Tuesday, 16 February 2016

The Oval: London's other ground | Cricket | ESPN Cricinfo

The Oval: London's other ground | Cricket | ESPN Cricinfo

... Last year, I got the opportunity to visit two iconic cricket grounds - Lord's and the Kennington Oval. One common theme I noticed in my interactions with several cricket fans was that Lord's is the pre-eminent ground, while The Oval is the "other ground" in London.

Both the grounds are similar, yet vastly different. In the opulent borough of Marylebone, unassumingly stands among several residential buildings Lord's, perhaps the most famous ground in world cricket. Across town, The Oval is also located in what is currently an upmarket neighbourhood - Kennington. However, while Marylebone has always been a posh area, when The Oval was founded in the mid-1800s, Kennington was not even a part of London. In fact for large parts of its history up until the 1970s, the area was a largely working-class neighbourhood - the iconic gasometers visible in all TV coverage of The Oval are testament to this. It is perhaps these differences in the local social circumstances that lead to the grounds giving off vastly different vibes. 
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