Sydney, New South Wales
|Australia v England - Feb 17-21, 1882||Scorecard|
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|Australia v England - Jan 13, 1979||Scorecard|
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Situated in Moore Park in the city's east, the Sydney Cricket Ground is one of the world's most famous cricketing venues. For a stadium in a major centre, it has a relatively limited capacity (a little over 40,000) but this has the direct benefit of ensuring that spectators are close to the action from virtually any point in the ground. Its limited capacity is, in fact, essentially the result of the extension over recent years of seating to most parts of a stadium now devoid of its long famous hill and instead dominated by the Brewongle, Churchill, O'Reilly, Noble and Doug Walters Stands. The green-roofed Ladies pavilion remains, still one of cricket's most famous landmarks.
Cricket has been played at the ground from as long ago as the 1848, then known as the Garrison Ground, but many other sports, predominantly football codes, have established a presence, to such an extent no less that a bike track actually ringed the playing surface between the 1890s and 1920s. This relationship has also been tested by the generally strained connection between the SCG Trust (the body appointed to control the ground) and the New South Wales Cricket Association, the low point of which was reached in the late 1970s when Neville Wran's State government created legislation to reconfigure the composition of the Trust and bring Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket to the ground.
In its earlier incarnations, the pitches were favourable for batting,
and many mammoth scores were produced. The highest of these (in an
individual sense) was compiled in the 1929-30 season, when Sir Donald
Bradman made his celebrated personal best of 452* for New South Wales in a match against Queensland. From the early 1970s though, the square's character has undergone a number of revisions. Principally, it has come to be seen as a spinner's paradise - never more clearly than in memorable Australian Test wins over West Indies in 1984-85 (when Bob Holland and Murray Bennett piloted the home team to a crushing success) and in 1988-89 (when the left arm orthodox spin of Allan Border claimed an unlikely 11 scalps). Of course, this is not to say that the limelight has been stolen purely by slow bowlers; West Indian Brian Lara's masterful 277 in 1992-93 and paceman Fanie De Villiers' match haul of 10 for 123 at the forefront of South Africa's amazing five run win in 1993-94 underlining the point.
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