Old Trafford Cricket Ground

Old Trafford is a cricket ground in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England. It opened in 1857 as the home of Manchester Cricket Club and has been the home of Lancashire County Cricket Club since 1864. From 2013 onwards it has been known as Emirates Old Trafford due to a sponsorship deal with the Emirates airline.[4]

Old Trafford
Enlarged pavilion at Old Trafford geograph-3720447-by-Anthony-ONeil.jpg
Old Trafford Pavilion– August 2015
Ground information
LocationOld Trafford, Greater Manchester
Establishment1857; 164 years ago (1857)
CapacityDomestic: 19,000
International: 26,000[1]
Concerts: 50,000[2]
TenantsLancashire County Cricket Club
England cricket team
End names
James Anderson End[3] OldTraffordCricketGroundPitchDimensions.svg
Brian Statham End
International information
First Test10–12 July 1884:
 England v  Australia
Last Test5–9 August 2020:
 England v  Pakistan
First ODI24 August 1972:
 England v  Australia
Last ODI16 September 2020:
 England v  Australia
First T20I13 June 2008:
 England v  New Zealand
Last T20I20 July 2021:
 England v  Pakistan
Only women's Test19–23 June 1976:
 England v  Australia
First WODI6 July :
 England v  India
Last WODI17 August 2004:
 England v  New Zealand
Only WT20I10 September 2012:
 England v  West Indies
Team information
Manchester Cricket Club (1857 – 1865)
Lancashire (1865 – present)
As of 20 July 2021
Source: ESPNcricinfo

Old Trafford is England's second oldest Test venue after The Oval and hosted the first Ashes Test in England in July 1884. The venue has hosted the Cricket World Cup five times (1975, 1979, 1983, 1999 and 2019). Old Trafford holds the record for both most World Cup matches hosted (17) and most semi-finals hosted (5).[5][6] In 1956, the first 10-wicket haul in a single innings was achieved by England bowler Jim Laker who achieved bowling figures of 19 wickets for 90 runs—a bowling record which is unmatched in Test and first-class cricket. In 1990, a 17 year old Sachin Tendulkar scored 119 not out against England, which was the first of his 100 international centuries. In the 1993 Ashes Test at Old Trafford, leg-spinner Shane Warne bowled Mike Gatting with the "Ball of the Century". In 2019, New Zealand defeated India in the World Cup semi-final after infamously running out MS Dhoni, in what turned out to be his last international match. In 2020 the ground was used as one of two biosecure venues, alongside the Ageas Bowl, for the tours involving West Indies and Pakistan which were regulated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite its rich cricket history,[7][8][9] the venue was perceived as dilapidated and lost test status in 2009. Extensive redevelopment of the ground to increase capacity and modernise facilities commenced soon after in an effort to safeguard international cricket at the venue. The development entailed the restoration of the pavilion and creation of The Point, a £12 million stand overlooking the pitch.[10] The pitch at Old Trafford has historically been the quickest in England, but will take spin later in the game.[11]


Early historyEdit

The site was first used as a cricket ground in 1857, when the Manchester Cricket Club moved onto the meadows of the de Trafford estate.[12] Despite the construction of a large pavilion (for the amateurs—the professionals used a shed at the opposite end of the ground), Old Trafford's first years were rocky: accessible only along a footpath from the railway station, the ground was situated out in the country, and games only attracted small crowds. It was not until the Roses match of 1875 that significant numbers attended a game. When W. G. Grace brought Gloucestershire in 1878, Old Trafford saw 28,000 spectators over three days, and this provoked improvements to access and facilities.[13]

In 1884, Old Trafford became the second English ground, after The Oval, to stage Test cricket: with the first day being lost to rain, England drew with Australia.[14] Expansion of the ground followed over the next decade, with the decision being taken to construct a new pavilion in 1894.[15]

The ground was purchased outright from the de Traffords in 1898, for £24,372, as crowds increased, with over 50,000 spectators attending the 1899 Test match.[15]

In 1902, the Australian Victor Trumper hit a hundred before lunch on the first day;[16] Australia went on to win the Test by 3 runs—the third-closest Test result in history.[17][18]

Crowds fell through the early 20th century, and the ground was closed during the First World War; however, in the conflict's aftermath, crowd numbers reached new heights. Investment followed throughout the inter-war period, and during this time, Lancashire experienced their most successful run to date, gaining four championship titles in five years.[19]

During the Second World War, Old Trafford was used as a transit camp for troops returning from Dunkirk, and as a supply depot. In December 1940, the ground was hit by bombs, damaging or destroying several stands. Despite this damage—and the failure of an appeal to raise funds for repairs—cricket resumed promptly after the war, with German PoWs being paid a small wage to prepare the ground. The 'Victory Test' between England and Australia of August 1945 proved to be extremely popular, with 76,463 seeing it over three days.[19]

