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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 July 2005, 15:03 GMT 16:03 UK
Ashes ground guide: Old Trafford
England v Australia, Third Test, 11-15 August 2005
Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Talbot Road, Manchester, M16 0PX

A general view Old Trafford
Cricket has been played at Old Trafford since 1857, with Test match cricket making its bow in 1884.

The venue hosted an Ashes match in July that year 10 days before the first ever Test at Lord's, making it England's second oldest international venue, of those still in use, after The Oval.

Today it is the country's third most-used cricketing home after those London venues, but in modern day sport tradition stands for little.

Lancashire have been threatened with losing Test matches after poor attendances in the last few years and county officials have considered moving to a purpose-built site near the City of Manchester Stadium.

Even the most ardent Lancastrian would concede the ground lacks in beauty, but the functional ring-seating has played host to a number of barn-storming matches, particularly against the old enemy from down under.

And through the years, Australia have enjoyed their share of success in the Manchester suburbs.

They retained the Ashes for the first time on foreign soil with a draw in Manchester after following on in 1899, a result that ensured they won the urn in the next match.

Three years later they won the Ashes at Old Trafford after a sensational and dramatic Test.

The victory was founded upon captain Victor Trumper's first innings century, but was only just secured when John Saunders dismissed Fred Tate for a three-run win.

It was to prove Australia's last win at the ground for 59 years, although in that time England only won two of the 11 meetings - the first, and most famously the last in 1956.

That match will forever be remembered as Jim Laker's Test, the English spinner sealing a remarkable match analysis of 19-90 - including 10 wickets in the second innings - for the best figures in Test history.

The Australians won two of the three meetings in the sixties before England won three on the trot, culminating in an Ian Botham-inspired victory in 1981 that secured the Ashes for the hosts.

Since then however, the tide has turned in favour of the Australians who regained the Ashes with a victory at the ground in 1989 and have yet to give up their grasp.

They have enjoyed a 100% winning record ever since, a run that included Shane Warne's "Ball of the Century" to dismiss Mike Gatting in 1993.


Tickets

Like all the Ashes Test venues, demand has outstripped supply and LCCC will be putting up the full house sign for the first four days.

If play stretches to the fifth and final day tickets will be available on the gate with prices to be determined by the state of play in the game.


Stat pack

69 Tests:
England: 21 wins; 14 defeats; 33 draws
Australia beat South Africa in one neutral match (1912)

Highest individual score: 311
Bob Simpson; Australia v England 1964
Best bowling (innings): 10-53
Jim Laker; England v Australia 1956
Best bowling (match): 19-90
Jim Laker; England v Australia 1956
Record partnership: 267
Graham Thorpe & Michael Vaughan (3rd wkt); England v Pakistan 2001

  • England v Australia

    FRINDALL'S FASCINATING FACT
    My first Test with TMS was the opening match of England's 1966 rubber against West Indies at Old Trafford.
    27 Tests:
    England: 7 wins; 7 defeats; 13 draws

    Highest individual score:
    Eng: 256; Ken Barrington 1964
    Aus: 311; Bobby Simpson 1964

    Best bowling figures:
    Eng: 10-53; Jim Laker 1956
    Aus: 8-31; Frank Laver 1909

    Best match figures:
    Eng: 19-90 (9-37 & 10-53); Jim Laker 1956
    Aus: 10-128 (4-75 & 6-53); Hugh Trumble 1902

    Record partnership:
    Eng: 219 (3rd wkt); Ted Dexter & Ken Barrington 1964
    Aus: 246 (5th wkt); Bobby Simpson & Brian Booth 1964


    Directions

    The ground is 2.5 miles to the south-west of the city and if you opt to drive the easiest route is to get onto the M60 ring road and take one of a number of exits.

    Coming from a clockwise direction, exit at junction seven follow signs for Stretford and the ground along the A56.

    Junctions nine and 12 are the best options if travelling in an anti-clockwise direction. From nine take the A5081 for Trafford Park and from 12 get onto the M602 for Salford before joining the A5063 from junction three.

    Piccadilly Station enjoyed a refurb ahead of the Commonwealth Games and is the primary gateway to the city for those travelling by train, with the national bus station nearby.

    Old Trafford is just six stops on the tram from Piccadilly on the Bury-Altrincham line, the stop sharing the name of the ground which is just a five-minute walk away.


    Food & drink

    Like any major city their is a wide choice of cuisine in the city - such as Chinese in the renowned China Town - and beyond.

    If you head south of the university on the Oxford Road you will come to Rusholme and the infamous "Curry Mile" where you can peruse a plethora of places before picking the perfect one for a poppadum.

    There are also a wide selection of pubs and clubs in Europe's largest student city which won worldwide notoriety in the heyday of the Hacienda.

    The Deansgate area has been redeveloped in recent years and is abuzz with bars by the canal, as is the aptly-named Canal Street on the other side of town.


    If it rains

    Manchester is renowned for rain and Old Trafford has hosted two abandoned Tests, Ashes matches in 1890 and 1938, so an umbrella may be a good idea.

    The city centre has been hugely redeveloped since the IRA bomb in June 1996 and is now a modern shopping mecca, which is as good a starting place as any - particularly if you forgot that umbrella.




  • SEE ALSO
    Ashes ground guide: Lord's
    13 Jul 05 |  Cricket
    Ashes ground guide: Edgbaston
    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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