Saturday, January 26, 2013

Top 10 Cricket Grounds in The World and Known For Their Wonderful Facilities

Top Ten Best Cricket Stadium in The World and Their Audience Capacity

A game of cricket cannot be played without a proper stadium. There are no international matches held on ‘maidans’ or playgrounds afterall. There are several factors that determine how excellent a stadium actually is. Whether in terms of lighting, crowd capacity, pitches, facilities, aerial view and so on. But there have been just a few which can be termed ‘excellent’ because any stadium can have a pitch or products such as a carpet to cover the pitch or a roller to remove the grass from it as well decent seating. Some of them though go much beyond the basics and have made a name for themselves in cricketing history. Here are those who have been able to do so.

1) Lord’s Cricket Ground, London (England)-


Located in the area of St. John’s Wood in North London, the Lord’s Cricket Ground is definitely one of the finest cricket stadiums in the world. Also known as the ‘Home of Cricket’, Lord’s was once the centre of the cricketing globe, since most of the administrative decisions courtesy the ICC having its headquarters here until 2005, were taken on the premises of this very ground.

For a spectator, there is some aura in the ground the moment you enter it. It is definitely a must see venue atleast once in your lifetime. Since you do not get to see a museum, a gigantic media centre, two restaurants or a Long Room which is the link to the ground from the dressing room, in any other cricket ground.  

Besides on the ground, there are 30,000 seats in total and has a peculiar slope which makes a long boundary and causes appreciable deviation in bounce of the ball on the pitch, making it easier to move the ball in to right-handed batsmen when bowling from the Pavilion End, and easier to move it away when bowling from the Nursery End.

2) Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Melbourne (Australia)-

The MCG is the largest cricket ground in the world, founded in 1854 with a capacity of 100,000 people and a playing area 172.9 m long and 147.8 m wide. It holds several other records such as being the tenth largest sports stadium in the world and having the highest light towers at any sporting venue.

The ‘G’ as it is affectionately called by the people of Melbourne, has hosted the 1956 Olympic games and the 2006 Commonwealth Games apart from cricket and Australian rules football matches, which are played in the winter season.

But when it comes to cricket, in Australia it hosts the Boxing Day Test match every year on the 26th December, drawing out normally huge crowds since it is usually a half day for the working class and the stadium is in the heart of the city, in the area of Richmond and more precisely in the Yarra Park. While even in ODIs, matches held here are a financial success for Cricket Australia since the ground is in the east side of the city’s CBD, which allows business people to actually take a short walk from their offices after 5 pm to watch the second half of a day-night ODI.

3) Eden Gardens, Kolkata (India)-

Founded in 1864, the Eden Gardens is India’s answer to the MCG. The stadium is located in the Binoy Badal Dinesh Bag area of the city, near the State Secretariat and the High Court and has hosted 37 Test matches and 25 one-day internationals in its cricketing history. 

It first hosted a Test match in 1934 against England, led by Douglas Jardine which would go on to win inside four days. While it’s first ODI was the 1987 World Cup match between India and Pakistan, which appropriately the then-defending champions and hosts India won by 2 wickets.

It is second biggest cricket stadium in the world, following the Melbourne Cricket Ground  also the second largest stadium in India behind the Salt Lake Stadium, also located in Kolkata. Yet, it possesses a passionate and vociferous crowd, as its seating capacity is 90,000. This is after the decision made by the Cricket Association of Bengal to renovate the stadium. 

Every Indian fan and especially Kolkatan is acquainted of the deafening noise in the stadium, especially when India is winning a match. It can add on to the nerves of the opposition players, which is probably why it is said ‘a cricketer’s cricketing education is not complete till he has played in front of a packed Eden Gardens’. This explains why some cricketers dream of playing in Kolkata more than any other ground in the world atleast once in their career, let alone Lord’s.

4) Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney (Australia)-

Established in 1848, the Sydney Cricket Ground has a capacity of 46,000 making it have a huge seating capacity to make people watch cricket and cheer their respective teams irrespective of wherever they are seated on the ground.

It is situated in Moore Park in the east of Sydney. The Sydney Cricket Ground is not only one of the world’s most famous cricketing venues but also for Australian Rules football and some rugby league football played throughout the year.  It is owned and operated by the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust, a sports company that also manages the Sydney Football Stadium located next door.

5) Kennington Oval, London (England)-

Better known as The Oval, this ground is one of the most breathtaking in England. As the name suggests, it resembles the ‘oval’ shape which is a rarity for a cricket ground which is frequently more circular in shape. It is this ground which has been a source of inspiration for the construction of other grounds across the world in a similar style of architecture, to make it look attractive.

