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Durham County Cricket Club have used a number of facilities since they became a first class county in 1992. However, the stadium that they are associated with in the present day is the Riverside at Chester-Le-Street.
This is the club’s main home and it’s also developed into an international venue. If you want to know more about the Riverside at Durham, read on.
History of Durham Cricket Ground
When Durham were admitted as a first class county, the club began plans for a purpose-built stadium. It had been a condition of their acceptance that a new facility was produced and that it had to be of test match standard.
Accordingly, the Riverside was constructed, and it was open for business in 1995. While some of the buildings remained a work in progress at that point, the playing area was ready, and the first game at the ground was between Durham and Warwickshire in May 1995.
Further redevelopment continued: Queen Elizabeth II opened the Don Robson pavilion in 1996, while floodlights were installed in 2015 to cater for day/night games.
The brief for the developers was to build a ground that could be used for test match cricket and they achieved that aim. The first test to be played at Durham Cricket Ground was between England and Zimbabwe in 2003.
Prior to that, the Riverside had been a part of the 1999 World Cup in England. The first ODI to take place here was between Pakistan and Scotland in May of that year. The first T20 international came along in 2008, when England took on South Africa.
While the Durham Cricket Ground is not a regular on the test match circuit, it continues to host a number of One Day and T20 Internationals.
Capacity and Dimensions
The official capacity of the Riverside Ground at Durham is confirmed at 17,000 for international games. For county matches, the removal of temporary stands means that this figure reduces to 5,000.
The dimensions of the ground are relatively large compared to other stadiums in the UK. Behind the bowler’s arm, the two straight boundaries both measure 72 metres. On the square sides, there is a wide range of measurements from 74 metres up to 82 metres.
How to find Durham Cricket Ground
The Riverside Ground can be found in the small town of Chester-le-Street. It forms part of the Durham district and is located around six miles out from the main city centre.
There are good road and rail links into Durham. The city is situated close to the A1, which is one of the UK’s longest roads, running from London in the south, all the way into Scotland. Fast trains can also be boarded at London’s Kings Cross.
Tickets and Seating Plan
In order to guarantee attendance, it’s recommended that tickets for international games are purchased in advance. The Durham County Cricket Club official website will provide access to all of these matches and this is the most cost effective way of buying tickets.
For county games, the crowds aren’t so big. It will still be possible to buy in advance, but it should be OK to turn up on the day to gain entry.
The two ends at the Durham Riverside are known as the Lumley End and the Finchside End. The remaining areas are mainly named after points on the compass, so we have the South Terrace, the South West Terrace, the North Terrace, the North West Terrace and the North East Terrace.
All of those terrace areas are popular and provide exceptional views of the action. The Don Robson Pavilion is largely for members.
Owners, Operators and Tenants
The Riverside Cricket Ground in Durham is owned and operated by a company called Durham Cricket CIC. The Chairman of Durham CCC is none other than Ian Botham, England’s most famous all-rounder, who finished his county career here.
Durham County Cricket Club continue to use the Riverside in all formats of the game. The Riverside is the team’s home for first class cricket, the 50-Over One Day Cup and the T20 Blast.
Other Sports Played At Durham Cricket Stadium
No other sports currently take place at the Durham Cricket Ground. The stadium was specifically built with cricket in mind, and there are no plans to extend this in the future.
In order to provide additional revenue for Durham Cricket, the Riverside does run a series of events throughout the year and these are likely to include a number of concerts by popular artists.
Durham Cricket Ground Records
The ODI between England and Australia in 2005, was one of the most famous games at The Riverside. It’s memorable mostly because of tales of the Aussies being haunted in the night during their stay at Lumley Castle.
This game also marked Durham Cricket Ground as a regular on the international circuit.
The highest individual test score at the ground was an undefeated 162 by Ian Bell for England against Bangladesh in 2005. This is a relatively modest total which should be overtaken in the future.
The player with the most test runs at Durham Cricket Ground is Alastair Cook who scored 315 runs in seven test innings here.
In the bowling department, James Anderson is the player with the most test wickets. The England seamer has claimed 25 victims on this surface. Australia’s Ryan Harris returned the best test innings figures here with 7/117 in the Ashes series of 2013.
As the Riverside is in its relative infancy, all of those individual records have a good chance of being broken in the near future.