The Oval is one of the premier Cricket Grounds of the UK hosting both top-notch domestic Cricket for county side Surrey, as well as International Test Cricket.
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Ground Guide by Cricket Tripper
Opening in 1845, the Oval Cricket Ground has been the home ground of Surrey County Cricket Club. History was made 35 years later when the Oval Cricket Ground became the first English ground to host an International Test Match, creating the tradition of hosting the final Test match of the English season at this ground.
However, the grandeur of this sports ground should not and cannot be limited to just cricket. In 1870 it hosted England’s first international football match, where the national team played Scotland. It was only 2 years later that the Oval Cricket Ground was transformed for the FA Cup Final matches, staging them again between 1874 and 1892. International rugby matches were the next of the scene, in 1876 between England and Wales, then England and Scotland.
Previous to the Oval Cricket Ground being a location of international level sporting excellence, the Kennington Common was a place of matches between locals. A 19th century scheme sponsored by the royal family, yet owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, caused Kennington Common to be enclosed. This new market garden was leased as a cricket ground first in 1845, which saw new turf being brought in from Tooting Common, as well as a dramatic growth in popularity and attendance of Surrey County Cricket Club. Since then, Australia, South Africa, the West Indies, New Zealand, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have plated Test Matches at the Oval.
The only countries yet to play in a Test Match against England on this marvellously history-filled ground, are Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. More recently, in 2017 The Oval Cricket Ground hosted its 100th Test against South Africa – a huge milestone that only four cricket ground in the world (The Oval, Lords, Melbourne Cricket Ground and Sydney Cricket Ground) can claim. The only time that The Oval lay dormant, was during the First World War – much like sports ground across the country.
2002 saw the start of a 3-year redevelopment of the Vauxhall End (nearest to the district of Vauxhall and its railway station) and the building of a four-tier grandstand which is sponsored by Outsourced Client Solutions International Facilities Management Services. Surrey County Cricket Club planned to add another 2000 seats in 2007 with the redevelopment of the Pavilion End – this never occurred.
Since then, The Oval Cricket Ground has been adjusted, remodelled and rebuilt to keep up with the ever-changing demands that spectators have of 21st Century sport. For example, £3.7 million worth of floodlights were installed in 2009 to keep up with regulations regarding light overspill to neighbouring residents as well as improving the game experience, by reducing glare for spectators, players and umpires alike. Additional seating was added in 2013, September 2015, and again in September 2019. With the current seat capacity at 25,500, the most recent improvement should see the capacity at 40,000 by mid 2021 and after £50 millions of spending. This would make The Oval the largest cricket stadium in the western hemisphere – a marvel with so much history and so much future.
Best Pubs Near Ground
Visiting the Ground - Travel
Being in London the Oval has plenty of transport options through trains and buses but as you’d expect travelling by car can be problematic, as the ground offers no match-day parking.
Although there is no Match-day parking there are other options if you want to drive down, but you need to combine a form of public transport for the final leg of your journey. The ground itself is on the A202 just South of the Vauxhall Bridge.
Train - Public Transport
Attached to the Vauxhall tube station is a train station which trains running all across the South of England. You can also travel to any other station in London and use the Northern or Victoria lines to get to the Ground.
The nearest tube station is aptly named Oval on the Northern Line, which is just 5 minutes walk from the ground. The Vauxhall tube station is just 10 minutes away as well and is on the Victoria line.
Airports and Flying
The nearest airport is London City, but flights are more common from Gatwick, Heathrow or Stansted. All 4 are linked to the London travel network so it is relatively easy to get a train to the destination.