Arguably the biggest change in Old Trafford's cricketing history has just happened.
As part of the ground’s redevelopment, the square was reoriented 90 degrees at the end of 2010 to prevent play being lost due to the setting sun in September and to provide some additional wickets
So after 153 years of cricket being played on wickets running east-west, players and spectators are going to have to adjust to a new north-south axis in operation from 2011.
It’s not the first time this happened. Lancashire played the touring Pakistan team on a north-south wicket in 1967, but the one-off experiment did not lead to a permanent change.
From this season, bowlers at Old Trafford will now be running in from the Pavilion End (at the north end of the ground) and the Statham End.
The Statham End – named after Lancashire and England fast bowler Brian Statham, who took over 2,000 wickets for the Red Rose in an 18-year county career – will see bowlers come in from south to north.
Jim Cumbes, chief executive of Lancashire County Cricket Club, said: “The chance to name ends at cricket grounds doesn’t come around too often and following the rotation of the square we were presented with such an opportunity.
“The Committee had no hesitation in honouring one of our greatest ever players, Brian Statham, whose contribution to cricket for Lancashire and England will last long into the future.”
It will also mean that for the first time in the Club's history, bar that one-off match 44 years ago, Members sitting in their pavilion will be able to watch from behind the bowler's arm.”
Photo: The great Brian Statham, photographed at Old Trafford in 1956
(c) PA Images