia won the Cricket WC Final. 
  • The 1996 World Cup semi-final was called off and Sri Lanka awarded the match after crowd disturbances following an Indian batting collapse.
  • During the 2nd final of the  1997 Independence Cup the Test and ODI captains of the Indian cricket team of all time (with a few notable exceptions) were given a lap of honour around the stadium.
  • In 1999, leading Indian batsmanSachin Tendulkar was run out after colliding with Pakistan’s Shoaib Akthar.  Akhtar had impeded Tendulkar and the crowd rioted, forcing the police to evict the spectators. The match continued in front of an empty stadium.
  •  Kapil Dev took an ODI hat-trick against the Sri Lankans in 1991 at the ground.
  •  Harbhajan Singh took a hat-trick against  Australia in 2000/01 at the ground. He became the first Indian to take a hat-trick in Test cricket.
  • In 2005, in an ODI against  South Africa, the Eden Gardens crowd booed the Indian Team  and Greg Chappell because Sourav Ganguly was  dropped from the team. Chappell allegedly showed middle finger to the crowd.
  • In 2005,  Sachin Tendulkar scored his 10,000th run in Test Cricket against Pakistan on this ground making him the second Indian batsman and fifth overall to achieve this feat.
  • Eden Gardens hosted the historic 199th (penultimate) Test match of Sachin Tendulkar’s career against West Indies from 6-10 Nov 2013. India defeated West Indies by an innings and 51 runs in 3 days.
  • On its 150th anniversary, on 13 November 2014, Eden Gardens witnessed the highest ever score by a batsman in One Day Internationals, a 264 off 173 balls scored by Rohit Sharma  during the 4th One Day International of Sri Lanka vs India at the venue.
  • On 3 April 2016, in this venue, within a span of hours, the finals of the ICC world cup Twenty20 tournaments for the women and for the men were won by the respective women’s and men’s teams of the West Indies.
  • The stadium hosted the 200th and 250th home tests for India in 2005 and 2016 respectively.
  • On 22 January 2017, Ravindra Jadeja became the first Indian left arm spinner to take 150 One Day International wickets, when he dismissed  Sam Billings of England.
  • On 21 September 2017,  Kuldeep Yadav became the third bowler for India to take a hat-trick in an ODI after  Chetan Sharma and Kapil Dev When he took a hat-trick against Australia.

Iconic Matches Played at Eden Gardens Kolkata

1962- India  Vs England: India gained victory in this match. This was the first match where India beat England in a test match at Eden Gardens after a long period of 10 years. India had won the match by 182 runs thanks to brilliant spin bowling by Salim Durrani ( left arm orthodox) and Chandu Borde (leg break) and Poly Umrigar (off break).

1975- India Vs  West Indies: Though India could not win the test series, the third test match in a 5- match series went on to become a legendary victory when India beat West Indies by 85 runs. The match was played against  the likes of  Sir Andy Roberts, Bernard Julien, Roy Fredericks and Lance Gibbs in the West Indies team,  the diminutive Gundappa Viswanath hit a magnificent century and paved the way for India’s win here after 2-0 down in the series.

1993- India Vs South Africa:  When the ball was tossed to Sachin Tendulkar by Captain Azaruddin to bowl the ultimate over to defend a paltry 5 runs, it was a shocker to everybody. The iconic win of this Hero Cup final match was pulled off by none other than our own master blaster, Sachin Tendulkar with his miraculous bowling over at the last moment. India won the match by 2 runs.

2001- India Vs Australia:  A watershed moment in the history of Indian test cricket.  Another iconic match is remembered when India was asked to follow-on and  due to the sudden twist pulled off by partnership of V.V.S. Laxman and Rahul Dravid when the first four batsmen took a quick return to the pavilion very early into the match. Rahul and Laxman played the full 4th day without being separated  when V.V.S. Laxman hit a marathon 281 runs and Rahul Dravid 180 runs putting 376 runs for the 5th wicket and India won a match that was thought to be lost in the beginning.

2005- India Vs Pakistan: After losing to Pakistan at Mohali in the test series, India went on to win the thrilling match at Eden as well as the entire series thereafter.

2013- India Vs West Indies: This match is termed iconic as it marked the last test match played by Sachin Tendulkar of his career. It marked the end of an era.

2019- India Vs Bangladesh : On 22 November 2019, India’s first ever DAY / NIGHT  test match between India and Bangladesh  was hosted at Eden Gardens and the game was inaugurated jointly by the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Bannerjee and the President of Bangladesh which India won comfortably by an Innings & 18 runs. 

INDIA-ENG TEST SERIES PREVIEW

INDIA -ENGLAND  TEST SERIES IN ENGLAND PREVIEW- 2021

Courtesy : Times of India.

As the  battle lines are drawn for another awe inspiring Test series between England and India Test series and getting underway today at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, let’s peep into the history of the rivalry.

