Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

The Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) is an important part of the heritage of the city of Sydney, Australia.

Australia celebrates a 4 - 0 claiming the urn and the Ashes at the fifth Test hosted at the SCG (2017/2018) by Sydney Cricket and Sports GroundsSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

Many champions have been crowned on this turf, Australian Football League (AFL) premiership flags have been unfurled, and records have been written here. The ground, like the sports themselves, has evolved to meet changing times and demands.

Aerial View Of The Sydney Cricket Ground (1967)Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

But it has always remained connected to its past, through the timeless Ladies and Members Pavilions and the dreams of its players and fans.

The Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) is Sydney’s original sporting precinct. The SCG has hosted more elite sport than any comparable facility in the world.

A stage for domestic and international cricket, rugby league, rugby union, football, as well as the 1938 Empire Games, Major League Baseball, cycling, Highland Games, lawn tennis events.

Wave Aid And Sound Relief Concerts At The Sydney Cricket Ground (2005/2009) by Photograph by Hamilton LundSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

Not to mention concerts by stars like U2, Prince, and Madonna.

The Cricket Ground, Sydney (1886) by UnknownSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

In 1851, Colonel Henry Bloomfield was stationed at the Victoria Barracks. He applied to use the scrubby expanse of land south of the barracks for his soldiers. Once permission was granted, the soldiers cultivated 25 acres of the once sandy hills into a military garden and cricket ground—now the SCG.

Paul RoosSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

Walk through the entrance of SCG, home of the Sydney Swans Football Club, and be engulfed in a sea of red and white. The Swans have an eventful sports history, including the club’s relocation from South Melbourne for the 1982 season. Today, they are Sydney’s most popular sporting team.

Paul KellySydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

This is a sculpture of Paul Kelly, who joined the Swans in 1990. In 234 games, he kicked 200 goals. “Captain Courageous” captained the Swans for a club-record 182 matches over 10 consecutive seasons. There are 13 more bronze sculptures of great athletes around the precinct.

The SCG holds at least 54 events on the field each year, as well as training and media activities. More than a dozen grounds staff work to maintain the field to international standards.

There are nine permanent cricket pitches in the centre square. The SCG uses Legend couch grass and during winter is oversown with rye grass. The field itself slopes to the boundaries, assisting with drainage in wet weather.

Barford Perkins Roller readied at the SCG wicket square by Sydney Cricket and Sports GroundsSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

Before machinery, a cricket pitch was prepared using a roller pulled by a large horse. The first mechanical roller arrived in 1928. It is still in use today.

Bulli Soil Ball (1900)Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

This ball was made of Bulli soil from the SCG pitch more than 100 years ago. Bulli soil is a black clay-like material, which provides a hard foundation and is famed for its cricket pitches. Bulli soil was introduced to the SCG in the late 1800s from Bulli Colliery in Wollongong, south of Sydney.

The Australians And The West Indies (1978)Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

Six light towers were installed at a cost of $1.2M for the first game of World Series Cricket between Australia and the West Indies in 1978. The first match at night took place in 1930 at the Sydney Sports Ground. World Series Cricket made night cricket a permanent part of the sport.

The SCG Ladies Pavilion is heritage-listed and recognised worldwide. Designed by Sydney architect John Kirkpatrick in a Moorish style, common for the era, and built by the McLeod Brothers. The pavilion was opened on December 12, 1896, the same day as a cycle track around the perimeter was opened.

Some 5000 people attended the opening. At the time, ladies were considered guests of male members and excluded from the Members Pavilion; in fact, full membership was not granted to women until 1974.

Women Playing Cricket On The Sydney Cricket Ground, (1886) by Source: Town And Country Journal, 17 April 1886. Courtesy Of R. LilienthalSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

Cricket became a popular pastime for women in the colony in the late 1800s. Today, women play cricket professionally. The first organised game of women’s cricket in Australia was played at the SCG in 1886.

Going To Afternoon Tea, Rear Of The Ladies Pavilion (1901) by Image: Courtesy Of The National Library AustraliaSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

As was common during long cricket matches, patrons would head down from the rear of the Ladies Pavilion to the main tearoom on the ground floor. This space is now occupied by the SCG Museum.

Sydney Cricket Ground Museum by Photograph by Hamilton LundSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

The Sydney Cricket Ground Museum is a working historical registrar dedicated to collecting, documenting, preserving and displaying the unique sporting and social activities that have occurred on the grounds of the SCG, the Sydney Sports Ground, SCG No.2 and the Sydney Football Stadium.

The first Members Pavilion was built in 1878 on the site where the Ladies Pavilion now stands. In 1886 the Members Pavilion you see today was erected. It was built by Parry & Sons and cost £6,625.

It includes a bar, known as the Long Bar, lower and upper seating decks and change rooms, which were extended in 1903. The tradition and history of the Members Pavilion is embodied in its Victorian features and memorabilia on display.

Jane Mcgrath Day (2009)Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

The Members Pavilion provides the backdrop to thousands of memorable moments. In this photo, spectators participate in Jane McGrath Day. Since 2009, this annual event—the largest sporting charity event in Australia—has raised funds to finance nurses to support breast cancer patients.

Badge - Membership Sydney Cricket Ground, (1918/1919) by Amor, SydneySydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

SCG membership dates to 1878. The original leather tickets were replaced by metal badges like this in 1900. This badge was owned by the cricketer Charles “The Terror” Turner, one of Australia’s greatest bowlers. Today, SCG members carry a plastic card like a credit card.

The Away Change Room Doors (2001/2015) by NSW Room Attendant: Rocky HarrisSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

The Members Pavilion Away Change Room once housed a cupboard for essential supplies. In 2001, an attendant inscribed a tribute to a player on the cupboard doors. A new tradition was born: Players began to transcribe their own messages on the doors when they took five wickets or scored a century.

