Taking a Tour of Trent Bridge
Nottingham was recently named as VisitEngland’s Home of Sport, following a nationwide public vote, and Trent Bridge cricket stadium is undoubtedly one of the city’s sporting highlights. As a regular host of high quality, international sport – and one of cricket’s most storied venues, it’s an iconic gem in Nottinghamshire’s crown.
Standing in West Bridgford, overlooking the tranquil river, Trent Bridge was the venue for a brutal assault from Nottinghamshire’s own Stuart Broad last summer, when his viscous bowling skittled the Australians for just 60 runs – helping to ensure that England won the Ashes at Trent Bridge for the first time in the world’s third oldest test venue’s history
I’m a relative newcomer to Nottinghamshire, so when it was offered, I jumped at the chance to take a look behind the scenes at this fantastic venue.
I met my tour guide, Alan Odell, and he wasted no time filling in the gaps in my knowledge, and explaining the history of the venue and the famous players who’ve graced its green grass.
Firstly, we headed up to the highest point of the stadium, at the top of the Radcliffe Road Cricket Centre. Braving the weather, we enjoyed stunning views of the pitch, as well as panoramic views out over Trent Bridge’s two sporting neighbours – Nottingham Forest’s City Ground, and Notts County’s Meadow Lane.
Inside the Cricket Centre, we stopped in at the nets to see some of Nottinghamshire’s rising stars cracking vicious shots all around, before taking a glimpse at the broadcast facilities. The media have arguably the best view in the Trent Bridge house, sitting comfortably behind huge swathes of glass, and enjoying wide views from behind the bowler’s arm. It was also an opportunity to see the cosy confines from which Test Match Special is broadcast, as well as the surprisingly small room where Sky Sports record their commentaries and analysis.
Next, it was time to head down onto the famous pitch, and wander around to the ground’s old pavilion. It was here where Australia’s captain Ricky Ponting infamously had a few choice words to share with the England balcony, after he was controversially run-out by a substitute fielder in the gripping 2005 Ashes.
The pavilion was the highlight of the tour for me, as we got to go behind the scenes to see the players’ dressing rooms and look deep into the history and heritage of the ground – including seeing the huge collection of cricket bats that were bought from cricketing icons like W.G. Grace. The pavilion remains stubbornly traditional, and its wooden balconies, and dim changing rooms are charmingly old fashioned.
After a quick visit to the ground’s huge library – which is filled with every Statto’s dream of endless cricketing results, averages and stories – the tour was at an end. Alan’s enthusiasm and knowledge helped to ensure that the afternoon flew by, and I felt like I’d absorbed endless tidbits and insights about this cricket ground and the legends who have graced its corridors and dressing rooms.
If you’ve any interest in Nottinghamshire – and international – sport, then it’s definitely worth taking the tour and enjoying a look around this one-of-a-kind cricket ground. Trent Bridge will be hosting two One Day Internationals, this summer, when England will take on the might of Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Or, take a seat to see Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, playing in regular T-20 and County Championship matches at this famous old venue.