ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: The iconic figure next to the Oval cricket ground

Omkar Paranjape
Thursday, 30 May 2019

As one walks around the Kennington suburb of British capital London, two things distinctly stand out. 

London: As one walks around the Kennington suburb of British capital London, two things distinctly stand out. 

World-renowned comic figure Charlie Chaplin grew up in this quaint part of the city. A blue plaque marks his former home, which takes us to the second thing that stands out--the Oval cricket ground, the first ground to hold a Test match in England in 1880.

The ground has witnessed some iconic moments in the history of cricket and all while along, a gasholder, the towering skeletal frame that looms over the pitch has been synonymous with that.

The Victorian Gasometer, which still dominates the skyline, was the largest in the world when built in 1879, and has towered over all the historic moments at the ground, including Len Hutton’s record score of 364 and Don Bradman’s duck in his final Test innings.

The gasholders overlook The Oval at the Vauxhall End of the ground, and normally during England cricket team matches advertising banners hang from the gas holders. They are an integral part of the Oval folklore. The wrought-iron structure in Kennington was the largest gasholder in the world when it was built in 1847.

Surrey County Club
The Kennington Oval houses Surrey County Cricket Club, which is one of eighteen first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It’s name is derived from the locality it represents in the historic county of Surrey in South London.
The club was founded in 1845 but teams representing the county have played top-class cricket since the early 18th century and the club has always held first-class status.

Surrey have competed in the County Championship since the official start of the competition in 1890 and have played in every top-level domestic cricket competition in England.

Wherever you go in England and it’s sporting arenas, a slice of history welcomes you! 

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