Australia’s Sydney Cricket Ground is one of the country’s oldest and most famous sports stadiums. Its history goes back to 1851, when British Army troops began using that part of Sydney Common to play cricket and other sports. In the 1870s, when the soldiers who had been using the area left, it was claimed by the New South Wales Cricket Association, who began to improve the ground, including building grandstands. Then called Association Ground, it was the site of Australia’s first cricket test match in 1882.
The two original grandstands, the Members’ Stand and the Brewongle Stand, still exist, although much improved from their 19th-century versions. A Ladies’ Stand was added in 1896. Most of the other stands are named for famous Australian cricketers, including the M. A. Noble, Bill O’Reilly, Don Bradman, Clive Churchill, and Victor Trumper stands, as well as the Dally Messenger stand, named for the Australian rugby great.
The Sydney Cricket Ground is one of the venues for the “Ashes” cricket series between England and Australia, and is the home of the New South Wales Blues first-class cricket team. It has been the site for almost 100 test matches since 1882.
But the Sydney Cricket Ground hosts many sports besides cricket. It is the home ground of the Sydney Swans Australian rules football team, and is also a regular venue for rugby league and union matches. Tennis, cycling, auto racing, and track events have been held there, and the stadium has also served as a music venue for international stars.