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The Oval, known for sponsorship reasons as the Kia Oval, is an international
cricket ground Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played by two opposing teams, in which the action starts when the defending team throws a ball at a dedi ...

cricket ground
in
Kennington Kennington is a district in south London, England. It is mainly within the London Borough of Lambeth Lambeth () is a London borough in South London, England, which forms part of Inner London. Its name was recorded in 1062 as ''Lambehitha'' ...
, in the
London Borough of Lambeth Lambeth () is a London borough in South London, England, which forms part of Inner London. Its name was recorded in 1062 as ''Lambehitha'' ("landing place for lambs") and in 1255 as ''Lambeth''. The geographical centre of London is at Frazier St ...
, in
south London South London is the informally defined southern part of London London is the and of and the . It stands on the in south-east England at the head of a down to the , and has been a major settlement for two millennia. The , its ancient ...

south London
. The Oval has been the home ground of
Surrey County Cricket Club Surrey County Cricket Club (Surrey CCC) is a first-class First class (or 1st class, Firstclass) generally implies a high level of service, importance or quality. Specific uses of the term include: Books and Comics * ''First Class'', List o ...
since it was opened in 1845. It was the first ground in England to host international
Test cricket Test cricket is the form of the sport of cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wi ...
in September 1880. The final Test match of the English season is traditionally played there. In addition to cricket, The Oval has hosted a number of other historically significant sporting events. In 1870, it staged
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...
's first international football match, versus
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...
. It hosted the first
FA Cup final The FA Cup Final, commonly referred to in England as just the Cup Final, is the last match in the Football Association Challenge Cup. It has regularly been one of the most attended domestic football events in the world, with an official attend ...
in
1872 Events January–March * January 12 Events Pre-1600 *49 BC – Julius Caesar crosses the Rubikon at the head of the 13th Legion. Civil war between the former allies, Caesar and Pompey, is now inevitable. *475 – List of ...
, as well as those between
1874 Events January–March * January January is the first month of the year in the Julian calendar, Julian and Gregorian calendars and the first of seven months to have a length of 31 days. The first day of the month is known as New ...
and
1892 Events January–March * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years). This day is known as New Year's Day since ...
. In 1876, it held both the
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...
v.
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It ...
and England v.
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...
rugby Rugby may refer to: Sports Rugby codes * Rugby football in various forms: ** Rugby league: 13 players per side *** Masters Rugby League *** Mod league *** Rugby league nines *** Rugby league sevens *** Touch (sport) *** Wheelchair rugby league ** ...
international matches and, in 1877, rugby's first
varsity match A varsity match is a fixture (especially of a sporting event or team) between two university teams, particularly University of Oxford, Oxford and University of Cambridge, Cambridge. The Scottish Varsity rugby union, rugby match between the Univers ...
. It also hosted the
final Final, Finals or The Final may refer to: *Final (competition)The final of a competition is the match or round in which the winner of the entire event is decided. In sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activ ...
of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy.


History

The Oval is built on part of the former
Kennington Common Kennington Common was a swathe of common land Common land is land owned collectively by a number of persons, or by one person, but over which other people have certain traditional rights, such as to allow their livestock to graze upon it, to c ...
. Cricket matches were played on the common throughout the early 18th century. The earliest recorded match was the
London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowerc ...
v
Dartford Dartford is the principal town in the Borough of Dartford The Borough of Dartford is a Non-metropolitan district, local government district in the north-west of the county of Kent, England. Its council is based in the town of Dartford. It is ...
match in June 1724. However, as the common was also used regularly for public executions of those convicted at the Surrey Assizes (it was the south London equivalent of
Tyburn Tyburn was a manor Manor may refer to: Land tenure *Manor, the land belonging to the Lord of the manor under manorialism in parts of medieval Europe, notably England *Manor house, the main residence of the lord of the manor *Lord of the mano ...
), cricket matches had moved away to the
Artillery Ground The Artillery Ground in Finsbury is an open space originally set aside for archery and later known also as a cricket venue. Today it is used for military exercises, rugby and football matches. It belongs to the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC), ...
by the 1740s. Kennington Common was eventually
enclosed Enclosure, sometimes termed inclosure, was the legal process in England of land consolidation, consolidating (enclosing) small landholdings into larger farms from the 13th century onward. Once enclosed, use of the land became restricted and av ...

enclosed
in the mid-19th century under a scheme sponsored by the royal family. In 1844, the site of the Kennington Oval was a cabbage patch and market garden owned by the
Duchy of Cornwall The Duchy of Cornwall ( kw, Duketh Kernow) is one of two royal duchies in England Currently, there are two duchies in England; the royal Duchy of Lancaster and the royal Duchy of Cornwall. Unlike historic duchy, duchies in England, these are no ...

