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As they are one of the newer test playing nations, some of you may be less familiar with the international cricket grounds in Zimbabwe. Here, then, is a round up of their major stadiums.
How Many Cricket International Stadiums are there in Zimbabwe?
At present, there are five main cricket stadiums in Zimbabwe. The list of international cricket grounds in any country is a fluid one, but this is the situation in the country right now.
Other grounds may have been phased out, but there are five main stadiums currently.
List of International Cricket Grounds in Zimbabwe
Bulawayo Athletic Club
The Bulawayo Athletic Club became only the second ground in Zimbabwe to host international cricket in 1992. Shortly after the country was confirmed as a test playing nation, Zimbabwe took on New Zealand here in an ODI in October of that year.
The ground was already in place for international games and the Bulawayo Athletic Club was first opened back in 1894. In the present day, it has a capacity of 12,000, but it’s no longer a regular stop for Zimbabwe cricket. In fact, a five-day game against New Zealand in November 1992 was the only test match to have been played here.
The stadium in Bulawayo was used more regularly for One Day Internationals and there have been some T20is here, but it’s not a common sight on the present circuit.
Harare Sports Club
The Harare Sports Club made history as it became the first stadium to host international cricket in the country. Zimbabwe were granted test status in 1992 and the first ever game was played here as the host nation took on India in October of that year.
The stadium was opened way back in 1900, so it had already been an important venue for the country, even before that test status was granted. One Day International cricket followed with a game between Zimbabwe and India on October 25th 1992, and a healthy capacity of 12,000 means that the Harare Sports Club continues to provide an important international cricket ground.
Queens Sports Club
With a capacity of 13,000, the Queens Sports Club is technically the biggest cricket stadium in Zimbabwe. It opened in 1890, so there’s a lot of history to have beenplayed out between these impressive stands.
Zimbabwe were granted test status in 1992, but it would be two more years before international cricket arrived at the Queens Sports Club, The first senior match to be played here was a test between Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka in 1994. One Day International cricket arrived here in 1996 with a game against England and the venue remains an important location for Zimbabwe cricket.
In fact, behind the Harare Sports Club, this is the country’s second stadium in order of preference.
Kwekwe Sports Club
With a capacity of just 1400, it’s no surprise that the Kwekwe Sports Club has barely been used for international cricket in Zimbabwe. In fact, only one ODI has taken place here so far, and there are no plans to add to that list any time soon.
The One Day International in question was held on December 11th 2002 when Zimbabwe took on Kenya.
The Kwekwe Sports Club may not be on the international radar but, if you happen to be in Zimbabwe, you can still see plenty of cricket here. The ground was opened in 1951 and it has held a number of first class and one day domestic games in its long history.
In the present day, the Kwekwe Sports Club is one of a number of grounds used by the Mid West Rhinos.
Old Hararians Sports Club
Last on this list is the Old Hararians Sports Club which has been an important part of cricket in this country since 1950. This was the year that the A Field on this ground played host to a first class game between Rhodesia and Transvaal.
You won’t see too many games here involving the Zimbabwe senior sides, but this stadium has played a role in international cricket. Ahead of the qualifying rounds for the 2019 Cricket World Cup, the facility underwent significant renovations and it hosted a number of those qualifiers.
The first One Day International to be played at this venue was a 2019 World Cup qualifier between the United Arab Emirates and the West Indies on March 6th 2018. Later in the same month, the series was completed with a final game between the United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan.
Women’s T20 internationals featuring Zimbabwe have also taken place at the Old Hararians ground, but there has been no international cricket of any kind since 2019. In the meantime, there are domestic matches here, and there is the prospect of more neutral games in the future.
I’m not sure how things are in other parts of the world but, here in England, not much international cricket from Zimbabwe is televised. This round up was, therefore, something of a learning experience for me.
It’s clear that there are just two main grounds in the country right now, with hosting duties being shared between the Harare Sports Club and the Queens Sports Club. Test matches and limited overs games may alternate between the two, or it may be the case that a touring side simply stays in one location.
If things change in the future and Zimbabwe becomes open to more extensive tours from overseas sides, there are a number of venues in place that can back up the country’s two main grounds.