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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 July 2005, 15:00 GMT 16:00 UK
Ashes ground guide: Edgbaston
England v Australia, Second Test, 4-8 August 2005
County Cricket Ground, Edgbaston Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham

A general view of Edgbaston
Edgbaston has hosted the first Test in the series on each of the last two occasions Australia have travelled north, but this year it has been pushed back to the second.

The ground was originally a meadow used as grazing land before its owner, Lord Calthorpe, authorised its lease for cricket purposes.

Edgbaston was recognised as a Test venue in 1902, however it hosted only four matches up until 1957, two of which were against Australia including that very first match when Wilfred Rhodes claimed 7-17 in a drawn match.

But Warwickshire's 1951 Championship triumph provided new impetus and, with significant ground redevelopment, regular Test cricket finally arrived six years later.

Memorably so, as England's highest-ever partnership - a fourth wicket stand of 411 between Peter May and Colin Cowdrey against the West Indies - saved the match and contributed to Sonny Ramadhin's ultra-marathon match analysis of 129-51-229-9 in 1957.

Nearly 50 years on, Edgbaston is a regular on the Test rota, and is England's most successful home venue.

They also enjoy a winning-record against Australia, a head-to-head advantage they can only also boast at The Oval.

But if England are to maintain that advantage history suggests a home batsman will need to score big runs.

In each of their last two victories at the ground someone has scored a double century, David Gower (215) in 1985 and Nasser Hussain (207) in 1997.

Most recently, three years ago, no English batsman reached triple figures while three Australians did in a crushing first Test victory that set them on their way to winning the Ashes.


Tickets

The first four days are sold out but tickets for the Monday can be booked by calling 00870 062 1902 or at


Stat pack

40 Tests
England: 20 wins; 7 defeats; 13 draws

Highest score: 285*
Peter May; England v West Indies 1957
Best bowling (innings): 7-17
Wilfred Rhodes; England v Australia 1902
Best bowling (match): 12-119
Fred Trueman; England v West Indies 1963
Record partnership: 411
Peter May & Colin Cowdrey (4th wkt); England v West Indies 1957

FRINDALL'S FASCINATING FACT
Venue of the first ball-by-ball radio commentary of a complete cricket match when BBC broadcast the 1957 West Indies Test

  • England v Australia

    11 Tests
    England: 4 wins; 3 defeats; 3 draws

    Highest score:
    Eng: 215; David Gower 1985
    Aus: 157; Dean Jones 1989

    Best bowling figures:
    Eng: 7-17; Wilfred Rhodes 1902
    Aus: 6-71; Paul Reiffel 1993

    Best match figures:
    Eng: 11-102 (6-44 & 5-58) Colin Blythe 1909
    Aus: 8-100 (5-71 & 3-29) Shane Warne 2001

    Record partnership:
    Eng: 331 (2nd wkt); Tim Robinson & David Gower 1985
    Aus: 194 (2nd wkt); Mark Taylor & Greg Blewett 1997


    Directions

    Situated in the heart of Britain, England's second city is on the M5, M6, M40 and M42 and has direct coach connections to more than 500 destinations.

    Edgbaston is 1 miles south of the centre and is easily accessible from the M6 and the M40.

    To reach the ground from the M6, leave at junction six, following signs for the A38(M) City Centre and then A38 south west through Queensway Tunnel, turning left at the first traffic lights and then right at the roundabout onto the A441 (Pershore Road).

    From the M40, join the M42 at junction three, taking the A435 through Kings Heath before turning left to Edgbaston.

    The home of the first steam engine has direct services to cities around the country coming into New Street Station.

    For those arriving at New Street, there are frequent buse to Edgbaston. A taxi should cost in the region of 8.


    Food & drink

    For food after the day's play it is best to head to Moseley where there are a plentiful supply of Indian and Balti restaurants.

    The new-look city centre offers a wider choice - particularly along thriving Broad Street where there are Indian restaurants and much more to choose from before moving on to later night delights.

    Edgbaston is not world renowned for its pubs and a better bet is to make the short trip to Moseley or Selly Oak.

    You could also head back into town and get lost in the world's largest canal system, which means a plentiful supply of waterside pubs in Brindley Place and Gas Street Basin.


    If it rains

    Aside from museums, galleries and a sealife centre - as if you are not wet enough already - venture to Bournville.

    Cadbury World, "The Ultimate Chocolate Experience", is a must for chocaholics.




  • SEE ALSO
    Ashes ground guide: Lord's
    13 Jul 05 |  Cricket
    Ashes ground guide: Old Trafford
    13 Jul 05 |  Cricket
    Ashes ground guide: Trent Bridge
    13 Jul 05 |  Cricket
    Ashes ground guide: The Oval
    13 Jul 05 |  Cricket


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