Duchy of Cornwall
. The Duchy was willing to lease the land for the purpose of a cricket ground, and on 10 March 1845 the first lease, which the club later assumed, was issued to Mr. William Houghton (then president of the progenitor Montpelier Cricket Club) by the Otter Trustees who held the land from the Duchy "to convert it into a subscription cricket ground", for 31 years at a rent of £120 per annum plus taxes amounting to £20. The original contract for turfing The Oval cost £300; the 10,000 grass turfs came from
Tooting Common The Tooting Commons consist of two adjacent areas of common land lying between Balham, Streatham and Tooting, in south west London: Tooting Bec Common and Tooting Graveney Common. Since 1996, they have been wholly within the London Borough of Wa ...
and were laid in the spring of 1845 allowing for the first cricket match to be played in May 1845. Hence,
Surrey County Cricket Club Surrey County Cricket Club (Surrey CCC) is a first-class First class (or 1st class, Firstclass) generally implies a high level of service, importance or quality. Specific uses of the term include: Books and Comics * ''First Class'', List o ...
(SCCC) was established in 1845. The popularity of the ground was immediate and the strength of the SCCC grew. On 3 May 1875 the club acquired the remainder of the leasehold for a further term of 31 years from the Otter Trustees for the sum of £2,800. In 1868, 20,000 spectators gathered at The Oval for the first game of the
1868 Aboriginal cricket tour of England In 1868, a cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played by two opposing teams, in which the action starts when the defending team t ...
, the first tour of England by any foreign side. Thanks to C.W. Alcock, the Secretary of Surrey from 1872 to 1907, the first
Test Test(s), testing, or TEST may refer to: * Test (assessment), an educational assessment intended to measure the respondents' knowledge or other abilities Arts and entertainment * Test (2013 film), ''Test'' (2013 film), an American film * Test ( ...
match in England was played at The Oval in 1880 between
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...
and
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...
. The Oval, thereby, became the second ground to stage a Test, after
Melbourne Cricket Ground The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), also known locally as "The 'G", is an Australian sports stadium located in Yarra Park Yarra Park (35.469 hectares) is part of the Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Precinct, the premier sporting precin ...

Melbourne Cricket Ground
(MCG). In 1882, Australia won the Test by seven runs within two days. ''
The Sporting Times ''The Sporting Times'' (founded 1865, ceased publication 1932) was a weekly British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Gr ...
'' printed a mocking obituary notice for English cricket, which led to the creation of
the Ashes The Ashes is a Test cricket Test cricket is the form of the sport of cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is ...

the Ashes
trophy, which is still contested whenever England plays Australia. The first Test double century was scored at The Oval in 1884 by Australia's
Billy Murdoch William Lloyd Murdoch (18 October 1854 – 18 February 1911) was an Australian cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which ...

Billy Murdoch
. Surrey's ground is noted as having the first artificial lighting at a sports arena, in the form of gas-lamps, dating to 1889. The current pavilion was completed in time for the 1898 season. In 1907,
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital citie ...
became the second visiting Test team to play a Test match at the ground. In 1928, the
West Indies The West Indies are a subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, in ...
played its first Test match at The Oval, followed by
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ''Aotearoa'' (; commonly pronounced by English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon Engl ...
in 1931. In 1936,
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...
became the fifth foreign visiting Test side to play at The Oval, followed by
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...

Pakistan
in 1954 and
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකාව, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO (); ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO ()), formerly known as Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is ...
in 1998.
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe (), officially the Republic of Zimbabwe, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individ ...
,
Bangladesh Bangladesh (, bn, বাংলাদেশ, ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-c ...
,
Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto Pashto (,; / , ), sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian language The Eastern Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of t ...

