The Brit Oval

Published: Saturday, January 1, 2000, 18:23 [IST]
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The Oval is a cricket ground in Kennington, London. It has also been known as 'Kennington Oval', 'Fosters Oval' and 'AMP Oval' and is currently known as the 'Brit Oval'. It is the home ground for Surrey. The nearest tube station is also called Oval, but it can also be easily reached from Vauxhall, .

The Oval traditionally hosts the last Test match of each English summer in August or September.

In 1844, Kennington Oval was a market garden. The Oval was (and still is) owned by the Duchy of Cornwall. Surrey County Cricket Club was set up in 1845. The Duchy was willing to grant a lease of the land for the purpose of a cricket ground, and, on 10 March, 1845, the Club signed a lease with the Otter Trustees, who held the land from the Duchy of Cornwall, 'to convert it into a subscription Cricket Ground', for 31 years at a rent of 120 per annum plus taxes (20 more). The original contract for turfing the Oval cost 300; 10,000 turfs came from Tooting Common.

In 1868, 20,000 spectators gathered at the Oval for the first game of the 'Aboriginal Black Australian' tour.

The first Test match in England was played at the Oval in 1880 between England and Australia. In 1882, Australia won the Ashes Test by seven runs within two days. The Sporting Times carried a bogus obituary notice which mentioned of the 'Ashes' of English cricket. The first Test double-century was scored at the Oval in 1884 by Australia's Billy Murdoch.

In 1907, South Africa became the 2nd visiting Test team to play a Test match at this venue. In 1928, West Indies played its first Test match at this venue followed by New Zealand in 1931. In 1936, India became the 5th ever visiting Test side to play at the Oval followed by Pakistan in 1954 and Sri Lanka in 1998. Zimbabwe and Bangladesh are yet to play a Test match at this venue.

The first One-day International match at this venue was played on September 7, 1973 between England and West Indies. It had the privilege of hosting matches of the 1975, 1979, 1983 and 1999 World Cups. It hosted five of the fifteen matches in the 2004 ICC Champions Trophy including the final. No day and night international match has been played here, although Surrey have played some one-day matches.

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