- Old Trafford Cricket Ground
Old Trafford Ground information Location Old Trafford
Establishment 1857 Capacity 15,000–22,000, 50,000 for concerts. (after redevelopment-25,000, 65,000 for concerts) End names Pavilion End
Brian Statham End
International information First Test 10 July 1884: England v Australia Last Test 4 June 2010: England v Bangladesh First ODI 24 August 1972: England v Australia Last ODI 27 June 2010: England v Australia Domestic team information Manchester Cricket Club (1857 – 1865)
Lancashire (1865 – present)
As of 27 August 2009
Old Trafford is a cricket ground situated on Talbot Road in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester. It has been the home of Lancashire County Cricket Club since its foundation in 1864, having been the ground of Manchester Cricket Club from 1857. International Test matches have been played there since 1884.
- 1 Early history
- 2 The ground
- 3 Notable moments at Old Trafford
- 4 Redevelopment 2003–2013
- 5 Uses
- 6 Notes
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The site was first used as a cricket ground in 1857, when the Manchester Cricket Club moved onto the meadows of the de Trafford estate. Despite the construction of a large pavilion (for the amateurs – the professionals used a shed at the opposite end of the ground), Old Trafford's first years were rocky: accessible only along a footpath from the Old Trafford station, the ground was situated out in the country, and games only attracted small crowds; it was not until the close Roses match of 1875 that significant numbers attended a game. When W.G. Grace brought Gloucestershire in 1878, Old Trafford saw 28,000 spectators over three days, and this provoked improvements to access and facilities.
In 1884, Old Trafford became the second English ground, after The Oval, to stage test cricket – with the first day being lost to rain, England drew with Australia. Expansion of the ground followed over the next decade, with the decision being taken to construct a new pavilion in 1894.
The ground was purchased outright from the de Traffords in 1898, for £24,372, as crowds increased: over 50,000 spectators attended the 1899 test match.
Crowds fell through the early 20th Century, and the ground was closed during the First World War; however, in the conflict's aftermath, Old Trafford's reputation as a cricketing arena again rose, with crowd numbers reaching new heights. Investment followed throughout the inter-war period, and during this time, Lancashire experienced their most successful run to date, gaining four Championship titles in five years.
During the Second World War, Old Trafford was used as a transit camp for troops returning from Dunkirk, and as a supply depot. In December 1940, the ground was hit by bombs, damaging or destroying several stands; the field also suffered craters. Despite this damage – and the failure of an appeal to raise funds for repairs – cricket resumed promptly after the war, with German PoWs being paid a small wage to prepare the ground. The 'Victory Test' between England and Australia of August 1945 proved to be extremely popular, with 76,463 seeing it over three days.
Differences of opinion between the club's committee and players led to a bad run of form in the 1950s and early 1960s; this consequently saw gate money drop, and a lack of investment. After 1964, however, the situation was reversed, and 1969 saw the first Indoor Cricket Centre opened.
Following Lancashire's reign as One Day champions in the 1970s, a programme of renovation and replacement was initiated in 1981. This changed the face of the ground to the extent that, now, only the Pavilion “is recognisable to a visitor who last watched or played a game in, say, the early 1980s”.
The cricket ground is near the Old Trafford football stadium (a five minute walk away down Warwick Road and Sir Matt Busby Way), in the borough of Trafford in Greater Manchester, approximately two miles south west of Manchester city centre. Its capacity is 22,000 for Test matches, for which temporary stands are erected, and 15,000 for other matches. Since 1884, it has hosted 73 Tests, the third highest number in England, behind Lord's and The Oval.
The two ends of the ground are the Pavilion End to the north and the Brian Statham End (formerly the Warwick Road End) to the south, renamed in honour of the former Lancashire and England player. The section of Warwick Road behind this end is also called Brian Statham Way. Immediately abutting the ground to the south-east is the Old Trafford Metrolink station.