The Pataudi Trophy (named in 2007 after India’s illustrious cricketer M.A.K. Pataudi )was claimed by India once only in the inaugural series in 2007 under the captainship of Rahul Dravid with a solitary win at Trent Bridge, Nottingham in the 3 Test series.

The India-England  Test series will kick start the second edition of ICC WORLD TEST CHAMPIONSHIP  (WTC), which will be played in 2021-23 cycle. 

More than winning the Pataudi Trophy, a feat India last achieved under the leadership of RAHUL DRAVID in 2007, Kohli said the challenge for his team was to win in “situations which are not ours”.

INDIA IN ENGLAND 

India and England played 62 Tests in England from 1932.  England won 34 tests and India won 7 tests.

After 22 outings, India registered its first Test win in English soil in 1971 at The Oval under the leadership of Ajit Wadekar with Indian spinners having a field day led by the unpredictable  leg spinner Chandrasekar and it also marked India’s Firstever Test series win in England.

India had to wait for another 15 years for the next series victory as the team led by the mercurial all rounder Kapil Dev.  Kapil led his team into a tumultuous win in 1986 by 2-0 by winning comprehensively both in Lord’s and Headingley, Leeds.

Then under the leadership of “The Wall”, Rahul Dravid in 2007, India won the Test at Trent Bridge, Nottingham and also the series with 1-0.

Though India did win a Test in 2014 under M.S. Dhoni at Lord’s with Ishant Sharma & Bhuvneshkumar bowling their best, but India had to suffer heavy defeats in the remaining 3 Tests.

In our last outing in 2018 under “King “ Kohli, we could manage a solitary win in the 3rd Test at Trent Bridge with Kohli leading from the front with 97 & 103 runs and Jasprit Bumraha’s incisive spell, after a humiliating innings defeat when they were blown away by the English pacemen and Chris Woakes scoring a magnificent century in the 2nd test at Lord’s.

Now, India with well acclimatising with the weather conditions at England and a practice match before the Test series are well equipped to take on a depleted England side in the absence of their mercurial all rounder Ben Stokes, bowlers Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes due to injuries.  England will include the young all rounder Sam Curran who made a sensational start in 2018 against India and Jonny Bairstrow in place of the injured Ollie Pope.

Indian team have a dilemma  to choose the best XI, though there are indications from the Captain’s pre-match interview that the all rounder Shardul Thakur will make it to the playing XI and Mohamed Siraj will also make a cut into the final XI.  Two spinners may be a luxury in England pitches and the captain will be tempted to include the all rounder and athletic fielder Ravindra Jadeja into the XI and leave out R. Ashwin.

We have to wait and see whether the history will repeat at Trent Bridge as India has most success here with 2 wins here.     

England (possible): 1 Rory Burns, 2 Dom Sibley, 3 Zak Crawley, 4 Joe Root (capt), 5 Ollie Pope/Jonny Bairstow, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Sam Curran, 8 Ollie Robinson, 9 Stuart Broad, 10 Jack Leach, 11 James Anderson

India (possible): 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 KL Rahul, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Virat Kohli (capt), 5 Ajinkya Rahane, 6 Rishabh Pant (wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Ishant Sharma / Mohammed Siraj, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Jasprit Bumrah.

THE OVAL ground, LONDON

Courtesy : google images

CRICKET  GROUNDS- THE OVAL, LONDON

The Oval, currently known as Kia Oval for sponsorship reasons, is an international cricket ground in Kennington in the London Borough of Lambeth, South London.

The Oval has been the home ground of Surrey County Cricket club since it was opened in 1845.

The ground is owned by Prince of Duke Charles ( Duchy of Cornwall) and the only ground in England NOT owned by the County club.

It was the FIRST ground in England and second in international cricket ( MCG, Australia was the first ground) to host Test cricket in Sept. 1880.

HISTORY

The Oval is 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 ground by 1740s.

In 1844, the site of the present Kennington Oval was a market garden owned by the 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, which was later assumed , issued to President of Montpelier Cricket Club by the Otter Trustees who held the land from Duchy to convert into a subscription cricket ground for 31 years at a rent of 120 pounds per annum.

 Prince Charles, Duchy of Cornwall, owner of the ground gets a slice of ticket prices , every drink, pie and programme sold.  The Duchy of Cornwall, who is still the owner of the ground, the property Estate which generated 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 the Duchy’s profit on his 21st birthday in 1969.

Original Contract for turfing The Oval cost 300 Pounds, the 10,000 grass turfs came from Tooting Common and were laid in the spring of 1845 allowing the first cricket match to be played in May 1845.  Hence, Surrey County Cricket Club was established in 1845.

On 3rd May 1845 the Club acquired the remainder of the leasehold of land for a further period of 31 years.

The Pavilion was built in 1898 designed by the famous architect A.T. Muirhead, who also built the pavilion for Old Trafford, Manchester.  Although much altered in subsequent years it still retains its original character.

GROUND INFORMATION

The Oval wicket  has 27 pitches more than any other cricket venue.  It has 5.5 acres , the largest playing area for Test matches in the northern hemisphere.  The playing area  is very large, extending to 168 metres by 148 metres.