Afghanistan
and
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...
have yet to play a Test match at The Oval. The Oval is referenced by the poet
Philip Larkin Philip Arthur Larkin (9 August 1922 – 2 December 1985) was an English poet, novelist, and librarian. His first book of poetry, ''The North Ship'', was published in 1945, followed by two novels, ''Jill (novel), Jill'' (1946) and ''A Girl in Wint ...

Philip Larkin
in his poem about the
First World War World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainmen ...
, " MCMXIV". During
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, The Oval was requisitioned, initially housing anti-aircraft searchlights. It was then turned into a
prisoner-of-war A prisoner of war (POW) is a non-combatant—whether a military member, an Irregular military, irregular military fighter, or a civilian—who is held Captivity, captive by a belligerent power during or immediately after an armed conflict. The ...
camp, intended to hold enemy parachutists. However, as they never came, The Oval was never actually used for this purpose. The first
One Day International A One Day International (ODI) is a form of limited overs cricket Limited overs cricket, also known as one-day cricket, is a version of the sport of cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball ga ...
match at this venue was played on 7 September 1973 between England and West Indies. It hosted matches of the
1975 It was also declared the ''International Women's Year'' by the United Nations and the European Architectural Heritage Year by the Council of Europe. Events January * January – The Altair 8800, an early microcomputer, appears on the cover ...
,
1979 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years). This day is known as New Year's Day since the day ma ...
,
1983 The year 1983 saw both the contested beginning of the Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and d ...
, and 1999 World Cups. It also hosted five of the fifteen matches in the 2004
ICC Champions Trophy The ICC Champions Trophy was a One-Day International (ODI) cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch ...
, including the final. The Oval once held the record for the largest playing area of any Test venue in the world. That record has since been surpassed by
Gaddafi Stadium Gaddafi Stadium ( ur, / ALA-LC ALA-LC ( American Library Association - Library of Congress) is a set of standards for romanization, the representation of text in other writing system A writing system is a method of visually representin ...
in
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...

Pakistan
, although The Oval remains the largest in Great Britain. Billionaire
Paul Getty Jean Paul Getty (; December 15, 1892June 6, 1976), known widely as J. Paul Getty, was an American-born British petrol-industrialist, and the patriarch of the Getty family. He founded the Getty Oil Company, and in 1957, '' Fortune'' magazine na ...
, who had a great affinity for cricket and was at one time SCCC President, built a replica of The Oval on his
Wormsley Park Wormsley is a private estate of Mark Getty and his family, set in of rolling countryside in the Chiltern Hills of Buckinghamshire, England. Acquired by John Paul Getty, Jr., Sir Paul Getty in 1985, the estate forms part of Hambleden valley, running ...
estate. The famous gasholders just outside the ground were built around 1853. With the gasholders long disused, there was much speculation as to whether they should be demolished; however, many believe they are an integral part of The Oval's urban landscape and, therefore, their future looks secure. In 2016 the main gasholder was given official protected status as a historically important industrial structure. On 20 August 2006, The Oval saw the first time a team forfeited a Test match. Pakistan were upset after umpires
Darrell Hair Darrell Bruce Hair (born 30 September 1952) is an Australian former Test match cricket umpire, from New South Wales. He stood on the International panel of umpires from 2002 to 2003, before he, along with fellow Australian Simon Taufel, and New ...
and
Billy Doctrove Billy Raymond Doctrove (born 3 July 1955 in Marigot, Dominica Dominica ( or ; Kalinago language: ; french: Dominique; Dominican Creole French: ''Dominik''), officially the Commonwealth of Dominica, is an island country in the Caribbean. Th ...

Billy Doctrove
docked them five runs and changed the ball after ruling that the team had tampered with it on the fourth day of the final Test against England. Pakistan debated the matter during the tea break and then refused to come out for the final session in protest. By the time they relented and decided to resume, the umpires had already called time on the match and awarded the game to England by default. The Oval hosted its hundredth Test, against South Africa, on 27 July 2017, becoming the fourth Test venue in the world after
Lord's Lord's Cricket Ground, commonly known as Lord's, is a cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch ...
,
MCG Joseph McGinty Nichol (born August 9, 1968), known professionally as McG, is an American director, producer, and former record producer. He began his career in the music industry, directing music videos and producing various albums. He later ...