The three-tiered Victorian members' pavilion – the last part of the ground dating from that era – was built in 1895 for £10,000. Hit by a bomb in 1940 – which destroyed the Members' Dining Room and groundsman's quarters – most of the pavilion was rebuilt. £1 million was spent on a new roof after it began to leak in 2003.
The Pavilion's position is noteworthy in that it currently sits parallel to the wickets, rather than behind them. This presents the members with one of the worst viewing angles possible, so that many choose to forsake the building, to sit at either of the ground's Ends. The wickets now been altered so they face the pavillion.
It contains batting and bowling Honours Boards, unveiled during the 2004 test match.
The Old Trafford Lodge
In 1999, the Old Trafford Lodge was opened, bringing to fruition a concept from 1981. The hotel has 68 rooms, 36 of which command unobstructed views of the playing surface* – an unusual use of space, but one which has proved to be extremely successful, generating income all year round.
Old Trafford is also unusual in that there are two media stands, at opposite ends of the ground. The press writers, until 1984, used a small box described by Derek Hodgson as “a wart on the face of Venus”; this was replaced by the Neville Cardus Gallery, on top of the Red Rose Suite at the Brian Statham End. Their television and radio counterparts, meanwhile, operate in a television studio and commentary boxes at the Stretford End – facilities which are, again, perched on hospitality boxes.
Cricket practice school
The idea of an indoor school was born in 1951, when nets were strung up in the Members' Dining Room in the pavilion. A permanent facility was built in 1969, and replaced in 1997. The current building stands to the north-west of the pitch, just behind the area used for temporary stands; it contains five 60 metre lanes on various surfaces, several conference rooms, and a large shop.
Other notable features
Very unusually in a test match ground, the Old Trafford wickets are laid along an East-West axis. This has often caused problems for batsmen at the Brian Statham End as the sun sets.
Before Cardiff was used as a test match ground in July 2009, Old Trafford was seen as the wettest test ground in the country. Manchester, being to the west of the Pennines, receives much rain brought in from the Atlantic by the prevailing westerly breezes; Old Trafford is the only ground in England where a test match has been abandoned without a ball being bowled – and this has happened here twice. Often, after heavy rainfall, the pitch remained waterlogged, hindering play – and it was to prevent this that Lancashire, in 2008, laid new drains. Work began on 23 August, with the outfield being lifted and presented to fans. The ground was closed for the rest of the season, with Lancashire's remaining home games transferred to its outgrounds at Blackpool and Aigburth, Liverpool, and the work was finished by November 2008.
Partly because of this rainfall, Lancashire were quick to acquire a Hover Cover – a cover acting on the hovercraft principle, allowing it to be moved quickly and easily, and the ground to be kept aerated while dry. This made its appearance for the 2007 season, and was the second in England, after a similar cover acquired for Lord's.
Notable moments at Old Trafford
- 1902 – The Australian Victor Trumper hit a hundred before lunch on the first day; Australia went on to win the Test by 3 runs – the third closest Test result in history.
- 1909 – Frank Laver, the Australian player/manager, took 8–31 in the drawn Test.
- 1930 – 1948 – Donald Bradman played three Tests at Old Trafford, scoring just 81 runs at 27.00 – his innings being 14 (1930), 30 (1934) and 7 and 30* (1948). He told Bill Frindall that the light was always so bad that he couldn't see the ball.
- 1938 – The second abandoned test, due to rain. In a desperate effort to ensure play, the groundstaff move the turf from the practice pitch to the square – a unique attempt.
- 1956 – Jim Laker became the first person to take all 10 wickets in a Test match innings, achieving figures of 10 for 53 in the fourth Test against Australia (the only other bowler to take all 10 wickets is Anil Kumble of India in 1999). Having also taken 9 for 37 in the first innings, Laker ended the match with record figures of 19 for 90, which remain unmatched to this day.
