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Ilford, EnglandIlford Cricket Club, The Pavilion, Valentine's Park, Cranbrook Road, Ilford, Essex. 020 8554 8383
The cricket ground at Valentine's park is quite small as it is sandwiched between tennis courts, a main road, a bowling green and a car park. This means that matches are often high-scoring with the close boundaries tempting the batsmen to go the aerial route. The seating is mostly temporary as the ground is mostly used for festival matches.
The ground was opened in 1897 after a Mrs Ingleby, who owned 136 acres of land surrounding it, donated the venue to Ilford CC. The only condition she imposed, aside from a £30 fee, was that the pavilion be built under the trees.
Essex first played at Ilford when they took on the 1923 West Indians, and after two games in 1924 they stayed away for another 11 years before returning in 1935, and they continued coming until 2002 when they stopped because they claimed it was financially unsustainable.