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Trent Bridge, Nottingham
[ ground guide ]

Trent Bridge

Trent Bridge, home to Nottinghamshire, is one of the most pleasant venues in England. The ground boasts excellent facilities, loyal support and a good wicket. It is also one of the older grounds - plans for cricket to be played at Trent Bridge were first made in 1838. Attendance was poor to begin with, but by the 1880s Trent Bridge was thriving, with the largest pavilion in the country.

Test cricket was first played in Nottingham in 1899, England drawing with Australia. The ground was used sporadically at the turn of the century, with England enjoying mixed fortunes against Australia and South Africa. After the wars, Trent Bridge became a regular Test ground, and has hosted an international most years since.

The ground is not one of England's luckiest. Of the 48 Test matches played there, England have won only 13, losing 14 and drawing 21. West Indies defeated England on their first visit to the ground, Frank Worrell and Everton Weekes adding 283 in a comprehensive victory. Despite this, various England batsmen have enjoyed excellent success at Trent Bridge. Dennis Compton and Michael Atherton hit five centuries apiece there, Compton averaging 95 and Atherton over 60. Indeed, Compton's 278 against the touring Pakistanis in 1954 remains the highest Test match score on the ground. Alec Bedser picked up an extraordinary 14/99 in 1953, as England beat Australia by an innings. By 1989, Australia were back on top in Ashes contests, Geoff Marsh and Mark Taylor proving their dominance, batting through the first day of the Nottingham Test.

The placidity of the pitch now is far removed from the strip produced at Trent Bridge in the 1970s and 1980s. With Richard Hadlee and Clive Rice as prized overseas players, the track took on a distinct tinge of green and batsmen's injuries suddenly flared up. With Gary Sobers before Hadlee, and Chris Cairns after, the Nottinghamshire faithful have had full value from their foreign contingent.

The ground is an interesting mix of modern and historic architecture. Many improvements have been made to the Trent Bridge, culminating in the new three-tier Radcliffe Stand, opened in 1998. This stand, with a view behind the bowler's arm, offers the best, but most expensive, Test match tickets. Cheaper seats in the Tavern Stand and Parr Stand are a good alternative. The scoreboard is one of the best in the country, an electronic offering with a wealth of statistics.

As with all Test grounds, Trent Bridge is well served by fast food and bars. More expensive dining options are available; enquire with the club first (0115 982 3000). The ground also boasts squash courts and indoor nets, open all year round. A museum and library offer refuge for those with a historical bent, whilst the club shop provides all manner of Nottinghamshire and England paraphernalia.

How to get there:

Nottinghamshire is a pleasant city in the northern-most reaches of the Midlands, and is well served by motorway access. The ground is about a mile south of the city centre, on Bridgford Road, across the River Trent and opposite Nottingham Forest's football ground. There are parking restrictions on big-match days, though street parking is available nearby for those who arrive early enough.

Alternatively, Nottingham has good public transport. National Express coaches ( stop at the Broad Marsh bus station on Colin Street, a mile and a half from Trent Bridge. Fares are cheap, though longer journey times can make this method of transport a little arduous.

The train station is in the city centre, a fifteen-minute walk, or five-minute taxi ride from the ground. Phone National Rail Enquiries for details (0845 7484950). Those travelling from far afield are likely to have to change trains to get to Nottingham, so be sure to ask.

Nottinghamshire also has a comprehensive local bus service. Buses 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 stop at Trent Bridge. Nottingham City Council has a superb web-site ( with detailed directions.


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