County Cricket Ground, Northampton

Last updated

County Ground
Wantage Road
Northants 780.JPG
County Ground in September 2008
Ground information
Location Northampton
Coordinates 52°14′53.37″N0°52′16.34″W / 52.2481583°N 0.8712056°W / 52.2481583; -0.8712056 Coordinates: 52°14′53.37″N0°52′16.34″W / 52.2481583°N 0.8712056°W / 52.2481583; -0.8712056
Capacity6,500 [1]
End names
Lynn Wilson End NorthamptonCountyCricketGroundPitchDimensions.svg
Wantage Road End
International information
First ODI19 May 1999:
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa v Flag of Sri Lanka.svg  Sri Lanka
Last ODI31 May 1999:
Flag of Bangladesh.svg  Bangladesh v Flag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan
Only women's Test12–15 June 1937:
Flag of England.svg  England v Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia
First WODI9 July 1999:
Flag of England.svg  England v Flag of India.svg  India
Last WODI13 August 2004:
Flag of England.svg  England v Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand
First WT20I22 August 2008:
Flag of England.svg  England v Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa
Last WT20I3 September 2014:
Flag of England.svg  England v Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa
Team information
Northamptonshire (1905–present)
Northampton Town (1897–1994)
As of 26 April 2017
Source: CricketArchive

The County Ground is a cricket venue on Wantage Road in the Abington area of Northampton, England. It is home to Northamptonshire County Cricket Club.


It is known to be a venue which favours spinners, and in the last County Championship game of 2005, Northamptonshire's two spin bowlers Jason Brown and Monty Panesar took all 20 wickets for Northamptonshire.

Northamptonshire played their first match at the ground in 1886 before competing in the Minor Counties Championship competition between 1895 and 1904, winning the title three times. They were accepted into the County Championship and played their first first-class match at the ground on 5 June 1905. Northamptonshire drew with Leicestershire in a rain-hit match that only permitted 75 overs of play.

The County Ground hosted two 1999 Cricket World Cup matches: South Africa's victory over Sri Lanka and Bangladesh's first World Cup victory against eventual finalists Pakistan by 62 runs.


Northampton Town F.C., also known as 'the Cobblers', played their home games at the County Ground for 97 years, between 1897 and 1994. The football ground only had three sides, with an open side being needed due to the size of the cricket field.

The team began in the Northants League, working upward through various leagues before being elected to The Football League in 1920. The team played in all four main divisions during their tenure at the County Ground. Between 1958 and 1965 the team rose from Division 4 all the way to the top tier, the First Division, where they stayed for only one season – 1965–66. Subsequently, the team fell into decline, being relegated to the Fourth Division in 1970 and have played in the third and fourth tiers of the English league ever since.

On 7 February 1970, Northampton Town hosted Manchester United in the FA Cup fifth round at the County Ground and lost 8–2, with George Best scoring six goals.

From the 1970s to the 1990s, the team occupied Division 3 and Division 4, finishing at the bottom of the league in 1994. However, they stayed in the league because the stadium at Kidderminster Harriers, the Football Conference winners, did not meet the standard required for promotion. By that stage, however, construction work on the new all-seater Sixfields Stadium had started. The new stadium was still under construction when the 1994–95 season began, and so the club began that season still at the County Ground.

The Cobblers played their last game there on 12 October 1994 (a 1–0 league defeat to Mansfield Town), [2] and then moved to Sixfields, a four-sided stadium more suitable for football. [3]


Sir Elton John played the first ever concert at the County Ground on 25 June 2011. The show lasted for over two and a half hours. Sir Elton was supported by Ed Drewett. [4] Subsequent concerts have included Tom Jones, Olly Murs, Little Mix and Craig David/Rita Ora.

While the two sports clubs shared the ground, the cricket club's address was 'Wantage Road' whereas the football club's address was 'Abington Avenue'.

See also

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  1. "County Ground". ESPNCricinfo.
  2. "County Ground, Northampton". Old Football Grounds. Archived from the original on 25 November 2009.
  3. "County Ground - Northampton Town FC". Football Ground Guide.
  4. "Elton John Concerts in 2011". Eltonography. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 26 June 2011.