Old Trafford Cricket Ground
Seating capacity: 19,000
Ends names: Stretford End, Brian Statham End (formerley Warwick Road End)
Originally owned by the de Trafford family, and home to Manchester Cricket Club, Old Trafford became headquarters to the Lancashire County Cricket Club from its foundation in 1864. It became the second ground to host a Test Match (after the Oval) in 1884 and in the following years became the foremost cricketing venue in the north of England, surpassed only by Lord's in London. In 1898 LCCC purchased the ground and some adjoining land from the de Traffords securing the future of the club.
During the First World War the pavillion was used by the Red Cross to treat nearly 2,000 patients. In the inter-war period new facilities were built including a new committee room, a press box, a members' dining room, new dressing rooms and a ladies pavillion. When conflict in Europe broke out again in 1939, Trafford was once more put to use in the war effort, becoming a transit camp for Dunkirk evacuees and a storage depot for the Ministry of Supply. It suffered bombing late in 1940 which destroyed the recently built members' dining room and ladies pavillion, severely damaging two stands and the Secretary's office and also part of the outfield. At the end of the war international cricket returned to Trafford with the 'Victory Test' between England and Australia in 1945, which attracted over 75,000 spectators over its three days.
Post-war restoration and redevelopment was slow, not concluding until well in the 1950s. Despite this, the period was significant: 1956 saw Fred Laker claim 19 wickets in one match, and in 1957 the LCCC celebrated the ground's centenary. The early 60s saw the club in financial trouble which led to it selling some of its land and building office blocks on other parts in order to secure its financial stability. The following decades saw the club continue to develop and redevelop the ground, become dominant in the limited-overs form of the game, as well as retaining its status as the paramount cricket venue in the north of England.
Old Trafford is currently undergoing a multi-million pound redevelopment due to be complete by the Ashes series of 2013. The redevelopment includes building of a new conference center 'The Point', installation of permanent floodlights, construction of other stands and pavillions and reorientation of the pitches to a North-South axis.
County Cricket News October 2009
Stretford, Manchester, M16 0PX
Source(s): CricketArchive, Lancashire CCC