Monday, January 24, 2011

Around The Grounds - Sydney Cricket Ground SCG

Also or formerly known as Sydney Cricket Ground No. 1; Garrison Ground (1848-1877), Association Ground
End names Paddington End, Randwick End

Established 1848 Capacity 44002

Situated in Moore Park in the city's east, the Sydney Cricket Ground is one of the world's most famous cricketing venues. For a stadium in a major centre, it has a relatively limited capacity (a little over 40,000) but this has the direct benefit of ensuring that spectators are close to the action from virtually any point in the ground. Its limited capacity is, in fact, essentially the result of the extension over recent years of seating to most parts of a stadium now devoid of its long famous hill and instead dominated by the Brewongle, Churchill, O'Reilly, Noble and Doug Walters Stands. The green-roofed Ladies pavilion remains, still one of cricket's most famous landmarks.
Cricket has been played at the ground from as long ago as the 1848, and then known as the Garrison Ground, but many other sports, predominantly football codes, have established a presence, to such an extent no less that a bike track actually ringed the playing surface between the 1890s and 1920s. This relationship has also been tested by the generally strained connection between the SCG Trust (the body appointed to control the ground) and the New South Wales Cricket Association, the low point of which was reached in the late 1970s when Neville Wran's State government created legislation to reconfigure the composition of the Trust and bring Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket to the ground.

By the time of the first Sydney cricket test in February 1882, the ground could boast two grandstands; the Brewongle Stand at the southern end and the original Members' Stand, which had been built in 1878 in the north west corner where the current Members' Stand now sits. On opposite sides of the ground to the stands two spectator mounds were built. They became known as The Hill and the Paddington Hill. In 1886, the Members' Pavilion was rebuilt at a cost of £6625. Membership was levied at two guineas.

In 1896 the Ladies' Stand was opened, along with a concrete cycling track which circled the inside of the ground. One of the carpenters who built the formwork for the track was George Bradman, father of Don Bradman. In 1898 floodlights were built over the cycling track so that night events could be held. In 1904 the scoreboard was rebuilt at the top of The Hill and in 1909 the Sheridan Stand, named after Phil Sheridan, was opened at the southern end, replacing the earlier Smokers' Stand.

The SCG Trust has announced the MA Noble, Bradman and Dally Messenger Stands will be demolished and rebuilt before the 2015 Cricket World Cup, it will increase ground capacity to 48,000 spectators. Finally after the 2015 Cricket World Cup, the Trust is keen to redevelop the Bill O'Reilly stand, further increasing the grounds capacity. The ground will be a near complete modern "bowl" stadium with the exception of the two heritage listed Members and Ladies stands.

The SCG in its early days was known as favourable for batting, and many a mammoth scores were produced on the ground, including a 425 not out by Sir Donald Bradman during the 1929-30 season. The first test was played at the SCG in 1882, Australia won that game by overhauling England's scores of 133 and 232 with scores of 197 and 5 for 169. The 1928-29 season was a big one for cricket. On 15 December, the largest ever crowd to attend a cricket match at the SCG, 58,446, saw Australia and England play. With changes to the ground seating the record is unlikely to be beaten.

These days the SCG is better known as a spinner’s wicket, ironically enough, Shane Warne, arguably the greatest spinner in the history of cricket made a horrible debut here at the SCG and was torn apart by the Indian batsman, notably Ravi Shastri who scored his first and only double hundred here in 1992.

The SCG has long been the final venue for the summers Test series, regardless of which nation is in the country at the time. These days tours are continued with ODI’s and T20’s.

Moments at the SCG.
  • England retained the Ashes against Australia in a dominating finish to the series winning by an innings and 83 runs. With centruions on the score card in Ian Bell [115] Alistair Cook [189] & Matt Prior [118]
  • Don Bradman made his first visit to the ground in the 1920-21 season to watch the Fifth Test of the Australia and England series. In that game Charlie Macartney scored 170 to help seal a win for Australia.
  • Night cricket came to the SCG in 1978 with the first World Series Cricket match to be played at the SCG on 28 November that year. A crowd of 50,000 packed the ground.
  • Despite not having the greatest beginning of his career at the ground, Shane Warne has taken the most wickets with 64, the next closest is Stuart McGill with 53, proving how much of a spinners wicket it has become.
  • The first women's club cricket match was held at the SCG in 1886 when the Fernleas played the Siroccos. Although cricket was not seen as an appropriate game for women, women's cricket associations were formed in Victoria in 1905 and other states in the 1920s and 1930s.
  • In the last test of the 1970-71 English tour, England fast bowler John Snow struck Australian spinner and tailender Terry Jenner on the head with a bouncer. The Sydney crowd let Snow and the English know they were not happy with this, cans were thrown onto the field and England captain Ray Illingworth took his team from the ground.


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