MCG
and SCG to do so.
Moeen Ali Moeen Munir Ali (born 18 June 1987) is an English international cricketer. An all-rounder, he is a left-handed batsman and right-arm off-spinner, who played county cricket for Warwickshire County Cricket Club, Warwickshire before moving to Worce ...
also became the first player to ever take a Test hat-trick at The Oval, bowling out South Africa in the second innings to win the match. In Tests, the highest team score at The Oval is 903/7 declared by England against Australia on 20 August 1938. The leading run scorers are
Len Hutton Sir Leonard Hutton (23 June 1916 – 6 September 1990) was an English cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pi ...
(1,521 runs),
Alastair Cook Sir Alastair Nathan Cook (born 25 December 1984) is an English cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket p ...

Alastair Cook
(1,217 runs) and
Graham Gooch Graham Alan Gooch, (born 23 July 1953) is a former English first-class cricketer who captained Essex and England cricket team, England. He was one of the most successful international batsman, batsmen of his generation, and through a career ...
(1,097 runs). The leading wicket takers are
Ian Botham Sir Ian Terence Botham, Baron Botham, (born 24 November 1955) is an English cricket commentator, member of the House of Lords and a former cricketer who has been chairman of Durham County Cricket Club since 2017. Hailed as one of the greatest ...
(52 wickets),
Derek Underwood Derek Leslie Underwood (born 8 June 1945) is an English former international cricketer, and a former President of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). Through much of his career, Underwood was regarded as one of the best bowler (cricket), bowlers ...

Derek Underwood
(45 wickets) and James Anderson (44 wickets). In ODIs, the highest team score at The Oval is 398/5 by New Zealand against England on 12 June 2015. The leading ODI run scorers are
Eoin Morgan Eoin Joseph Gerard Morgan (born 10 September 1986) is an Irish-born cricketer who declared for (and captains) the England cricket team The England cricket team represents England England is a that is part of the . It shares land b ...
(630 runs),
Marcus Trescothick Marcus Edward Trescothick (born 25 December 1975) is an English former cricketer who played first-class cricket for Somerset County Cricket Club, and represented England cricket team, England in 76 Test cricket, Test matches and 123 One Day Int ...

Marcus Trescothick
(528 runs) and
Joe Root Joseph Edward Root, (born 30 December 1990) is an English cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, ...

Joe Root
(480 runs). The leading ODI wicket takers are James Anderson (30 wickets) and
Darren Gough Darren Gough (born 18 September 1970) is a retired English cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch w ...
(13 wickets).


End names

The north-western end of The Oval is traditionally known as the ''Vauxhall End'', as it is nearer to the district of
Vauxhall Vauxhall ( ) is a district of South London South London is the informally defined southern part of London London is the and of and the . It stands on the in south-east England at the head of a down to the , and has been a majo ...

Vauxhall
and its
railway station Rail transport (also known as train transport) is a means of transferring passengers and goods on wheeled vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine that transports people or cargo. Vehicles include wagons, bicycles, motor veh ...
. The opposite end (south-east) is known as the ''
Pavilion In architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de Brionne in Paris – 1734. Archit ...
'' ''End'' as it is the location of the Members' Pavilion.


21st-century redevelopment

At the end of the 2002 cricket season, Surrey started redeveloping the Vauxhall End. The development included demolishing the outdated Surridge,
Fender Fender may refer to: Places * Fender, Arkansas, a community in the United States People * Fender (surname), a surname Transport * Fender (boating), a bumper used to keep boats from banging into docks or each other * Fender (vehicle) or wing, a p ...