Post-Second World WarEdit

Differences of opinion between the club's committee and players led to a bad run of form in the 1950s and early 1960s; this consequently saw gate money drop, and a lack of investment.[20] After 1964, however, the situation was reversed, and 1969 saw the first Indoor Cricket Centre opened.[21] In 1956 Jim Laker became the first person to take all 10 wickets in a Test match innings, achieving figures of 10 for 53 in the fourth Test against Australia (the only other bowler to take all 10 wickets in an innings is Anil Kumble of India in 1999). Having also taken 9 for 37 in the first innings, Laker ended the match with record figures of 19 for 90, which remain unmatched to this day.[22][23] On 1 May 1963 the first ever one day cricket match took place at Old Trafford, as the Gillette Cup was launched. Lancashire beat Leicestershire in a preliminary knock-out game, as 16th and 17th finishers in the Championship the previous year, to decide who would fill the 16th spot in the One Day competition.[24] Following Lancashire's reign as One Day champions in the 1970s, a programme of renovation and replacement was initiated in 1981.[21] This changed the face of the ground to the extent that, now, only the Pavilion "is recognisable to a visitor who last watched or played a game in, say, the early 1980s".[25] In 1981 Ian Botham hit 118, including six sixes (the second greatest number in an Ashes innings), which he has called "one of the three innings I would like to tell my grandchildren about".[26][27] England went on to win the Ashes after being lampooned in the national media for such poor performances.

In 1990, Sachin Tendulkar scored his first Test hundred at the age of 17—becoming the second-youngest centurion—to help India draw.[28] In 1993, Shane Warne bowled the "Ball of the Century" to Mike Gatting at the ground.[29] In the same game, Graham Gooch was out handling the ball for 133—only the sixth out of nine times this has ever happened.[30] In 1995, Dominic Cork took a hat-trick for England against the West Indies. In 2000, both Mike Atherton and Alec Stewart played their hundredth Tests, against the West Indies.[31] In the Third Test of the 2005 Ashes series the match ended in a nailbiting draw, with 10,000 fans shut out of the ground on the final day as tickets were sold out. England went on to win the series regaining the Ashes for the first time since 1986/87.[32] In 2020 the ground was used as one of two biosecure venues, alongside the Ageas Bowl, for the tours involving West Indies and Pakistan which were regulated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The groundEdit

The cricket ground is near the Old Trafford football stadium (a five-minute walk away down Warwick Road and Sir Matt Busby Way), in the borough of Trafford in Greater Manchester, approximately two miles south west of Manchester city centre. Its capacity is 22,000 for Test matches, for which temporary stands are erected, and 15,000 for other matches. Since 1884, it has hosted 74 Tests,[33] the third-highest number in England, behind Lord's and The Oval.[34]

The two ends of the ground are the James Anderson End[35] to the north and the Brian Statham End to the south, renamed in honour of the former Lancashire and England player. A section of Warwick Road to the east is also called Brian Statham Way. Immediately abutting the ground to the south-east is the Old Trafford tram stop.

Old Trafford has a reputation for unpredictable weather. Old Trafford is the only ground in England where a Test match has been abandoned without a ball being bowled—and this has happened here twice in 1890 and 1938, though before five-day test matches were introduced.[36] Before Cardiff hosted its first Test match in July 2009, Old Trafford was reputedly the wettest Test ground in the country;[37] Manchester is situated to the west of the Pennines and faces prevailing winds and weather fronts from the Atlantic Ocean.

These prevailing conditions have encouraged Lancashire to keep the ground as well-drained as possible, most recently through the acquisition of a hover cover in 2007,[38] and the installation of new drains towards the end of the 2008 season.[39]

In the second Test of 1938 in a desperate effort to ensure play after heavy rain the groundstaff moved the turf from the practice pitch to the square—a unique attempt.[26] In 2010–11 the wickets were relaid, changing their extremely unusual east–west axis to a more conventional north–south layout. The Brian Statham End to the east, and Stretford End to the west, were replaced by the Pavilion End to the north, and the Brian Statham End to the south.[40]

The PavilionEdit

The Pavilion before and after redevelopment
August 2009
September 2013

The three-tiered Victorian members' pavilion was built in 1895 for £10,000.[15] Hit by a bomb in 1940—which destroyed the members' dining room and groundsman's quarters—most of the pavilion was rebuilt.[19] One million pounds was spent on a new roof after it began to leak in 2003.[25]

The Pavilion's position was noteworthy in that, until 2010, it sat parallel to the wickets, rather than behind them, presenting the members with one of the worst viewing angles possible. It contains batting and bowling Honours Boards, unveiled during the 2004 Test match.[41] The pavilion underwent redevelopment at the start of 2012 and was reopened for the YB40 game against Scotland.

