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Ground Guide by Cricket Tripper
Grace Road Cricket Ground is also known as Fischer County Ground, Grace Road. It was named Grace Road Cricket Ground after the daughter of a local property owner Edward John Yearby – not W. G. Grace as many people believe. It is a cricket ground based in Leicester, in England, and home to Leicestershire County Cricket Club. It was established in 1877 when Leicestershire County Cricket Club bought the 16 acres worth of land from the Duke of Rutland. They then spent £40,000 on developing not only a cricket pitch, but an athletics track and hotel. Three months later, the first cricket match was held when Leicestershire played an Australian team on their tour in England.
Leicestershire County Cricket Club were not always loyal to the Grace Road Cricket Ground. In 1901 they moved to a site near Aylestone Road, which enabled them to be closer to the city centre, and with it, better transport options to allow spectators to come to the games easier. In 1946, just after World War II, Leicestershire County Cricket Club did return to Grace Road Cricket Ground and purchased the land again 20 years after this. They have been there ever since. Their record attendance was at the 1948 Touring match against Australia, when 16,000 spectators came to watch the game.
In terms of international cricket, three One Day Internationals have been played at Grace Road – none of which have included the men’s England side. The first was in 1983 when India played Zimbabwe. India were chasing a target of 156 runs and ended up beating Zimbabwe by 7 wickets. The second and third games were part of the 1999 ICC Cricket World Cup. They involved Zimbabwe beating India by 3 runs, and then the West Indies beating Scotland by 8 wickets. Impressively, three of the five Women’s One Day International Centuries have been by English women; namely, Heather Knight scoring 106 against Pakistan in 2017, Natalie Sciver scoring 137 in the same match, and Tammy Beaumont who scored 114 against Australia in 2019.
Grace Road Cricket Ground has seen many developments over the years, starting in 1836 when Leicestershire County Cricket Club had the earliest scorebook in Record Office. In 1952 the building of the concrete terracing seating began. It was first called the Richards Stand, but then the name was changed to The Meet. A weathervane sat on top of the terrace, which was presented by Reverend Logan, in memory of his grandfather J. W. Logan, who had been a past President of the Club. In 1955 a development to the club kit was made. The players introduced dark green blazers with gold embroidered badge for capped players, and a scarlet embroidered badge for uncapped players. The Meet was made into two floors with a Long Room on the upstairs floor (including a dance floor!) measuring 130 foot long. In 1999 the Media Centre and Championship Lounge were added to the Indoor Cricket School that had been built 6 years previously. Since, it has also had a new fitness suite installed. Many of the redevelopments are still there today, making cricket at Grace Road Cricket Ground more accessible to all.
Visiting the Ground - Travel
Just south of Leicester you will find the charming ground Grace Road.
For the Satnav use LE2 8EB. There is limited parking for visitors at the ground, with just 200 spaces at the Curzon Road entrance. While there are always a few spaces in the residential areas around the ground, this can annoy the locals so it’s probably better to find a car park further away and walk or bus to the destination.
Train - Public Transport
There are several train stations in Leicester that are connected to different parts of the country. The closest station is South Wigston which is just
Airports and Flying
The nearest airport is Birmingham Airport and is just a 40-minute drive away. However, it can take around 2 hours to get to the ground from the airport if you use public transport, as you need to go right back into Birmingham city centre to catch a train.