Situated to the north of Sydney Harbour, this ground is best known as the home of the North Sydney Bears rugby league team. First used for cricket as St Leonard's Reserve in 1867 and became home ground for the North Sydney Cricket Club in 1894-95. Continuous use for rugby league and rugby union in the winter made the pitch unusable at the start of the season for many years, but renovations in the 1980's made the ground more usable for both summer and winter sports. The Bob Stand was recycled from the SCG, while a stand was built which was named after women's international cricketer Mollie Dive.
North Sydney Oval's main claim to cricketing fame today is as the venue for New South Wales' opening match of the Mercantile Mutual Cup season since 1992-93. The smallish size of the ground lends itself to high-scoring one-day games, and NSW use it for many of their one-day matches. Although the capacity of the ground is around 20,000, only 9000 of these are seated with the remainder on grass banking. Many if the stands themselves have been relocated from the SCG. Five large pylons means the ground can be used for day-night cricket as well as other sports.
Only two first-class matches have been played here, with a double hundred by Steve Waugh the highlight of the sole Sheffield Shield game here, against Victoria in 1997-98. North Sydney Oval has been host to a number of women's internationals, though the first such attempt in 1957-58 was abandoned due to rain. The ground also hosted World Cup warmup matches in 1992 including one between Sri Lanka and eventual World Cup winners Pakistan.
The defunct soccer club Northern Spirit played their home games at the Oval until the end of the 2003 season when they folded, but they initially attracted crowds in excess of 15,000. The Northern Suburbs Rugby Union Club who play in the NSW Club Rugby Competition play their home games at the ground.
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