- 1961 – With England firmly in control going into the fourth day, Richie Benaud refused to be beaten, and took 6–70 to win Australia the game. The great Lancashire and England player Brian Statham, also took his only test 'five for' on his home ground.
- 1963 – On 1 May, the first ever one day cricket match took place at Old Trafford, as the Gillette Cup was launched. Lancashire played and beat Leicestershire in a preliminary knock-out game, as 16th and 17th finishers in the Championship the previous year, to decide who would fill the 16th spot in the one-day competition.
- 1971 – The Gillette Cup semi-final between Lancashire and Gloucestershire was played in near-darkness. With the time approaching 8.45 pm on July 28 and 25 runs still needed from the five remaining overs, David Hughes hit 24 off a single over and set up a notable Lancashire victory.
- 1981 – Ian Botham hit 118, including six sixes (the second greatest number in an Ashes innings), which he himself calls "one of the three innings I would like to tell my grandchildren about".
- 1984 – Sir Vivian Richards scored his notable 189 not out for the West Indies in the first one-day international for the Texaco Trophy against England. Batting at number four, Richards had made 95 when he was joined by the last batsman Michael Holding with the West Indies in a parlous position at 166 for 9. Together they added 106 unbeaten runs for the final wicket in the 55 over match. Richards hammered 21 fours and 5 sixes. West Indies won the match convincingly by 104 runs.
- 1990 – Sachin Tendulkar scored his first Test hundred at the age of 17 – becoming the second youngest centurion – to help India draw the Test.
- 1993 – Shane Warne's "Ball of the Century" to Mike Gatting. In the same game, Graham Gooch was out handled the ball for 133 – only the fifth out of seven times this has ever happened.
- 2005 – The third Test of the Ashes series ended in a nailbiting draw, with thousands of fans shut out of the ground on the final day as tickets were sold out.
- 2010–11 – The wickets are relaid, changing their extremely unusual East-West axis to a more conventional North-South layout. The Brian Statham End to the East, and Stretford End to the West, are replaced by the Pavilion End to the North, and the Brian Statham End to the South.
Following rejection of plans, in 2003, to sell Old Trafford, and move the club to a new purpose-built stadium in East Manchester, the focus was switched to upgrading the current ground. Lancashire CCC, with a coalition of businesses, are in the process of making the cricket ground the centre of an anticipated 750,000 sq ft (70,000 m2) development, in a mixed-use scheme involving business, residential, retail, hotel and leisure facilities.
Work has already been completed on 'The Point', Old Trafford's distinctive £12 million conference centre. In 2009, the Stretford end of the ground was closed to facilitate destruction of the County Suite, Tyldesley Suite, 'K' and 'L' Stands and the scoreboard; The Point, one of the largest conference facilities in the North West, overshadowing new seating to the west of the pavilion, opened in June 2010.
During the 2010/11 winter the wickets were turned from their previous east–west axis to a more typical north–south alignment, which prevents the low evening sun from interfering with matches, and increased the number of available wickets by five, to sixteen. Many of Lancashire's home games for the 2011 season being transferred to out grounds while the new wickets 'bed in'.
The main planning process began in September 2008, but has faced stiff legal opposition. Since Tesco pledged £21 million to the redevelopment, the stadium planning application included a request for a new supermarket nearby. Following a consultation period which drew significant numbers of both positive and negative views, Trafford Council gave this joint proposal full permission on 11 March 2010.
Following the 2010 General Election, this decision was called in by the Communities Secretary for Judicial Review, but this was dropped in September 2010. Derwent Holdings, a property development company denied permission to build a supermarket at the nearby White City retail park, then called for a Judicial Review, arguing that the application had been confused by the inclusion of the Tesco's store. This application was turned down by the High Court in March 2011, but Derwent Holdings took their case to the Court of Appeal. This was greeted with some disapproval, not only from LCCC and its partners, but also Manchester United and Manchester City, and celebrities such as Andrew Flintoff. LCCC took the risky decision to begin work ahead of the matter being resolved, in order to qualify for grants from the North West Development Agency before it was wound up. However, the Court of Appeal ruled in LCCC's favour in July 2011, and denied leave to further appeal the decision.
