If you’re taking some time out and are lucky enough to travel around the world as a cricket tourist, here are some of the best museums devoted to our favourite sport.
Where is the World’s Biggest Cricket Museum?
The biggest cricket museum in the world is the Blades of Glory Museum in Pune, India. It’s the most visited cricket museum in India and one that houses an incredible range of exhibits.
It’s situated in Sahakar Nagar in the city of Pune and is currently home to 2,000 items with around another 51,000 pieces of memorabilia waiting to be showcased. The brainchild of Rohan Pate, it’s the biggest of all current cricket museums and is starting to attract visitors from all over the world.
Who is Rohan Pate?
The man behind the biggest cricket museum in the world, Rohan Pate is a dedicated cricket fan and a former Indian Under 19 player. He started out as a personal collector, looking to acquire items at auction
Having started to pick up the occasional piece of memorabilia, Pate’s obsession grew. In the present day, he has now assembled more than 51,000 items, although not all of them are visible to the public as yet.
Cricket is very lucky to have a man such as Rohan Pate. South Africa’s legendary fast bowler Allan Donald said that he had never met anyone as passionate about the game and that passion has led to the largest cricket museum in India and the world.
The World’s Best Cricket Museums
New Zealand Cricket Museum, Wellington
Wellington is the capital of New Zealand and it has been the site of many great cricketing contests over the years. The ground is known as the Basin Reserve and that’s where you can find this amazing cricket museum.
First established in 1987, it is used to display cricket memorabilia from around the world but there is a focus on items from its native New Zealand. Remember that this country produced some of the world’s best players including Sir Richard Hadlee who is their only player knighted for cricketing reasons.
Items of Hadlee’s match gear are contained in the New Zealand cricket museum alongside those of Bert Sutcliffe and Stephen Fleming. Women’s cricket gets a lot of coverage too, as it should.
If you’re watching a game at the Basin Reserve or, if you’re just in the Wellington area, a trip to the New Zealand cricket museum is highly recommended.
Blades of Glory Cricket Museum, Pune, India
We’ve already met Rohan Pate’s Blades of Glory and we know that this is the biggest cricket museum in the world. Over 51,000 pieces of cricket memorabilia are housed here with around 2,000 currently visible to the public.
Included in the collection is a bat which was once used by Donald Bradman and the pink ball that was used for the first ever day/night test match. There are many signed bats plus clothing, helmets, stumps, books and much more.
It is officially the biggest of the world’s many cricket museums and it looks like a trip to the Blades of Glory in Pune is in order before too long.
Melbourne Cricket Museum, Australia
The Melbourne Cricket Ground hosted the world’s first ever test match back in 1877 so it’s only fitting that the city should house a museum dedicated to the game. The biggest cricket museum in Australia is situated at the MCG and it was officially opened in 2006.
In the present day, it is home to over 1,500 exhibits which cover much of cricket’s history. Among the many highlights is a silver urn to replicate the Ashes which was awarded to Frank Laver’s successful team in 1909.
Look out too for the Blackham Ball, a well worn cricket ball which dates from the 19th century. It was used in the Ashes of 1882 and was responsible for the winning delivery at Lord’s. Wicket keeper Jack Blackham kept it for over 30 years until it was auctioned off in 1916 to raise funds for wounded First World War soldiers.
It’s a standout piece among many impressive items at the Melbourne Cricket Museum in Australia.
Lord’s Cricket Museum, London
This is the home of cricket so you would expect Lord’s to house one of the best cricket museums in the world. Situated in north west London, it’s open throughout the year but it can certainly provide a good addition to your enjoyment of a match here.
Up until the Blades of Glory location came along, this was the biggest cricket museum in the world, and it remains a vast treasure trove of fascinating items. The MCC Museum was officially opened by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1953 and its most treasured possession is the original Ashes Urn.
Created in 1888, the Ashes trophy was donated to Lord’s in 1928 and it rarely leaves the site. If you’re visiting the museum, it’s worth a trip for this artefact alone but there is so much more to enjoy.
Once again there is a lot of player-worn kit. This time, however, it goes deeper into history and it also involves players from all around the world. Shane Warne, Don Bradman, Jack Hobbs and many more have donated items to the Lord’s Museum.
From the dawn of cricket through to modern day innovations such as T20 and The Hundred, the MCC museum has it all.
Bradman Museum, Bowral, Australia
The great Don Bradman hailed from Bowral and it’s fitting that one of the best cricket museums around is situated in this New South Wales town.
Unsurprisingly, a lot of the artefacts that are stored here relate to the career of Bradman himself. There is match worn equipment including a baggy green cap plus blazers, bats and more.
This Australian cricket museum prides itself on the fact that it carries excellent archive video footage while interactive displays help visitors to get closer to their subject. While Don Bradman is the main focus, there are items from across the country and beyond and the museum aims to put cricket into context in terms of world history.
If you’re fascinated by the career of the world’s greatest ever batsman, a trip to the Bradman Museum at Bowral is a must. There is, however, plenty of other interesting things to see which will delight any cricket enthusiast.
A visit to a museum is a must if you are fanatical about any area of life. If you’re reading this, you may well share my passion for cricket and, if so, the locations here should now be on your radar.
Like any sport, cricket is proud of its heritage, but I think it is more careful than most about protecting its past. Thanks to societies and the hard work of individuals such as Rohan Pate, the concept of maintaining a cricket museum is thriving.
Some are steeped in history and have been open for many years. Others are newer but it’s great to see that there is interest in cricket museums. This ensures that the future will see even more exhibits added and maybe we’ll see some new establishments cropping up as the game continues to grow across the world.