What’s so special about the Kia Oval?The Oval is a historic cricket ground, home to Surry County Cricket Club since 1845 and the site of England’s first international cricket and football matches. Most importantly for the history of English cricket, it was the location of the match between England and Australia in 1880, which Australia won, leading to the famous Sporting Times obituary for English cricket and the creation of the Ashes trophy.
I want to watch a match but I don’t understand cricket. What should I see?If you’re not a cricket fan but you want to watch a game, it’s best to go to a Twenty20 (or T20) fixture. Unlike test matches, which can take several days to play, T20 is limited to 20 overs (6 balls bowled by a single bowler) in an inning, with each team having one inning, and takes about 3 hours for a single match. For a whole day event, try a match from the Royal London One-Day Cup, which has 50 overs per inning and will take about 8 hours including a 45-minute break.
What do you get to see on a stadium tour?In addition to a tour of the stands, you’ll get to try your hand in the commentators’ box, see the Committee Room, and visit the Club Museum in the Member’s Pavilion, before finishing up with tea and coffee overlooking the outfield. You might also get to see the player’s changing room and go onto the field itself, but access to those areas will depend on whether or not you’re visiting on a match day.
Is the tour suitable for kids?It depends on whether your children have an interest in cricket - if they don’t then it probably won’t hold their attention for very long. There’s plenty to interest young cricket fans, including the chance to see the changing rooms and behind-the-scenes of the commentary box, and it’ll help them understand how a club and stadium work before watching a match there. That being said, the tour isn’t particularly designed for children and is 90 minutes long, and parents should bear those things in mind when deciding whether to book the tour.