Fender
, , and
Peter MayPeter May may refer to: *Peter W. May, American businessman *Peter May (cricketer) (1929–1994), English Test cricketer *Peter May (writer) (born 1951), Scottish television screenwriter, novelist and crime writer *Peter May (weightlifter) (born 196 ...
north stands, and creating in their place a single four-tier grandstand, currently known as the OCS stand, as it is sponsored by Outsourced Client Solutions International Facilities Management Services. This work was completed in May 2005 and increased ground capacity to around 23,000. In January 2007, Surrey CCC, announced plans to increase capacity by a further 2,000 seats, this time by redeveloping the Pavilion End. The
Lock Lock(s) may refer to: Common meanings *, a mechanical device used to secure items of importance *, a device for boats to transit between different levels of water, as in a canal Arts and entertainment *, a 2016 Punjabi film *, a sentient machin ...
, Laker, and
Peter MayPeter May may refer to: *Peter W. May, American businessman *Peter May (cricketer) (1929–1994), English Test cricketer *Peter May (writer) (born 1951), Scottish television screenwriter, novelist and crime writer *Peter May (weightlifter) (born 196 ...
south stands were to be replaced by a new stand, which would have a hotel backing on to it. The Surrey Tavern at the entrance to the ground would be demolished, and a new pedestrian plaza would be created in its place, improving access to the ground and opening up views of the historic pavilion. These plans were delayed by objections raised by the
Health & Safety Executive The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is a UK government agency responsible for the encouragement, regulation and enforcement of occupational safety and health, workplace health, safety and welfare, and for research into occupational risks in Gre ...
as the ground is close to a gasometer. Planning permission was eventually granted, but not before the
credit crunch A credit crunch (also known as a credit squeeze, credit tightening or credit crisis) is a sudden reduction in the general availability of loans (or credit) or a sudden tightening of the conditions required to obtain a loan from banks. A credit cru ...
struck, as a result of which this development did not proceed. In 2009, four masts of semi-permanent telescopic
floodlights A floodlight is a broad-beamed, high-intensity artificial light Lighting or illumination is the deliberate use of light to achieve practical or aesthetic effects. Lighting includes the use of both artificial light sources like lamps and ...
costing £3.7m were installed for use in late-day through evening matches. The floodlights were especially designed to comply with strict residential planning regulations to lessen their visual impact and any light overspill to residents, as well as to improve the game experience within the ground by reducing excess glare that can affect players, umpires, broadcasters and spectators. Precision reflector systems were fitted for tight beam control to decrease overspill and direct light only where needed. Each mast was made extendable to a maximum height of and, when not in use, retractable to . At the end of each season, all four masts can be removed and stored away. After the 2013 season, a new project was started to add 'wings' to either side of the OCS Stand at the Vauxhall End of the ground. The development was finished in time for the start of the 2014 season. Each 'wing' added 500 seats, increasing the capacity from 23,500 to 24,500. In September 2015, the Peter May and Tony Lock stands were demolished, to be replaced by a single new and much larger stand named after Peter May. May led Surrey to their sixth and seventh consecutive County Championships in 1957 and 1958 and also captained England from 1955 to 1961, winning the Ashes in 1956. Construction of the new stand, which cost around £10m, began in September 2015. It officially opened on 15 May 2016, increasing the capacity of the ground by 1,300 seats to 25,300. Following the demolition of the Tony Lock stand, the club renamed the Laker Stand as the Lock/Laker Stand, continuing to honour the contribution made by the spin partnership of
Tony Lock Graham Anthony Richard Lock (5 July 1929 – 30 March 1995) was an English cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a c ...
and
Jim Laker James Charles Laker (9 February 1922 – 23 April 1986) was an English professional cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played ...
, who collectively took 3,108 wickets for the club. The Lock/Laker stand was itself demolished in September 2019, and work began on the construction of a new development in its place, initially named "One Oval Square". The new structure will include a three-tier stand that will increase the ground's total capacity to almost 28,000, as well as providing state-of-the-art facilities for the Club’s hospitality, conference and events businesses, and provide improved facilities for Members. The new stand is due to be completed in mid 2021. The project is part of a planned £50m long-term redevelopment of the ground by Surrey County Cricket Club which will see The Oval transformed into the largest cricket stadium in the western hemisphere, with a capacity of 40,000. Floodlights were added in the shape of an O for oval on one side of the ground to emulate the e shaped floodlights at edgbaston.