It is located in South London, more precisely the area of Vauxhall whose tube station is 500 m away from the ground. This explains why the ground has an end called the ‘Vauxhall end’. 

Despite some redevelopment, it still represents parts of the ancient English architecture which makes it special to the city and the sport.
This is where international cricket began for England. The inaugural Test match in England was played here in September 1880, resulting in England defeating Australia by five wickets, with the pioneer of batting and the outspoken WG Grace scoring a century on debut. Besides this is where a Test series in England traditionally ends every summer.

6) Old Trafford, Manchester (England)-

The ground’s name is the same as the football one which is the home ground to the popular club, Manchester United. But the cricket ground is different, as it is at a distance of five minutes. It was established as early as in 1857, but the first Test match played here was in 1884 between England and Australia.

Having a capacity of 19000, it is the third ground in the country of England to host the most number of Test matches, after Lords and the Oval since it has hosted as many as 73 Tests. 

The two ends of the ground are the Pavilion End to the north and the Brian Statham End (formerly the Warwick Road End) to the south, which is renamed in honour of the legendary Lancashire and England player. 

The section of Warwick Road at the back of this end is also known as Brian Statham Way. The Old Trafford Metrolink station is connected to the south-eastern part of the ground, making it easy for people to have access for entry.

7) The WACA, Perth (Australia)-

It is owned and operated by the Western Australian Cricket Association. Fascinatingly, the WACA was built on an old swamp land yet it has been the home to many sports which include AFL, rugby and football, but it is the most popular as a cricket ground.

It has a capacity of 22,000, although it can be raised to 24,500 with the use of temporary stands. All those people present on the ground would be the luckiest enough to witness ‘real’ fast bowling. 

The WACA is the most renowned for the fact that it has always been the fastest pitch in the world, as the quality of the pitch alongside the sea breeze called as Fremantle Doctor also helps fast bowlers in bringing out swing, even if the wicket has flattened out. This means that batsmen can be caught off guard any time on such a pitch.

8) Kensington Oval, Barbados (West Indies)-

Formerly known as the Pickwick Cricket Club, the Kensington Oval is a stadium situated in the west of the city Bridgetown which is the capital city of the island of Barbados. It has been existent since the last 130 years although the first Test match played here was between West Indies and England in January 1930.

After its reconstruction for the 2007 50-over World Cup, its seating capacity has been increased to 28,000. The names of the previous stands which made up the Kensington stadium were the George Challenor stand, the Hall and Griffith, the Kensington, the Mitchie Hewitt, the Pickwick, and the Three Ws stand plus the Peter Short Media Centre.

Alongside the WACA, the Kensington Oval was once upon a time said to have one of the fastest pitches in world cricket, so much so that it used to create shivers amongst many opposition batsmen when they came out to bat. 

9) The Wanderers, Johannesburg (South Africa)-

The BIDVest Wanderers Stadium is named so these days because this stadium too is privately owned, since sponsors were invited by Cricket South Africa for more finances. It is also known as the ‘Bull Ring’ because of its style of architecture which is like a ring and its nerve-racking atmosphere just as bull fighting in Spain. So, for opposition teams to win here is a massive achievement.

This is the third Test ground in Johannesburg after the Old Wanderers Stadium and Ellis Park. 

For over three quarters of a century, it has been the hub of Johannesburg’s sporting dreams, whether it is in the field of cricket or golf, which are the two sports which are played the most in the district of Illovo, where the club is based. Or tennis as well as squash for that matter.

10) Newlands, Cape Town (South Africa)-

Undoubtedly, one of the most beautiful grounds in the world. Newlands is what one can call ‘breathtaking’ with the view of the Table Mountain surrounding the stadium being magnificent. In sunshine, it looks as if one has landed in paradise to watch a game of cricket in relaxation as he sits down on one of the 25,000 white seats in the ground. 

While if cloudy, it becomes foggy but it remains a pretty view to the naked eye and the weather gets cooler, which makes it more fun to sit and watch the game.

Newlands is a buzzing area located in the suburbs of Cape Town. Right beside the cricket ground, there is a rugby ground which can sometimes be confusing for someone to determine the entry. Yet, once the ground is reached there are several entries and all of them adorn the posters of Cape Cobras, the team whose home ground is Newlands and have dominated South African domestic cricket since the last six years in almost all formats of the game.

Several great players have Newlands as their home ground such as Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher and Herschelle Gibbs.








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