The County Cricket Ground of Taunton is located at Somerset. It is the most south-westerly of the first-class grounds. It is located in the town of Taunton itself and is easily accessible from the centre of the town. It has been the home of Somerset cricket since 1882. But the county was included in county championship only in 1892. It became a home of women's cricket in England in 2006.
The ground has a seating capacity of 9,000. The ends are known as the River End and the Old Pavilion End. One of the stands has been named after Ian Botham, former captain of English team. The ground also has a museum. The ground retains character despite undergoing renovations.
Taunton Deane Borough Council is assisting in the redevelopment process. This will increase the seating capacity to around 15,000. The renovation is progressing in phases so as to not hamper cricket and other activities of the club. Financial viability is also taken into consideration. Boundaries have to be increased to fit a standard international pitch.
A greyhound track which used to encircle the playing area was removed in the 1970s. The Old Pavilion End has the towers of St. Jame's, St. George's, and St. Mary's churches overlooking behind it and the Quantock Hills are at the other end. The main gates have been named after JC White, who traded here from 1909 to 1937. Around 10,000 people flocked to the stadium in 1948 to witness Don Bradman's Invincibles. It also hosted world cup matches in 1983 and 1999. India scored a mammoth 373 runs for the loss of 6 wickets during its world cup match against Sri Lanka in 1999. Saurav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid scored centuries. They put on a 318-run stand for the second wicket.
The ground has seen many great innings. Two quadruple hundreds have been scored here. Melbourne and Karachi share this record. Archie Maclaren (England) scored 424 runs followed by 405 runs by Graeme Hick (England) 93 years later. Vivian Richards (West Indies) scored a breath-taking 322 runs in a day against Warwickshire in 1985. RM Poore (Hampshire) scored 304 runs against Somerset in 1899. Even bowlers have done well here. Jack Hobbs (England) equaled and then surpassed WG Grace's record of 126 first-class centuries on this ground in 1925.
Elton John gave an open-air concert to a packed crowd of 23,000 on June 18, 2006. He dedicated one of his songs to Ian Botham who was watching the concert from his namesake pavilion.
Taunton hosts the group matches of Women's T20 World Cup 2009.
Get information on County Cricket Ground of Taunton, the venue for the ICC Women's Twenty20 World Cup 2009.