Not being a particularly great fan of Cricket, the opportunity for seeing first class cricket grounds was somewhat limited, with my grand total sitting at a somewhat hefty zero! But whilst visiting Headingley for Rugby I was pleased to get the chance to go ‘next door’ and have a walk round the home of Yorkshire CCC.
Even to a non-cricket fan such as myself, then the name is legendary, although that didn’t stop Michael Atherton describing it as “a place with no soul” in a Telegraph article a few years ago. Personally I wouldn’t be so sure about that. Most of the ground is largely new/well developed. The South Stand is a two tiered structure, joined with the Rugby ground’s North Stand behind it, sharing the facilities inside and providing the only cover on this side of the site. To the left of it is the West Stand, a long sweeping terrace of open seating which runs round to the Kirstall Lane End of the ground, which has three stands, firstly the North Stand which is an unusual looking design, with two tiers of seating separated by a row of executive boxes. The upper tier of seats is built at quite a shallow angle, giving quite an odd look. To the right of that is another two tiered structure, more modern, with the scoreboard at one end, whilst the most modern structure, the East Stand sits beyond that with a lower tier of seating beneath two rows of executive boxes. The pavilion sits behind this and the South Stand, completing the full circle.
As well as Atherton, I’ve seen the venue receive criticism from other sources as well, described as a mish-mash of stands, with no cohesion, but after going round taking a few pictures (the panoramics probably give the best overall feel to the layout), then I must say I like it. To be fair, I’ve got nothing to compare it to, but all the same it seems a good ground to me.
The Headingley Lodge Hotel
The South Stand
The West Stand
The North Stand/Kirkstall Lane End
The East Stand
Headingley Panoramic 1
Headingley Panoramic 2