The PointEdit

The Point, which was completed in 2010

The Point, Old Trafford's distinctive £12 million conference centre, and at 1,000 seats one of the largest multi-purpose conference facilities in North West England,[42] opened in 2010.[43]

Media and Players CentreEdit

The Media and Players Centre which opened in September 2012

Old Trafford was unusual in that there were two media stands at opposite ends of the ground prior to the new Media Centre which opened in September 2012. Television and radio commentators previously operated in temporary television studios and commentary boxes at the Stretford End which were perched on hospitality boxes.

Cricket practice schoolEdit

The idea of an indoor school was born in 1951, when nets were strung up in the Members' Dining Room in the pavilion.[19] A permanent facility was built in 1969, and replaced in 1997.[21] The current building stands to the north-west of the pitch; it contains five 60-metre lanes on various surfaces, several conference rooms, and a large shop.[44]

The hotelEdit

To the north-east of the ground, immediately adjacent to the Pavilion is a 150-bed Hilton Garden hotel which opened in late 2017. Similar in architecture to The Point on the other side of the Pavilion, half the rooms have a balcony with a full view of the pitch.[45] Previously, this was occupied by the Old Trafford Lodge which opened in 1999.[21] The hotel had 68 rooms, 36 having unobstructed views of the playing surface.[46][47] It was demolished in 2016 and the new hotel opened in late 2017.[48]

Redevelopment 2003–2017Edit

Following rejection of plans, in 2003, to sell Old Trafford, and move the club to a new purpose-built stadium in East Manchester,[25] the focus was switched to upgrading the current ground. Lancashire CCC, with a coalition of businesses, are in the process of making the cricket ground the centre of an anticipated 750,000-square-foot (70,000 m2) development, in a mixed-use scheme involving business, residential, retail, hotel and leisure facilities.[49]

The first phase of redevelopment saw the laying of new drains in Autumn 2008. In 2009, the Stretford end of the ground was closed to facilitate destruction of the County Suite, Tyldesley Suite, 'K' and 'L' Stands and the scoreboard;[39] The Point, overshadowing new seating to the west of the pavilion, opened in June 2010.[43] During the 2010/11 winter the wickets were turned from their previous east–west axis to a more typical north–south alignment,[50] which prevents the low evening sun from interfering with matches, and increased the number of available wickets by five, to sixteen. Many of Lancashire's home games for the 2011 season were transferred to out grounds while the new wickets 'bedded in'.

The main planning process began in September 2008,[51] but faced stiff legal opposition. Since Tesco pledged £21 million to the redevelopment, the stadium's planning application included a request for a new supermarket nearby. Trafford Council gave this joint proposal permission in March 2010[52]—a decision which was initially called in by the Communities Secretary for Judicial Review, before the go-ahead was given in September 2010.[53] Derwent Holdings, a property development company denied permission to build a supermarket at the nearby White City retail park, then called for a Judicial Review. Although this was turned down by the High Court in March 2011, the case went to the Court of Appeal.[54][55] Lancashire took the risky decision to begin work ahead of the matter being resolved, in order to qualify for grants from the North West Development Agency before it was wound up.[56] However, the Court of Appeal ruled in Lancashire's favour in July 2011, and denied leave to further appeal.[54][57]

Work therefore began on this main phase in summer 2011, beginning with the installation of permanent floodlights and a new video screen.[58][59] A new 'Players and Media' facility, mimicking to some degree the design of The Point, has been built on the site of the demolished Washbrook-Statham stand, with a two-tiered cantilever stand being erected on either side. The Pavilion has been renovated to have its sloped roof replaced with two modern glass storeys, finished in April 2013.

The media facilities and corporate boxes on the western side of the ground have been demolished, leaving an empty space, which will be used for temporary seating or a stage when required.[51][60]

The Old Trafford Lodge opened in 1999; however, it has been since demolished and replaced by the Hilton Garden Inn Emirates Old Trafford. It is a Hilton Garden Inn 150-bedroom hotel for Hilton Worldwide. It completed in July 2017.[48]



The ground is used heavily throughout the summer as the base of Lancashire County Cricket Club, with other home games being played at Stanley Park, Blackpool, Birkdale in Southport and at Aigburth in Liverpool. Until 2008, Old Trafford commonly hosted a Test match each year; none were hosted in 2009, 2011 or 2012 due to sub-standard facilities,[61][62] although following redevelopment, Old Trafford hosted an Ashes Test in 2013, and further Tests in 2014 and 2016.[63] One Day Internationals and/or International Twenty20s continue to be hosted every year.[63]

In Tests, the highest team score posted here is 656/8 dec by Australia against England on 23 July 1964. The leading run scorers here are Denis Compton (818 runs), Mike Atherton (729 runs) and Alec Stewart (704 runs). The leading wicket takers are Alec Bedser (51 wickets), James Anderson (28 wickets) and Jim Laker (27 wickets).

