James Brayshaw has lived in Adelaide for almost half his life. After spending only two years here at school before relocating, James is now happy to call it his home, having lived here for the past 15 years. He has managed to combine his love of sport (he played professional cricket for about 10 years) with journalism and make a career out of it. He is a sports reporter and commentator and is also heard on radio's Triple M breakfast show. He is also a husband and father and is the first to boast about what a wonderful place Adelaide is.
James began with a tour of the Adelaide Oval, long regarded as one of Australia's prettiest ovals. Two-hour tours are held there every day on non-match days, Monday to Friday from 10am.
The oval was established following the formation of the SACA (South Australian Cricket Association) in 1871, but it wasn't until 1884 that the very first Test match was held here. England defeated Australia by eight wickets before a record crowd of 50,962. Since then it has seen many more matches as well as football games, athletics and other events. It's home to the South Australian cricket team, the West End Redbacks.
The highest recorded crowd number is 62,543 at an Australian Rules Grand Final between Port Adelaide and Sturt in 1965. Two stands were added in 2003, increasing the ground's capacity to around 34,000 for football games and 32,000 for cricket matches. The ground also hosts rugby league and union matches and concerts.
Tours go round the entire oval, so you get a good look at the grounds, stands, change rooms and all-important scoreboard.
Adelaide Oval's scoreboard isn't the original, but is nevertheless most impressive. It has four levels on the inside, connected by a set of stairs. The only electrical item is the light globe indicating the batsman on strike and fielder. The rest of its operation is entirely mechanical. At least two attendants are needed to operate it for football matches and as many as six for cricket test matches.
Tours end in the Adelaide Oval Museum at the eastern end of the Sir Donald Bradman Stand. This was opened in 1995 and has some excellent displays of cricketing memorabilia bats, balls, baggy green caps, trophies and photographs. Anyone with an interest in cricket will love this tour.