On Wantage Road, in the Abington area of Northampton, lays the home of Northamptonshire County Cricket Club.
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Ground Guide by Cricket Tripper
It is known as a venue that favours spin bowlers such as Jason Brown and Monty Panesar, who took all of Northamptonshire County Cricket Club’s 20 wickets in the 2005 County Championship.
The first game that was played here by Northamptonshire County Cricket Club was in 1886. Northamptonshire County Cricket Club bought, what was then a ploughed field for £2,000, on which they built a sports ground. There was a cricket pitch, a cycle track that was 650 yards long, lawn tennis facilities, athletics facilities, and an area for bowls. Later, in 1897, football was also played at this ground. In 1891, Northamptonshire County Cricket Club voted not to allow women to use the cricket pitch, however 40 years later in the changing times of equality, Northampton County Cricket Ground hosted the first women’s Test Match between Australia and England.
In 1985 and 1904 they then competed in the Minor Counties Championship and won the title 3 times. In 1904 they were accepted into the County Championships and played their first first-class match at this ground on the 5th of June 1905. This match involved only 75 overs of play due to the rain and resulted in Northamptonshire County Cricket Club drawing with Leicestershire County Cricket Club.
In terms of international cricket, Northampton County Cricket Ground hosted two of the 1999 ICC Cricket World Cup matches. These spectacles involved South Africa’s victory over Sri Lanka, and when Bangladesh beat Pakistan by 62 runs; the latter was an immense game where Bangladesh’s victory was their first against Pakistan in a World Cup.
This ground has a capacity of 6500, which makes it one of the smaller grounds for international cricket. The ground is surrounded by red-brick houses, with the north end known as the Football Ground end. A new pavilion was constructed in 1979, which lays alongside the previous pavilion, as well as a stand holding an indoor school.
Northampton County Cricket Ground is not only home to Northampton County Cricket Ground but has also been home to ‘the Cobblers’. ‘The Cobblers’ is the nickname for Northampton Town Football Club, who played at the ground between 1897 and 1994. This was a peculiar pitch with only three sides, the open side was needed due to the size of the cricket pitch. ‘The Cobblers’ started off playing in the Northants League, but managed to work their way up into The Football League in 1920.
Between 1958 and 1965 they rose up from Division 4 into the First Division where they stayed for one season, before being relegated to Division 4 by 1970. They have stayed there ever since. Northampton Town Football Club played their last match at Northampton County Cricket Ground against Mansfield Town on the 12th October 1994. They lost 1 – 0, before moving to Sixfields where there is a four-sided stadium that had more appeal than the Northampton County Cricket Ground.
Visiting the Ground - Travel
The County Ground is located in the North-East part of Northampton, right in the middle of Britain.
The postcode for your satnav is NN1 4PR. There is a small amount of parking at the ground, but it’s probably safe to assume it will be full when you get there. The Ground is in a residential area so there is loads of parking available in the streets around the ground.
Train - Public Transport
Northampton sits between the regular running Birmingham and London train service, making travelling by train a very popular option. It will take about 1 hour 40 mins from both London Euston or Birmingham New Street.
Airports and Flying
If you are flying into England then your best bet is probably to fly to Birmingham Airport, as it is one of the closest. It will take you 1 hour 30 mins on public transport to get to the Ground or just 1 hour if you are driving. London Luton Airport is also fairly near and will take about 1 hour if you are driving, but will take you over 2 hours if you are using public transport.