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Sunday, August 19, 2018

QUEEN'S PARK OVAL, THEN, the way it was & NOW, the way it is

Nasser Khan

This series “Then & Now” is sponsored by First Citizens ( and shows places in T&T from yesteryear and the way they look today through contrasting photographs.

The fourth in the series shows the picturesque world-famous cricket ground at the Queen's Park Oval in St Clair, views from the members' pavilion looking northwards at the turn of the century, and more recently. Of note is the lack of fans for the longer version of the game today compared to back then when it was the only format played.

What a difference a hundred years make! The Queen's Park Cricket Club was founded in 1891, its home ground at the time in the Queen's Park Savannah. In March 1896 the club played its last match at the Queen's Park Savannah and moved to its new ground, west of the Savannah, some ten acres of land bounded by Tragarete Road, St Clair Avenue, Elizabeth Street, and Havelock Street. Before the end of 1896, the pavilion had been erected, the first building on the site. Queen's Park was ready to welcome an English team led by Lord Hawke, with the first international match being played at the Oval on January 29 and 30, 1897.

With the magnificent backdrop and close proximity of the beautiful Northern Range, the popularity and development of the ground grew quickly. The spreading, majestic and shady Samaan trees planted in those years are no longer due to the 'price of progress' and age, of course. Like most grounds in the region, it underwent a facelift ahead of the 2007 World Cup.

The Brian Lara Pavilion, the players' and members' pavilion, is today the central building named after its most famous member, arguably the greatest batsman the world has ever seen, Brian Charles Lara.


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