Summer Cricket

The summer’s cricket season reaches its culmination this month, with domestic cup finals and titles at stake. It also marks the end of England’s 2018 international season, with a Test match against India taking place at the Kia Oval (7th – 11th September). This is the final encounter of a five-match series, and it might be the deciding match in what is likely to be a thrilling contest against one of the world’s best nations.

Cricket fans can also discover the intriguing 173-year history of the Kia Oval, venue of matches for England and Surrey County Cricket Club, on a new 90-minute guided tour. You’ll learn about the ground’s cricketing connections, as well as how it also staged other sporting events when it was known as the Kennington Oval: these included England’s first international football match, in 1870 against Scotland; the first FA Cup Final, in 1872; and the second international rugby match, which took place against Scotland in 1871.

The first Test was played here in 1880, when England beat Australia by five wickets. Two years later, when Australia beat England, The Sporting Times published a mock obituary declaring the ‘the death of English cricket’ – and the Ashes was born. On a tour of the Kia Oval,  you can take photographs by the pitch that has witnessed decades of sporting history – this is where the legendary Australian batsman Don Bradman played his final Test innings, and where the first T20 evening matches took place.  You can also visit the players’ dressing rooms and learn about the club’s history in the museum. Why not sit in the commentary box to see if you can match the skills of BBC Radio experts? It’s a great day out for any sports fan.

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