The SCG’s newest grandstand is named after three important Australian sportsmen: Montague Alfred Noble, a cricketer who played 42 Tests in the 1900s; Sir Donald Bradman, cricket’s greatest player; and Dally Messenger, a rugby union player who became rugby league’s first superstar.

The stand was jointly funded by the Federal and State governments and the SCG itself. It has a 434m2 scoreboard, free wi-fi and a 500-screen IPTV network.

Transforming the SCG (2014) by Photograph by Hamilton LundSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

In 2014, the SCG was transformed so that the Arizona Diamondbacks could host the LA Dodgers in the Major League Baseball Opening Series Matches. The games drew capacity crowds and a global television audience as large as the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Waugh Acknowledges The Crowd That He Brougt To A Standing Ovation As He And Batting Partner Adam Gilchrist Leave The Sydney Cricket Ground (2002/2003) by Photograph by Hamilton LundSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

Loyal fans filled the stands to see legend Steve Waugh in his final Ashes Test in January 2003. Waugh cover-drove a boundary off the last ball of day two to raise his score from 98 to 102. The crowd went wild when his century came up before the day ended.

Keeping score is an important part of the game. Over time, sporting scores have been recorded in different ways at the SCG—from silk prints to digital displays. The scoreboard became a permanent structure on the grounds in January of 1896.

Since then, the SCG has had six scoreboards. As technology advances, the board is updated. It has changed from mechanical to electronic. The current board is a digital vision screen, which can feature live action, player statistics, and commercial content.

England V NswSW, Printed Scorecard On Silk (1862) by UnknownSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

This is a printed silk scorecard from the first English cricket tour of Australia in 1862.

Sydney Cricket Ground, Scoreboard (1956)Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

In the past, spectators liked to recline and watch the game from the area known as “the Hill.” This photograph, taken in 1956, shows fans in front of the mechanical scoreboard by Robertson and Marks, which was built in 1924.

SCG Electronic Scoreboard Parts (1983)Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

The first electronic scoreboard was installed at the SCG in 1983, replacing the mechanical scoreboard. Since then, technological improvements have seen the introduction of modern video screens, with the essential components of subsequent models becoming smaller.

The Digital Scoreboard (2013)Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

The Messenger scoreboard, erected in 2014, measured 276m2. In 2018 the scoreboard was modified: additional elements were added creating an overall screen that now measures 434m2 the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

The SCG maintains the Members and Ladies pavilions but has replaced other stands as the demands for comfort and modern facilities grow.

The Brewongle Stand built in 1980 and was named after the original stand that stood on the same site. The Bill O’Reilly Stand, built in 1984 is named after the Australian leg spinner.

The Clive Churchill Stand was built in 1986, replacing the Sheridan Stand. The Victor Trumper Stand opened in 2008 on the area once known as “The Hill.”

Pat Hills And Bill O'reilly Stand Pat Hills And Bill O'reilly StandSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

The O'Reilly Stand, erected in 1984, was originally named the Pat Hills Stand for the then SCG Chairman. Pat Hills was a New South Wales politician in various high offices.

Pat Hills And Bill O'reilly Stand (1984/1988) by Image: Courtesy Of Fairfax.Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

A change of government brought a change of name to the stand, with the honour going to legendary leg-spinner turned journalist Bill O’Reilly.

Stephen 'yabba' Gascoigne Sculpture, Victor Trumper Stand (2008) by Photograph by Hamilton LundSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

Gascoigne is in the front row of the Victor Trumper Stand. Cathy Weiszmann sculpted Yabba heckling players, which was typical behaviour for him but unusual for the traditionally quiet spectators of his time.

Churchill Stand Churchill Stand (1986)Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

Named after rugby league's Clive “Little Master” Churchill, the Churchill Stand opened in August of 1986, one year after Churchill's death. Churchill is regarded as rugby league’s greatest player and was also a celebrated coach.

Construction Of The New Brewongle Stand, (1980) by Architect's, Robertson And MarksSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

The new Brewongle Stand was completed in 1980 at a cost of $8.9M. The old stand had become known unofficially as the ''the Brewongle'' after a popular tearoom of the same name operating within. Alice and May Lee, two sisters, are believed to have run and named the tearoom during the late 1890s.

Aerial View Of The Sydney Cricket Ground (1967)Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

Sports events have taken place on the site of the original Sydney Football Stadium for over a century. The Sydney Sports Ground, opened in 1903, hosted the football codes, cricket and boxing matches, a speedway and other sporting events.

It was replaced by Sydney Football Stadium in 1988, the first purpose-built rectangular sports field in Australia, hosting rugby, football and concerts by international artists. It closed in 2018 to make way for a new state-of-the-art stadium that will open in 2022.

Sydney Football Stadium Opening (1988) by Sydney Cricket and Sports GroundsSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

On January 24, 1988, the Sydney Football Stadium was opened with a spectacular concert featuring Joe Cocker and John Denver. The concert was organised in celebration of the bicentennial year and the launch of Sydney's first premier rectangular stadium.

Aerial View Of The Sydney Cricket Ground (1967)Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

This aerial photograph shows a double header at the Sydney Cricket Ground and the Show Ground. On the SCG (bottom field) an Australian Rules exhibition match is played. At the Show Ground (upper Field), a rugby league match is played.

Sydney Olympics, Soccer Events Hosted At The Sydney Football Stadium (2000) by Photo: Hans Van De VenSydney Cricket & Sports Grounds

The Sydney Football Stadium was the main competition venue for football (soccer) during the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. It staged 10 matches over seven days, attracting 226,519 spectators.

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