Other sports


Football

The Oval was also an important site in the historical development of
football Football is a family of s that involve, to varying degrees, a to score a . Unqualified, normally means the form of football that is the most popular where the word is used. Sports commonly called ''football'' include (known as ''soccer'' ...
in England. Football had been played in this part of London for many years prior to the inauguration of The Oval: " The Gymnastic Society", arguably the world's first organised football club, met regularly at nearby
Kennington Common Kennington Common was a swathe of common land Common land is land owned collectively by a number of persons, or by one person, but over which other people have certain traditional rights, such as to allow their livestock to graze upon it, to c ...
during the second half of the eighteenth century to play the game. Between 1950 and 1963, amateur club Corinthian Casuals played their home matches at The Oval, with the pitch at the Vauxhall End.


First international football match

The Oval was the venue for the first representative football match in the world on 5 March 1870,
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...
against
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...
, organised by
The Football Association The Football Association (also known as The FA) is the governing body A governing body is a group of people that has the authority to exercise governance Governance is all the processes of interactions be they through the laws Law ...
. The game resulted in a 1–1 draw, but is not recognised by
FIFA FIFA ( french: Fédération Internationale de Football Association; en, International Federation of Association Football, link=yes; : ''Federación Internacional de Fútbol Asociación''; : ''Internationaler Verband des Association-Fußball'' ...
as the first official international match because the Scotland team was selected only from London-based Scottish players. Similar representative international matches between England and Scotland took place at The Oval until February 1872. On 8 March 1873, the
England national teamEngland team or Team England may refer to: *England national football team *England cricket team *England national rugby union team *England national rugby league team *England national basketball team *England national beach soccer team *England na ...
beat Scotland 4–2 in the first officially recognised international match to be played in England. England continued to play occasionally at The Oval until 1889.


First FA Cup final

The Oval was the site of the first
FA Cup The Football Association Challenge Cup, more commonly known as the FA Cup, is an annual knockout A knockout (abbreviated to KO or K.O.) is a fight-ending, winning criterion in several full-contact Contact sports are sports that emphasize ...

FA Cup
final, and also both semi-final matches. On 16 March 1872, The Wanderers beat the
Royal Engineers The Corps of Royal Engineers, usually just called the Royal Engineers (RE), and commonly known as the ''Sapper A sapper, also called pioneer Pioneer commonly refers to a settler who migrates to previously uninhabited or sparsely inhabited ...
1–0 to win the first FA Cup. This final was notable for the Engineers' then innovative footballing style of teamwork rather than individual play. C. W. Alcock, Secretary of
The Football Association The Football Association (also known as The FA) is the governing body A governing body is a group of people that has the authority to exercise governance Governance is all the processes of interactions be they through the laws Law ...
, was the prime mover in the creation of the competition. He had also just become Secretary of
Surrey CCC Surrey County Cricket Club (Surrey CCC) is a first-class club in county cricket, one of eighteen in the domestic cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, ...
, so The Oval was the natural choice of venue for the final. Alcock was also captain of the successful Wanderers side. Apart from
1873 Events January–March * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar The Gregorian calendar is the used in most of the world. It was introduced in October 1582 by as a modifica ...
, The Oval hosted all subsequent FA Cup finals until
1892 Events January–March * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years). This day is known as New Year's Day since ...
.


Rugby

Between 1872 and 1879, The Oval held seven full cap international rugby union matches. The final of the
United Hospitals Challenge Cup The United Hospitals Challenge Cup is contested by the six medical schools in London and is most notable for being the oldest rugby cup competition in the world. History In 1874 the United Hospitals RFC instituted a cup competition, the United ...

United Hospitals Challenge Cup
, the oldest rugby union cup competition in the world, was also first held at The Oval on Wednesday 3 March 1875.


Conferences and events

As well as being an international sporting venue, The Oval has a conference and events business. The Corinthian Roof Terrace built on the OCS Stand in 2013 features panoramic views of the London skyline.


