There are some pretty spectacular settings and stadiums in the world of cricket. ANDRE HUISAMEN picks his top-five favourite venues on the planet.
Newlands (Cape Town, South Africa)
Under the oaks, Castle Corner, the Railway Stand, Table Mountain, Devil’s Peak. Newlands is steeped in Cape Town and South African cricket history. This magical spot has become a dream venue for any cricket lover from around the world.
The traditional New Year’s Test is now an iconic slot in the annual cricket calendar as Newlands welcomes tourists and passionate Proteas fans to experience its beautiful scenery. Newlands played host to the opening ceremony and first match of the 2003 Cricket World Cup, which was held in South Africa for the first time. The ground first opened its gates back in 1888.
Melbourne Cricket Ground (Melbourne, Australia)
Nothing beats the feeling of waking up on 26 December each year, knowing the annual Boxing Day Test match is taking place in Australia. Similar to the New Year’s Test in Cape Town, Melbourne has become the venue for an enthralling day of cricket.
Also known as ‘The G’, the venue packs a capacity crowd of 100,024 spectators, making it the largest stadium in the southern hemisphere and the second-largest cricket stadium in the world. It was built in 1853 and has hosted numerous famous sporting events, including the 2015 Cricket World Cup final.
Lord’s (London, England)
The home of cricket. The pride of English royalty and setting for a lot of history and tradition that has shaped the modern game as we know it. The stadium was named after its founder, Thomas Wood, and was established back in 1814. The facility also houses the world’s oldest sporting museum.
Lord’s has featured a lot of truly spectacular cricket encounters including a few successful South African results. Who will ever forget Graeme Smith’s knock there back in 2003 or Makhaya Ntini’s famous 10-wicket haul during the same match. Lord’s also hosted the 2019 Cricket World Cup final, which England dramatically won in a Super Over.
Eden Gardens (Kolkata, India)
This magnificent venue used to be the biggest cricket stadium in the world before the Narendra Modi Stadium was built in Ahmedabad last year. The fast outfield has led to many runs being scored in this coliseum packed with passionate cricket fans.
In 1987 it hosted its first World Cup final and was also the venue for Carlos Brathwaite’s heroics in the 2016 T20 World Cup final between the West Indies and England. It is known as the Mecca of Indian cricket.
Galle (Galle, Sri Lanka)
Flanked by two parts of the Indian Ocean in the small city of Galle, the beautiful stadium is any touring party’s dream. Offering much more than just cricket, fans are spoiled with a view of the blue ocean, while also watching their team in action.
Known as ‘The Esplanade’, Galle holds a special place for Sri Lankan cricket. The pitch is a spinner’s paradise and many teams have fallen to big defeats there. The famous 16th-century clocktower of the Dutch Fort has also become a popular get-together spot for fans not in the stadium.