The Kennington area has a long history with cricket, the first reference being in 1730 when Surrey and Middlesex played on Kennington Common, now Kennington Park.
In 1835 a ten acre plot of land called the ‘Oval’ was leased to the Otter family. Ten years later a new sub-lease was agreed which allowed the land to be converted into a cricket ground, and later in 1845 the Surrey County Cricket Club was formed. The first county match was played in 1846 against the MCC.
In 1934 Jack Hobbs retired as the leading batsman in the world and the ‘Jack Hobbs Gates’ opened and became one of the major ground entrances at the Oval.