Edgbaston Cricket Ground
Edgbaston Cricket Ground (also known as Edgbaston Stadium) is a cricket ground in the Edgbaston area of Birmingham, England. It is home to Warwickshire County Cricket Club, and is also used for Test matches and One Day Internationals.

The land that now makes up Edgbaston Cricket Ground was originally owned by the Calthorpe Estate, who had developed the manor of Edgbaston into a exclusive Birmingham suburb over the course of the 19th century, and thought a cricket ground to be an asset that would add to the genteel image of the area. Warwickshire had considered Rugby and Leamington Spa for their county headquarters, but club secretary William Ansell believed that Birmingham's large population and comprehensive railway connections made it preferable - envisaging first-class status for the county and test status for the ground. Initially favouring the Wycliffe Ground on Pershore Road, Warwickshire were instead offered a 12 acre "meadow of rough grazing land" in an undeveloped area on the banks of the River Rea by the Calthorpe Estate, who considered the less attractive development land to have more to gain from association with the cricket ground. With the site only 20 minutes' walk from New Street Station, Warwickshire agreed in 1885 to lease the land for £5 per acre over a 21 year period. A further £1,250 was spent on draining and enclosing the site and building a wooden pavilion. The new ground's first match took place on 7 June 1886 against the MCC, watched by 3,000 spectators over two days, with 6,000 turning out on the 9 and 10 August to watch Warwickshire play Australia. Edgbaston's first test match was the first in the The Ashes series against Australia in 1902, for which the club erected a permanent stand, two temporary stands and facilites for 90 members of the press. These developments cost a total of £1,500, however, and Warwickshire's share of the tour funds was only £750. In July 1997 Edgbaston was the scene of the first competitive floodlit day-night cricket match in Britain.

Edgbaston is considered to be one of England's leading cricket grounds. Wisden's guide to cricket grounds in 1992 commented that "Lord's is really its only superior in the United Kingdom" with The Daily Telegraph agreeing in 2009 that "Taken all in all, it is now the best ground outside Lord's." The atmosphere at Edgbaston is reputed to be the most hostile in England for visiting teams. Former England captain Alec Stewart recalled "On a world level I would put it up there with Eden Gardens in Calcutta, which holds about 100,000. It inspires a team. It's like having another man in your side." and the former England wicketkeeper Geraint Jones describes how "The crowd here makes such a big noise when you are doing well ... it's a unique environment." The site is currently being redeveloped. Prior to demolition in January 2010, Edgbaston's most recognisable feature was the Thwaite Memorial Scoreboard, at the City End of the ground, which will be incorporated into the new complex. Other changes in recent years included an Indoor Cricket Centre, a cricket shop, a new large electronic scoreboard opposite the Thwaite scoreboard and the large Eric Hollies Stand. The pavilion was a modest and unremarkable structure with little architectural interest compared with those at other English Test grounds such as Lord's, The Oval and Old Trafford. The record attendance at a County Championship match at Edgbaston is 28,000 against Lancashire in the championship-winning season of 1951, and the record for a single day of a Test Match is 32,000 against the West Indies in 1957. Of all England's Test Grounds Edgbaston is the least disrupted by rain - losing an average of fewer than 90 minutes of play per match between 1979 and 1988, compared to over 8 hours per match for the most affected ground, Old Trafford. For some years until 2000, Edgbaston had a distinctive motorized rain cover system, known as the Brumbrella.

Notable moments
  • 1957 - Stand of 411 between Peter May and Colin Cowdrey against the West Indies, England's highest-ever partnership.
  • 1994 - Brian Lara scored 501 for Warwickshire against Durham, the highest score by a batsman in first class cricket.
  • 1999 - Australia tie with South Africa in the 1999 Cricket World Cup semi final.
  • 2004 - Marcus Trescothick becomes the first player to score a century in both innings of a test match at Edgbaston, against the West Indies. (105 & 107)
  • 2005 - Australia lose to England by two runs in the 2nd Test of the 2005 Ashes, the closest Ashes match ever.
  • 2008 - South Africa secure their first series win in England since 1965, chasing down 281 to win the 3rd Test, the highest ever successful pursuit at this ground. South African captain Graeme Smith scored 154* to lead his team to victory.

In 2007 Warwickshire announced initial plans for a £20 million redevelopment of Edgbaston which would incorporate a new pavilion and take capacity to over 25,000. An updated design of what the new stand will look like emerged late 2008. Planning permission was granted in May 2009. On 8 June 2009, the government confirmed that the proposals were cleared for development. In early 2010, the old pavilion was demolished, bringing an end to the clubs recent history. The demolishment took several months and was completed by April 2010. Constructors moved in to begin building work with the aim of completion by July 2011. During the 2010 season, the ground remains in operation. Capacity has been reduced and the members area relocated. A marquee has been erected to accommodate special functions and conferences. Work continued throughout late 2010 with floodlights starting to be raised in December. As of January 2011, the contractors remain positive that all work will be completed on time, by July 2011. Glass work inside the new stand has started as the main outside begins to take shape.

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