History credits England with having invented cricket so it’s natural that we should expect some of the oldest cricket grounds to be located here. This is my round up of the best of those stadiums.
How Many Cricket Stadiums are there in England?
As of 2021 there are 11 stadiums in England which host international cricket. In addition, 12 cricket grounds have held international games in the past.
There are 18 professional counties in England and Wales and each of those have access to at least two grounds. Add in the many thousands of club and village cricket grounds and there is a significant number.
12 Best Cricket Grounds in England and Wales
Cricket fans in England will often refer to Lord’s as ‘headquarters’. It’s the most famous ground in the country and it’s the place where all touring teams want to visit. Named after its founder Thomas Lord, the original ground was opened in 1774 before moving to its current location in 1814.
Lord’s held its first match in 1884 and now holds the record for most tests in the UK. In the present day, it hosts tests, ODIs, T20i’s plus domestic matches in all forms including The Hundred.
There have been some memorable games here but perhaps the most famous of all came in 1984 when the touring West Indies made 344-1 on fourth innings to win, after England had declared.
2. Trent Bridge
Trent Bridge is located in Nottingham and is another of England’s most historic test grounds. It’s known as a fast-scoring ground in limited overs cricket and the two highest team scores, as of 2021, have been made here.
In 2018, England compiled a colossal 481/6 against Australia while two years earlier they made 444/3 versus Pakistan. Trent Bridge was opened in 1841 and its first match took place in 1899. Currently, the stadium hosts tests, ODIs and T20is plus domestic cricket in all formats.
Trent Bridge also serves as home ground for the Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club.
3. The Oval
Based in London, The Oval holds the honour of hosting the first ever test match to be played in England. 1880 was the year and Australia were the visitors.
It’s a regular on the circuit and The Oval has now hosted more than 100 tests. ODIs and T20is are also played here along with county games for Surrey and Hundred matches for Oval Invincibles.
In 2007, Surrey made the world’s biggest List A score when they compiled 496/4 against Gloucestershire.
4. Edgbaston Stadium
Based in Birmingham, the Edgbaston ground was opened in 1882 and it hosted its first test twenty years later. Like the other stadiums in the top six, it also holds limited overs internationals plus domestic competitions.
Domestically, Warwickshire and the Birmingham Phoenix play here. Edgbaston is known for its lively atmosphere and boisterous crowd. Of all the great matches to be played here, Edgbastion’s Ashes Test of 1981 stands out. With England staring at defeat, the great Ian Botham returned figures of 5-1 to claim a remarkable victory.
Yorkshire, England and the Northern Superchargers are the professional teams that play at Headingley. Located in Leeds, the stadium opened its doors in 1890 and its first test was played in 1899.
All forms of the game are played here and, until recently, it was known as a ‘seamer’s paradise’ where swing and seam aided the faster bowlers. That’s maybe not the case in the modern day but Headingley can still favour the bowling unit.
Once again, the most memorable game comes from the Ashes series of 1981. Ian Botham and Bob Willis combined for an incredible England win after Australia had enforced the follow on.
6. Old Trafford
Manchester is the setting for the historic Old Trafford ground which hosted its first ever test match in 1884. It was originally constructed in 1857 while it underwent a complete transformation in the 2000s where new buildings were implemented.
Old Trafford is the home of Lancashire CCC while the Manchester Originals play here in The Hundred. This can be another fast-scoring ground where some big team and individual totals have been made but it’s a bowler who has, perhaps, made the biggest impact.
In 1993, Shane Warne delivered the Ball of the century, fooling the England batsman Mike Gatting while making Warne’s name in the process.
7. Ageas Bowl or Rose Bowl
This is the same ground but it goes by different names depending on current sponsorship. Situated just outside Southampton, this is the regular home of Hampshire and, since 2011, it’s been hosting international cricket.
Known as a ground where the ball can swing, it’s popular with visiting bowling attacks. Tests aren’t regularly held at the Rose Bowl but you can expect to see ODIs, T20is and all forms of the domestic cricket.
It was opened in 2001 and perhaps the most important game at the Rose Bowl came along in 2021 when it hosted the World Test Championship Final between India and New Zealand. It was an interesting game which New Zealand won but the match was more important from a historical perspective.
8. Sophia Gardens
Sophia Gardens is the traditional name of Wales’ biggest and most important cricket stadium. Based in Cardiff, it has previously been known as the Swalec Stadium and it hosted its first match in 2009 as part of the Ashes Series.