Permanent floodlights were installed under this permission by June 2011, as well as a new video screen. The timescale for further development has been repeatedly pushed back but should, at latest estimates, begin in September 2011 (a year later than originally envisaged) and be completed in time for an Ashes test in 2013 – a test which LCCC has always planned to bid for, and placed at the heart of its arguments against delays.
This phase of redevelopment will see a new "Players, Media and Education" Pavilion built on the site of the Washbrook-Statham stand; members will continue to use the present Pavilion, which will have its sloped roof replaced with two modern glass storeys. At the same time, another building similar in design to The Point, and two 2-tiered cantilever stands, will be erected, flanking the new pavilion, and a canopy will be built over the Old Trafford Lodge, in order to standardise the ground's look.
The ground is used heavily throughout the summer by Lancashire County Cricket Club, who from April to September usually play most of their home games on the ground; other games are played at Stanley Park, Blackpool and at Aigburth in Liverpool. Until 2008, Old Trafford commonly hosted a test match each year; between 2009 and 2012 none were scheduled due to sub-standard facilities, giving Lancashire CCC the chance to implement redevelopment. However, one of the 2010 Bangladesh tests was later transferred,, and it has been confirmed that Old Trafford will host an Ashes test in 2013, as well as further tests in 2014 and 2016. One Day Internationals and/or International Twenty20s continue to be hosted every year.
The ground is occasionally used as a venue for large-scale concerts with a maximum capacity of 50,000. The ground is one of a number of largest concert venues in Manchester, the MEN Arena being the largest indoor arena in Europe and the City of Manchester Stadium being the third largest outdoor concert venue after Wembley Stadium and the Millennium Stadium. The concert capacity will increase to 65,000 after the Old Trafford redevelopment.
Hometown band Oasis played at the ground in 2002. Richard Ashcroft performed a homecoming gig, supported by Razorlight, on 17 June 2006. The following day, Foo Fighters played with support from The Strokes, Angels & Airwaves, The Subways and Eagles of Death Metal. On the 28–29 July 2007, Arctic Monkeys hosted and headlined a "mini-festival" on the ground, supported by Supergrass, The Coral, The Parrots and Amy Winehouse. It was also the venue for the Move Festival which took place between 2002 and 2004; artists who appeared over the three years included Green Day, David Bowie, Robbie Williams, R.E.M., New Order, The Cure & Morrissey. The ground also hosted Radiohead on 29 June 2008 as part of their world tour. R.E.M. played the venue again on 24 August 2008 as part of their 'Accelerate' tour. Take That played five homecoming shows at the stadium in June 2009, in front of 50,000 each night, with The Script as their supporting acts. Coldplay have announced that they will be playing there in September 2009. Green Day returned on 16 June 2010 and performed in front of 65,000 fans. Muse played there on 4 September 2010 with support from Editors, Band of Skulls and Pulled Apart by Horses. On the 24 June Bon Jovi will be playing the first major concert at Old Trafford in 2011
The Old Trafford Lodge is open all year round, acting as a 'normal' hotel when cricket isn't being played. Corporate hospitality is also available throughout the year – and The Point will be able to host large conferences from September 2010. Lancashire CCC also make a satisfactory profit by hiring out their large car parks, situated to the north and west of the ground – especially to fans watching football at the 'other' Old Trafford.
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- Lancashire County Cricket Club in 2005
- List of cricket grounds in England and Wales
- List of Test cricket grounds
- List of international cricket centuries at Old Trafford
- Old Trafford Cricket Ground on Cricinfo
- Old Trafford Cricket Ground on ECB
- Lancashire County Cricket Club
Test cricket grounds in England and Wales Current Test grounds: Former Test grounds:
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