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County Ground
The County Ground, Taunton.jpg
England England
Ground information
Location Taunton, Somerset
Establishment 1882
Seating capacity 9,000
End names Old Pavilion End
River End
International information
First ODI 11 June 1983: England v Sri Lanka
Last ODI 26 May 1999: India v Sri Lanka
Domestic team information
Years Team
1882 – present Somerset
As of 16 December 2007
Source: CricketArchive

The County Cricket Ground, is the most southwesterly of the English First Class cricket grounds, located in Taunton, Somerset. It has been home to Somerset County Cricket Club since the the 19th century and of the England women's cricket team since 30 August 2006.

Contents

History

The first residents were Taunton Cricket Club, formed in 1829. Somerset CCC was formed in 1875, but the club did not achieve first class status until 1891. Taunton Cricket Club played at The County Ground until 1977 before moving to Moorfields, Taunton in conjunction with Taunton Vale Hockey Club, after which it was solely used by Somerset County Cricket Club [1]

Entering the ground you will either go through the JCW gates (St.James Street) or the Sir Vivian Richards gates (priory Bridge Road). It has a capacity of 9,000 and the ends are called the River End and the Old Pavilion End, and one of the main stands is named after Ian Botham [2] The ground houses the Somerset County Cricket shop and museum, which also has various conference rooms [3]

Travel to the County Ground

The main scoreboard at the ground
  • Address - County Ground, St James's Street, Taunton, England, TA1 1JT
  • Telephone - +44 (0) 1823 272 946
  • Facsimile - +44 (0) 1823 332 395
  • Bus - Taunton Bus Station is less than a mile from the County Ground, and should be around a 15-minute walk
  • Train - Taunton Train Station is less than a mile away from the cricket ground and should be a 10-minute walk
  • Car - Exit the M5 at junction 25 and take the fourth exit of the roundabout onto the A358 (Taunton). Follow the A358 onto A38 (now follow the brown signs). The A38 will eventually become Priory Avenue, where you will be able to see the main entrance to the County Ground signed. The Priory Bridge car park is the closest to the ground, and there are also car parks in the main town centre

Development

The covers are on at Taunton prior to a Twenty20 on June 27, 2007. This photograph is taken from the stand to the left of the Ian Botham stand visible in the above image.

After a long debate by Somerset members on the future location of the cricket club, or redevelopment of the existing ground, the club obtained a grant from the South West Regional Development Agency to fund a feasibility study. The aim of the study was to identify how the development of a new stadium could guarantee the future long-term well-being of Somerset CCC through the construction of modern international standard cricket facilities.

The feasibility study found that both through financial deliberations and the great assistance offered by Taunton Deane Borough Council, that Chairman Giles Clarke announced in April 2006 that the long term future lies at the County Ground. The project costs total approximately £60 million and will deliver a cricket capacity of up to 15,000. It commenced on January 17, 2008[4] In order for the club to remain financially viable, the development is to be conducted in phases in order to allow cricket and other club business to proceed with minimal interruption. Also, in order to fit an international standard pitch on site, it is necessary to increase the boundaries:

  • Phase 1 - was completed in time for Taunton to be a venue for the 2009 ICC Twenty20 World Championship. It incorporates a new stand with a capacity for 3,000 seats. Additionally there will be a residential development and commercial units fronting on to the town centre
The secondary scoreboard
  • Phase 2 - will see the development of a new South Stand, and media facilities required for International and First Class Cricket. There will be a new and improved indoor school with glass walls facing on to St James Street, as well as other multi sport facilities available to the public. In addition to some residential opportunities this phase will also include a reception area, café, new club shop and other commercial facilities
  • Phase 3 - is part of the plans for the Taunton Vision Firepool redevelopment. As well as a new stand and extensive corporate facilities the study has also concluded that the development of a major conference and banqueting facility would be of great benefit to the South West region. There will be a low level multi-story car park with club and commercial office space in the tower above

Music

On 18 June 2006, the Cricket Ground hosted an open air concert by Elton John to a sell-out 23,000 crowd. Elton John's dedication of one of his songs to Ian Botham revealed the retired English cricketer to be in the audience, watching from his namesake pavilion.

See also

References

External links

Coordinates: 51°01′09″N 3°06′16″W / 51.0192°N 3.1045°W / 51.0192; -3.1045

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