It has 3 entrances viz., Hobbs Gates, Kennington Oval including turnstiles and Vauxhall End.  There is a separate Members’ enclosure.  There are 3 covered stands and 9 uncovered stands.

Name of Ends : Pavilion  End and Vauxhall End.

ABORIGINES  VISIT

In 1868, 20,000 spectators gathered at The Oval for the first game of 1868 when the Aborigines (Australia) began cricket tour of England ( for a 47- game tour)  and played the first match here and was the FIRST tour of England by any foreign country.

FIRST TEST MATCH

The First Test Match in England was played here  between England and Australia in September 1880 and thus became the Second Cricket ground to stage Test matches.  This  One-off Test was won by England by 5 wickets.  The Grace brothers , W.G. Grace, Edward Grace and Fredrick Grace played for the First time for England and W.G. Grace hit a  century on debut  (152 runs) and  for the FIRST TIME for England in Tests and Australia’s Captain  W.L. Murdoch also scored  a century ( 153 * ).

BIRTH OF ASHES  TESTS

In 1882, Australia won the one-off Test played here by 7 runs within two days.  The “Sporting Times” printed a mocking of an obituary notice “ English cricket had died and that the body will be cremated and the Ashes taken to Australia “   which led to the creation of the “ ASHES” Trophy which is still contested whenever England Plays Test against Australia.  

History at The Oval

https://www.kiaoval.com/about-us/archive-history/ ( video)

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 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 903/7 is 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 Ashes  to the spinner Eric Hollies

Michael Holding’s 14 wickets & Vivian Richards blitzkrieg 291 ensured Windies win in 1976 by 231 runs.

The fourth and final Test of the 1979 series against India here was also magnificent.  England set the visitors a target of 438 runs to win.  India got off to a terrific start with an opening wicket partnership of 213 between Sunil Gavaskar and Chetan Chauhan.  However wickets began to tumble and at the close India were tantalising 9 runs short of their target with two wickets in hand ending at 429/8.  Gavaskar’s monumental knock of 221 runs in the chase was one of the greatest innings ever seen at The Oval.

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

The iconic Victorian Gas Holder outside The Oval in south London is secured after the structure was granted Grade II listed status and now it is used as a prominent advertising hoarding for matches.

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.    

FACILITIES

Between 1993 and1996 the pavilion was completely renovated and enlarged by adding two storeys to provide additional seating for members, executive suites, restaurants and an improved library.  There are many famous paintings and items of cricket memorabilia in the various parts of the pavilion as well as in the SCC Centenary Library on the top floor of the building.

There is a splendid new clock above the members’ main pavilion entrance.  Near the main Hobbs Gate is a brick sculpture of Sir Leonard Hutton. 

In 1988 a new executive box was constructed at the Vauxhall End.   A large TV screen was installed high above Vauxhall Stand to broadcast action replays of the Cricket.

The First Aid room is located beneath the Bedser Stand and there are two further points at the Vauxhall end and Peter May stand.

The Club Museum  :  The Sandham Display room in the pavilion explains the history of Surrey CCC and the AMP Oval and contains Surrey and England memorabilia including the oldest known cricket bat in the world, and all the trophies that Surrey have won over the years.

Cricket coaching facilities, cricket nets, other sporting or recreational facilities are available.

Car parking facilities are available only for players and officials . Street car parking in and  surrounding ground or car parks in central London a short distance away.

Good viewing areas and designated viewing areas are available for people using wheelchairs. 

The Kia Oval offers a variety of Catering options around the ground.  On county championship and ODI fixtures there is Deep Blue Retaurant, a burger van, an ice cream van and beer carts located in the Pavilion forecourt as well as The Feathers Pub located behind bedser stand serving drinks and snacks.  On T20 match days, it has a food village at the Vauxhall end of the ground featuring some of the finest street food vendors as well as LIVE band music.

Toilets all around the perimeter of the ground with baby changing facilities are located in OCS stand as well by entrance of Lock Laker stand.

STADIUM TOUR

Stadium tours are available every Friday & starting at 11 a.m. unless a T20 or international fixture taking place.  Tickets must be booked thro’ their e-ticketing site or the office on any day.  The cost varies from 22.65 pounds onwards.  Tours will be approximately 90 minutes and visitors have to arrive at John Edrich Gate ( underground end) and to go to reception.

  • Entrance to the stadium
  • 90 minutes guided tour
  • Access to changing rooms, Members’ pavilion, committee room
  • Learn how cricket equipment is made
  • Skyline view of London from roof terrace
  • Tea or coffee on arrival

VIEW FROM SHARD TOWER (LONDON)

The building 95 storey Shard was designed by world renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano.  This architectural marvel is the tallest building in the European Union and its distinctive shape has defined the London skyline.  If you visit the view from Shard, you will get a breathtaking 360 degree view of London from more than 300 meters above the city.

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 matches 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 redevelopment 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 Peter May.