Other events

The ground has also hosted other sporting events, including
hockey Hockey is a term used to denote various types of both summer and winter team sports which originated on either an outdoor field, sheet of ice, or dry floor such as in a gymnasium. There are many types of hockey. Some games make the use of ska ...

hockey
fixtures, and also music concerts. On September 18, 1971, a day-long rock concert was held at The Oval to raise funds for famine relief in war-torn Bangladesh. Featuring
The Faces Faces are an English rock band formed in 1969 by members of Small Faces Small Faces were an English rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineralo ...
and headlined by
The Who The Who are a British rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its Chemical compound, chem ...
, a crowd of over 40,000 people attended, with the stage sited at the Vauxhall End. The following year, two more successful concerts were held; the first featuring
Frank Zappa Frank Vincent Zappa (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American musician, singer, composer, songwriter and bandleader. His work is characterized by nonconformity Nonconformity or nonconformism may refer to: Culture and soci ...

Frank Zappa
and
Hawkwind Hawkwind are an English rock music, rock band known as one of the earliest space rock groups. Since their formation in November 1969, Hawkwind have gone through many incarnations and have incorporated many different styles into their music, inc ...
, the second featuring
Emerson, Lake and Palmer Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP) were an English progressive rock Progressive rock (often shortened to prog; sometimes called art rock Art rock is a subgenre of rock music that generally reflects a challenging or avant-garde approach to roc ...
and
Genesis Genesis may refer to: Literature and comics * Genesis (DC Comics), a 1997 DC Comics crossover * Genesis (Marvel Comics), a Marvel Comics villain * Genesis, a fictional character from the ''Preacher (comics), Preacher'' comic-book series * ''Genes ...
. The Oval has hosted exhibition matches for
Australian rules football Australian rules football, officially known as Australian football, or simply called "Aussie rules", "football Football is a family of team sport A team is a
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._In_1987,_the_Oval_hosted_what_became_known_as_the_Battle_of_Britain_between_Carlton_and_North_Melbourne_Football_Club.html" "title="1972_Carlton_Football_Club_season#World_tour.html" "title="roup (disambiguation), group of individuals (human or non-human) working ...
. The first such match was held between and a team of All-Stars in 1972 Carlton Football Club season#World tour">1972 Within the context of Coordinated Universal Time Coordinated Universal Time or UTC is the primary time standard A time standard is a specification for measuring time: either the rate at which time passes; or points in time; or both. ...
. In 1987, the Oval hosted what became known as the Battle of Britain between Carlton and North Melbourne Football Club">North Melbourne North Melbourne is an inner suburb of Melbourne, Australia, 2 km north-west of Melbourne's Melbourne City Centre, Central Business District. Its Local government areas of Victoria, local government area is the City of Melbourne. At the Cens ...
, which included numerous fights and future multiple AFL Premiership coach Alastair Clarkson, at the time only a teenager, breaking Ian Aitken's jaw. In 2005, a record crowd for Australian rules football in England (18,884) saw Fremantle Football Club, Fremantle defeat the West Coast Eagles in the
Western Derby The Western Derby () is the name given to the Australian rules football Australian rules football, officially known as Australian football, or simply called "Aussie rules", "football" or "footy", is a contact sport played between two teams ...
(thus far, the only edition of the fixture to not be played in Perth). In 2012, approximately 10,000 attended a post-season exhibition match between
Port Adelaide Port Adelaide is a port-side region of Adelaide, approximately northwest of the Adelaide city centre, Adelaide CBD. It is also the namesake of the City of Port Adelaide Enfield council, a suburb, a federal and state electoral division and is th ...
and the
Western Bulldogs The Western Bulldogs (formerly the Footscray Football Club) are a professional Australian rules football Australian rules football, also called Australian football or Aussie rules, or more simply football or footy, is a contact sport Co ...
, which Port Adelaide won by 1 point. In 2011, ahead of an
NFL International Series File:NFL International Series 2010.jpg, 300px, Opening ceremony at Wembley Stadium before the Denver Broncos vs. San Francisco 49ers game in 2010 The NFL International Series is a series of American football games during the NFL regular season, N ...
game at
Wembley Stadium Wembley Stadium (branded as Wembley Stadium connected by EE for sponsorship reasons) is a football stadium in Wembley Wembley (/ˈwɛmbli/) is a largely suburban town in north-west London London is the capital city, capital and List ...

Wembley Stadium
, the
Chicago Bears The Chicago Bears are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes any sport Sport pe ...

