Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Around the Grounds "The Gabba"

On the eve of the Ashes Series, here at the Cricket Observer we are going to go beyond the players that are taking the field and walking past the gate towards the centre. And are turning our focus on the grounds of this year’s series, with a brief history of past games, results and events that have shaped each venue, to play its own special part in the legend that is the Ashes.

Brisbane Cricket Ground “The Gabba”

Other wise known as The Gabba due to the shortening of the suburb in which it is located in Woolloongabba. The land on which the ground sits was first set aside for use as a cricket ground in 1895. The first cricket match was held on the site on 19 December 1896 between Parliament and The Press. The Gabba was not used for interstate or international cricket until the visit of South Africa in 1931. A game in which Australia won by an innings at 163 runs, with Bradman top scoring for the home side with 226 and local Bert Ironmonger taking 9 wickets.

In the 80’s the Gabba was notorious for its run down facilities, these were greatly improved in 1993 and 2005, The Gabba was redeveloped in six stages at a cost of $128,000,000 AUD. The dimensions of the playing field are now 170.6 metres (east-west) by 149.9 metres (north-south). The seating capacity of the ground is now 42,000. In its appearance the Gabba now almost resembles a mini Melbourne Cricket Ground complete with light towers and a gigantic modern grandstand ringing the ground providing an intimidating and noisy atmosphere for visiting teams.

Best known as the beginning of all test series for the summer in Australia, a reason on research has found nothing more matches were required to be played at the ground, and now this has been stuck with as the beginning of Cricketing summer. Regarded as a good batting track with plenty of bounce, the ground itself has had some memorable scores. The highest being the 645 scored by Australia in 1946 against England which included Bradman 187, Hassett 128, and McCool with a 95. the most recent ‘modern’ day high score was Australia in 2006 after “that delivery” from Harmison they went on to amass 602 runs. In more recent times it has become a favourite haunt of Shane Warne, with the extra bounce from the often excellent wickets helping his legspin. In early 2006 a record crowd of 38,894 watched the first Twenty20 international in the country. This mark was promptly beaten six days later when Australia played South Africa in a full ODI.

Memorable Moments:
  • 2006 Steve Harmison and that wide delivery that picked out Flintoff at 2nd slip, a defining moment in the series.
  • In December 1960, Test cricket's first-ever Tied Test took place at the ground when Richie Benaud's Australian team tied with Frank Worrell's West Indian side.
  • Queensland clinched it’s first-ever Sheffield Shield title with victory over South Australia in the final at the ground in March 1995.
  • March 2008, Andrew Symonds knocked a would be streaker flat to the ground, in the biggest tackle ever seen in ODI cricket.

No comments:

Post a Comment