It’s known as a ground where spin can play an important role and the fact that England played both Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann in that game can be used as evidence.
Opened in 1858, the most memorable game here saw the great Garry Sobers set a historic cricketing first. Back in 1968, the West Indian was playing for Nottinghamshire and he hit Malcolm Nash for six sixes in an over.
9. The Riverside
Durham’s Riverside Stadium is another new addition to the list of English test match grounds. Durham became a first class cricket county in 1992 while the Riverside was opened three years later.
It’s first ODI was at the 1999 World Cup while the Riverside’s first test match saw England take on Zimbabwe in 2003.
Known for colder temperatures in April and May, visiting sides from warmer climates don’t always like to come here. It’s such a recent ground and it’s hard to pick out the best fixture. Perhaps the 2019 World Cup game between England and New Zealand, where England won by 119 runs, is the standout.
10. County Ground Bristol
Bristol’s County Ground looks set to host international matches into 2022 and beyond. It was opened in 1889 and is known on the circuit for its long boundaries which might have made it suitable for test matches.
The small capacity means that only ODIs and T20is have been held here to date. Indian cricket fans will remember their side’s game against Kenya from the 1999 World Cup. Both Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid made centuries as India won by 94 runs.
11. North Marine Road Cricket Ground
Opened in 1863, the North Marine Ground is best known for hosting Yorkshire’s annual Scarborough festival. It has, however, held international games in the past. Three ODIs took place here between 1976 and 1978 and they gave us some memorable moments.
The very first ODI saw West Indies win thanks to a brilliant century from Viv Richards. His 118 from 133 balls was exceptionally fast for ODI cricket in 1976.
12. St Lawrence Cricket Ground, Kent
This may not be the most obvious choice but there are many reasons why the St Lawrence Ground deserves its place. Firstly, it is very pleasing on the eye and was known for the tree that grew inside its boundary.
It’s held four one day international matches and was used in the 1999 World Cup. It was opened back in 1847 and is now solely used by Kent.
What are the Biggest Cricket Stadiums in England and Wales?
Lord’s Cricket Ground is now the largest cricket ground in England, and one of the largest cricket stadiums in the world. Extensive renovations in recent years mean that it now has a capacity of 28,000.
2. Old Trafford
For international matches, Old Trafford in Manchester can increase its capacity to 26,500. For domestic games, the limit remains healthy at 19,000.
Edgbaston in Birmingham has a maximum capacity of 25,000. The Rose Bowl in Southampton can also extend to 25,000 but only on a temporary basis so Edgbaston comes in at number three.
What are the Smallest Cricket Grounds in England and Wales?
1. The County Ground, Northampton
Of those county cricket grounds that have hosted international cricket in the UK, the County Ground at Northampton is tiny. At its maximum capacity, only 6.500 spectators can cram in here.
2. St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury
The capacity at the St Lawrence Ground is just 7,000. It’s a stunning stadium but perhaps this is why it’s not currently used for international cricket.
3. The County Ground, Bristol
Bristol’s County Ground is still hosting international cricket but it’s also very small. Currently, the maximum capacity here is just 8,000.
How Many Cricket Grounds are there in London?
There are two cricket stadiums in London, but there are dozens of smaller cricket grounds in the UK capital. Find the complete list of cricket grounds in London below the map.
- The Oval
- Bank of England Ground
- Rectory Field
- Royal Military Academy Cricket Ground, Woolwich
- Burton Court
- Cheam Cricket Club Ground
- Decca Sports Ground
- Ealing Cricket Club Ground
- East Sheen Common cricket field
- Bell Common Cricket Ground
- Woodford Green Cricket Club Ground
- Foxgrove Road, Beckenham
- Gidea Park Sports Ground
- Honor Oak Cricket Club Ground
- HSBC Sports and Social Club Cricket Ground
- Indian Gymkhana Cricket Club Ground
- Kew Cricket Club Ground
- King’s House Sports Ground
- Lensbury Sports Ground
- Leyton Cricket Ground
- Lincoln Road Ground, Enfield
- Mitcham Cricket Green
- Old Deer Park Cricket Ground
- Private Banks Sports Ground
- Richmond Green Cricket Ground
- Royal Air Force Sports Ground
- Tivoli Road Cricket Ground
- Uxbridge Cricket Club Ground
- Walker Cricket Ground
- Whitgift School
- Wimbledon Cricket Club Ground