Chicago Bears
used The Oval as a practice facility.


Oval gasometer and gasworks

A tall
Victorian Victorian or Victorians may refer to: 19th century * Victorian era, British history during Queen Victoria's 19th-century reign ** Victorian architecture ** Victorian house ** Victorian decorative arts ** Victorian fashion ** Victorian literature ...
gasometer A gas holder or gasholder, also known as a gasometer, is a large container in which natural gas Natural gas (also called fossil gas; sometimes just gas) is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, but com ...

gasometer
, sited less than 50 metres beyond the north-eastern stadium wall, has been a dominating feature of the view from the ground since the mid 1800s. A movement to preserve iconic gasometers across the UK as important and historic monuments of Britain's industrial heritage has emerged in recent years, with the one visible from The Oval often cited as a particularly notable example. The skeletal but decorative
wrought iron Wrought iron is an iron Iron () is a with Fe (from la, ) and 26. It is a that belongs to the and of the . It is, on , right in front of (32.1% and 30.1%, respectively), forming much of Earth's and . It is the fourth most common . ...
structure is a landmark in the area and has become an intrinsic part of The Oval's history and urban allure. The cricket commentator
Henry Blofeld Henry Calthorpe Blofeld, OBE The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry An order of chivalry, order of knighthood, chivalric order, or equestrian order is an order of knights typically founded during o ...

Henry Blofeld
once said in a broadcast, "As the bowler runs in, it's so quiet you can hear the creak of the gasometer." Although long unused as a gas holder, the aging structure was only officially decommissioned in 2014, with plans to demolish it being announced in 2013. Blofeld stated: "In comparison, pulling down the
Victoria Memorial The Victoria Memorial is a large marble building in Kolkata Kolkata ( or , ; also known as Calcutta , List of renamed Indian cities and states#West Bengal, the official name until 2001) is the Capital city, capital of the Indian States ...

Victoria Memorial
in front of
Buckingham Palace Buckingham Palace () is the London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or mor ...

Buckingham Palace
would be child's play.".Sean O'Hagan
Gasworks wonders…
''The Guardian'', 14 June 2015.
After local public protest at the proposed demolition, in March 2016 the structure was given Grade II listed status to protect its future.


Transport connections


See also

* List of international cricket centuries at the Oval *
Archbishop Tenison's School Archbishop Tenison's School, commonly known as Tenison's, is a Church of England mixed secondary school located in the London Borough of Lambeth. Admissions Tenison's is an 11–16 boys and girls comprehensive school, part of the educational pr ...
– a historic school located next to the ground, often used as a vantage point for TV cameras and crews *
Gasworks Gallery
Gasworks Gallery
, next to the ground *
History of Test cricket from 1877 to 1883 , who played Test cricket until he was aged 50. Test matches in the period 1877 to 1883 were organised somewhat differently from international cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven p ...
*
History of Test cricket from 1884 to 1889 The history of Test cricket'' Test cricket is the form of the sport of cricket with the longest match duration, and is considered the game's highest standard. Rotary Test matches are played between national representative teams that have b ...
* History of Test cricket from 1890 to 1900 * List of cricket grounds in England and Wales *
List of Test cricket grounds One hundred and twenty-one grounds have hosted Test cricket'' Test cricket is the form of the sport of cricket with the longest match duration, and is considered the game's highest standard. Rotary Test matches are played between national r ...


References


External links

*
Surrey Cricket web siteCricinfo page on The OvalAerial view of The Oval at Google MapsAnnotated aerial photographImages of The Oval
{{DEFAULTSORT:Oval, The Cricket grounds in London Cricket in London Defunct football venues in England FA Cup Final venues Kennington Sport in the London Borough of Lambeth Sports venues completed in 1845 History of the London Borough of Lambeth Surrey County Cricket Club grounds Test cricket grounds in England Corinthian-Casuals F.C. Defunct rugby union venues in England Australian rules football grounds World War II prisoner of war camps in England 1845 establishments in England 1999 Cricket World Cup stadiums 1975 Cricket World Cup stadiums 1979 Cricket World Cup stadiums 1983 Cricket World Cup stadiums 2019 Cricket World Cup stadiums