County Cricket Ground, Chelmsford

Last updated

Cloudfm County Ground
Essex CCC vs Gloucestershire CCC 2008.jpg
The Pavilion at Chelmsford
Ground information
Location Chelmsford, Essex
End names
  River End   ChelmsfordCountyCricketGroundPitchDimensions.svg
Hayes Close End
International information
First ODI20 June 1983:
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia v Flag of India.svg  India
Last ODI29 May 1999:
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa v Flag of Zimbabwe.svg  Zimbabwe
First WODI20 June 2000:
Flag of England.svg  England v Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa
Last WODI13 June 2019:
Flag of England.svg  England v WestIndiesCricketFlagPre1999.svg  West Indies
First WT20I29 June 2010:
Flag of England.svg  England v Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand
Last WT20I14 July 2021:
Flag of England.svg  England v Flag of India.svg  India
Team information
Essex (1925 present)
As of 14 July 2021
Source: CricketArchive

The Essex County Ground (ECG) is a cricket venue in Chelmsford, Essex, England. It has been used by Essex County Cricket Club for first-class cricket since 1925 and List A matches since 1969, and has been the county's official home ground since 1967. [1] The ground has a capacity of 6,500, mostly in single-tier seating with a single double-tiered stand. [1] Its pavilion was completed in the 1970s. [1]



Essex's first match at the ground took place in June 1925 against Oxford University. [2] and their first County Championship game at Chelmsford was against Somerset in 1926. [3] When the club left its headquarters at Leyton Cricket Ground at the end of the 1933 season they began a period of playing games at various venues around the county, with a week allocated to each. Chelmsford was given two weeks a season [4] but poor attendances led to Essex ceasing to play at the ground after 1956. [5] In 1966 the club purchased the Chelmsford ground for £15,000, with some financial assistance from Warwickshire's Supporters Association, and the ground became Essex's headquarters with home matches returning there from the 1967 season. [6] The pavilion was opened during the 1970 season [7] and the permanent scoreboard at the ground was constructed in 1981. [3]

Domestic cricket

The River End of the ground, showing the main scoreboard Essex CCC v Sri Lankans 2016.jpg
The River End of the ground, showing the main scoreboard

Chelmsford is a small ground, and is notoriously difficult to defend a total at in limited overs cricket, demonstrated by the fact that no side has ever defended a score of under 170 in T20 cricket here. [8] Former Essex and England batsman Graham Gooch scored most of his first-class runs there. [1] Graham Napier scored 152 off 58 balls (16 sixes and 10 fours) in a Twenty20 match v Sussex at the ground. [9] The success of Essex County Cricket Club in the shorter versions of the game between 2005 and 2008 led to the attraction of many new fans. Eventually the ground was regularly selling out in Twenty20 and Friends Provident Trophy games.

The Ford Motor Company had naming rights for the ground for between 2005 and 2013. [10] [11] From 2017 to 2019 the naming rights to the stadium have been bought by Cloudfm and therefore the ground will be known as the Cloudfm County Ground. [12] The large amount of passionate support Essex receive at this ground has led to it being popularly referred to as 'Fortress Chelmsford'. [13]

International cricket

As of February 2021, the venue has hosted three men's One Day International (ODI) matches. The first ODI was played between Australia and India during the 1983 Cricket World Cup and the last ODI match was played between South Africa and Zimbabwe during the 1999 Cricket World Cup.

In 2020, the venue was scheduled to host an international match when Ireland's National Cricket Team were due to be playing against Bangladesh in the second T20I match of the tour; being held in England due to renovations and unavailability of ICC-standard pitches in Ireland the T20I. This was supposed to be the first time Ireland are hosting any match outside Ireland. [14] However the series is now on hold (As at 28/05/2020) and is currently unknown if any of the scheduled matches are to be rescheduled or cancelled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Ground redevelopment since 2010

New development to the ground include the building of new apartment blocks, the construction of a new cricket school, public square and an access bridge from the Chelmsford town centre side of the ground. [15] In 2019 the ground's floodlights were replaced by larger, square floodlights.

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  1. 1 2 3 4 "County Ground". ESPNcricinfo . Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  2. Lemmon, Marshall 1987, p. 164.
  3. 1 2 Powell 1989, p. 61.
  4. Lemmon, Marshall 1987, p. 186.
  5. Lemmon, Marshall 1987, p. 239.
  6. Lemmon, Marshall 1987, p. 383.
  7. Preston, Norman, ed. (1971). Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. 1971. London: Sporting Handbooks. p. 336. ISBN   0850200237.
  8. "What's a winning score on this pitch?". T20 Head to Head. 27 May 2021. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  9. "Awesome Napier shatters records". BBC Sport. 24 June 2008. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  10. "Essex rename ground with sponsors". BBC Sport. 17 March 2005. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  11. Arnold, David (17 January 2013). "Essex keen to sell name of stadium". This is total Essex. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  12. "Cloudfm 'declares' new sponsorship deal with Essex Cricket | Cloudfm Group". Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  13. Long, James (21 May 2012). "Eagle Extras: Just how big are Essex?". Eastern Daily Press . Archived from the original on 10 March 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  14. "Ireland set to host Bangladesh T20Is in England". Cricbuzz. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  15. "Essex County Cricket Club signs ground redevelopment deal". BBC News. 14 January 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2017.


See also

Coordinates: 51°43′53.60″N0°28′08.63″E / 51.7315556°N 0.4690639°E / 51.7315556; 0.4690639