The Oval

Watch a cricket match at The Oval

The Kia Oval is one of London’s premier sporting arenas, a stadium packed full of history which has played host to the biggest cricketing names of the domestic and international game.

Highlights

  • Step through the Bradman doors, named in honour of the great Australian batsman who played his last test innings at the Oval in 1948.
  • Head out on to the famous turf and learn how the ground staff maintain such a pristine square and outfield.
  • Enjoy spectacular views of the pitch in one direction and the London skyline in another from the roof terrace.

What to See and Do

Changing Rooms

Get a feel for how the top cricket players prepare themselves before they head out on to the field when you visit the dressing rooms area. Step out on to the player’s balcony for a view across the stadium and imagine the tension as you sit there awaiting your turn to bat. 

The changing rooms are the hub of any sports stadium, the place where the history makers await their turn.

Commentary Box

Cricket commentary is one of the most entertaining of sporting commentaries. A perfect blend of narrative, facts and irreverence often provided by those who have played at the top of their sport. 

However, if you still think you could do better then a Kia Oval tour provides the chance to prove it. Sit in the commentary box chairs where so many famous names sit every game, entertaining fans across the world.

Pitch Side

You will have the chance to head on to the outfield and sample the famous Kia Oval turf. This is a great opportunity to take photos from parts of the ground you would never normally be able to access. 

You will have the chance to sit in some of the best seats in the stadium and look out over this impressive arena which has staged international test cricket since 1880.

Committee Room

The intimate and prestigious committee room has played host to many famous names from the worlds of royalty, politics, entertainment, sport and more. It is an ideal spot to enjoy the hospitality of the club President and committee as you watch the game. 

The Kia Oval tour gives you unique access to this inner sanctum, allowing you a rare chance to feel its atmosphere and sense of tradition.

Club Museum

The Kia Oval has been home to Surrey Cricket Club since 1845 and you can delve into its history in the club museum. Home to memorabilia from the early days through to now, the museum lets you wander through this famous old ground’s history. 

You will also pass through the members pavilion as part of your Kia Oval tour, where decades of history is on show.

Did you know: (5 interesting facts!)

  1. In 1872 the Oval held the first-ever FA Cup final, two years after staging the first football international between England and Scotland.
  1. The land upon which the Oval sits is owned by the Duchy of Cornwall and the Prince of Wales feathers have been on Surrey Cricket Club’s badge since 1915.
  1. The gasholders constructed in 1853 are one of the most famous features of the Oval ground and are grade II listed.
  1. During the second world war, the Oval was earmarked for use as a prisoner of war camp but was never required. It did get used however to store anti-aircraft searchlights and guns.
  1. The Oval played host to Don Bradman’s final test innings which saw the great batsman dismissed by Eric Hollies without scoring. He ended his carer with an average of 99.94 and had needed just four runs to reach the magical 100 mark.

History

  • 1845 – Surrey Cricket Club formed at the Oval on land previously used as a market garden.
  • 1868 – 20,000 spectators watch a game against a touring Aboriginal team, the first touring team to play in England.
  • 1880 – The first test match in England between the host nation and Australia.
  • 1882 – Australia win the test and following a mock obituary of the English game in the press the Ashes was born.
  • 1938 – Len Hutton scores 364 in an innings against Australia, the highest test score by an England player.
  • 1948 – Don Bradman plays his final test innings.
  • 2006 – First forfeit of a Test match when Pakistan stage protest after umpires dock runs and change the ball due to alleged ball-tampering.
  • 2009 – Permanent floodlights installed.
  • 2016 – New Peter May stand completed with a capacity of 6,300.

Facilities and Accessibility

All entrances to the Kia Oval have dropped kerbs and accessible entrance gates and there are seating options for those with mobility difficulties offering a variety of views in the stadium. 

There are accessible toilets located around the ground with most requiring a RADAR key which a steward can arrange if you do not possess one. Overall access across the ground is good with only 5% of internal areas not suitable for wheelchairs.

Assistance dogs are permitted within the ground and a live commentary can be heard on Radio London online. A number of the key signs around the ground use a raised print format. 

You will also find the stadium has induction loops in certain areas, including ticketing offices and some catering points. An optional wristband allows visitors with non-visible disabilities to identify themselves easier with stewards if they require assistance, without having to explain their disability.

As part of a tour of the Kia Oval, you will be able to relax and look out over the outfield while being refreshed with tea and coffee. The club shop is found in the Bedser Stand and sells a range of souvenirs, gifts, cricket equipment and clothing.