In ODIs, the highest team score posted here is 397/6 by England against Afghanistan national cricket team on 18 June 2019. The leading run scorers here are Graham Gooch (405 runs), Eoin Morgan (368 runs), and Allan Lamb (341 runs). The leading wicket takers are Bob Willis (15 wickets), James Anderson (14 wickets) and Darren Gough (13 wickets).

Musical venueEdit

The ground is occasionally used as a venue for large-scale concerts, with a maximum capacity of 50,000. Although the old stage location, in front of the Indoor Cricket School, has been built on, buildings on the western side of the ground will be cleared by 2013 to again allow space for a stage. The concert capacity will increase to 65,000 after redevelopment.

Date Event Headline Act(s) Supporting Act(s)
July 2002 Move Festival David Bowie, New Order, Paul Weller, Green Day[64] Suede, The Divine Comedy, No Doubt, Ian Brown, Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros, Shed Seven, Haven, Doves, Elbow, Alfie[64]
September 2002 Heathen Chemistry Tour Oasis Richard Ashcroft
May 2003 The Rising Tour Bruce Springsteen N/A
July 2003 Move Festival R.E.M. John Squire, Badly Drawn Boy, Idlewild
July 2004 Move Festival Madness, the Cure, Morrissey Pixies, the Stranglers, Jimmy Cliff, Goldfrapp, Tim Booth, New York Dolls
June 2006 N/A Richard Ashcroft Razorlight, the Feeling
June 2006 In Your Honor Tour Foo Fighters the Strokes, Angels & Airwaves, the Subways, Eagles of Death Metal
July 2007 'Mini-festival'[65] Arctic Monkeys Supergrass, the Coral, the Parrots, Amy Winehouse
May 2008 Magic Tour Bruce Springsteen N/A
June 2008 In Rainbows Tour Radiohead Bat For Lashes, MGMT[66]
August 2008 Accelerate Tour R.E.M. Guillemots, Editors[67]
June 2009 Take That Present: The Circus Live Take That[68] the Script, Lady Gaga
September 2009 Viva la Vida Tour Coldplay Jay-Z, White Lies
June 2010 21st Century Breakdown World Tour Green Day Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Frank Turner
September 2010 The Resistance Tour Muse Editors, Band of Skulls, Pulled Apart by Horses
June 2011 Bon Jovi Live Bon Jovi Vintage Trouble, Xander and the Peace Pirates
June 2011 Come Around Sundown World Tour Kings of Leon White Lies, Mona
May 2015 Sonic Highways World Tour Foo Fighters Teenage Fanclub, God Damn
June 2016 Anti World Tour Rihanna Big Sean
July 2016 The Formation World Tour Beyoncé DJ Magnum
May 2017 N/A The Courteeners The Charlatans, Blossoms, Cabbage
June 2017 One Love Manchester Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Pharrell Williams, Take That, Niall Horan, Little Mix, Liam Gallagher, Robbie Williams, the Black Eyed Peas
July 2017 A Moon Shaped Pool Tour Radiohead Oliver Coates, Junun
August 2018 Rize presents Liam Gallagher Liam Gallagher Richard Ashcroft, Bugzy Malone, Twisted Wheel
June 2021 Imploding the Mirage tour The Killers Blossoms
September 2021 Courteeners The Courteeners Johnny Marr, Blossoms
June 2021[69] 2022 Global Stadium Tour Red Hot Chili Peppers A$AP Rocky, Thundercat


The Old Trafford Lodge, The Point, and other corporate facilities are open all year round, as are the ground's car parks, situated to the north and west of the ground.[70]


The ground is served by the adjacent Old Trafford tram stop on the Manchester Metrolink's Altrincham Line.

See alsoEdit


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  3. ^ "The Pavilion End renamed The James Anderson End at Emirates Old Trafford". Lancashire County Cricket Club. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  4. ^ Long, Michael (28 February 2013). "Emirates pens Old Trafford naming rights deal". SportsPro. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
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  6. ^ "Biggest day in Old Trafford's rich history as ground is saved". The Independent. 5 July 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  7. ^ Aldred, Tanya (29 September 2010). "Lancashire's ugly Old Trafford ground is for turning". The Telegraph. Retrieved 26 June 2019. So by 2012, this rickety, rather ugly old dear of a ground with its history, homely hanging baskets and friendly staff, should have smartened up and at last be constructed logically.
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  • Mortimer, David (2005). Old Trafford: Test Match Cricket Since 1884. Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing. ISBN 0-7509-3667-3.
  • Ross, Gordon (1981). The Gillette Cup 1963 to 1980. London: Queen Anne Press. ISBN 0-362-00538-9.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 53°27′22.85″N 2°17′12.34″W / 53.4563472°N 2.2867611°W / 53.4563472; -2.2867611