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I’ve looked at some of the biggest stadiums in world cricket, but I do like my history. It’s therefore time to look at the oldest grounds across the globe.
Which is the Oldest Cricket Ground in the World?
Mitcham Cricket Green
Cricket has been played in England since the 17th century but most of the cricket grounds have been redeveloped. Very few remain but Mitcham Green still exists, and it is reportedly the oldest cricket ground still in use.
It can trace its history all the way back to 1685 and it is still used extensively by Mitcham Cricket Club. Naturally, much of the ground is new with modern style buildings in place around the perimeter but the surface area is largely the same as it would have been all those years ago.
Oldest Cricket Grounds in the UK
Lord’s Cricket Ground (1814)
Seating Capacity: 31,180
Lord’s is considered by many, certainly those in England, to be the Home of Cricket. What we do know is that it is the oldest stadium of those that are used for international cricket.
What’s remarkable about that statistic is the fact that the current ground isn’t even the original Lord’s site. This is, in fact, the third ground to carry the name. Much has changed to the architecture over the years but it remains a stunning venue for cricket.
In the present day, all touring sides can expect to play one match at Lord’s. It has a capacity of 31,180 and is also used by Middlesex for their first class and limited overs games.
Trent Bridge Cricket Ground (1841)
Seating Capacity: 17,500
Trent Bridge is located in Nottingham and is the home of the local county side. It’s also the second oldest international cricket stadium in the world. It’s still used for test matches and other international games and it’s also the venue for domestic cricket finals.
The Trent Bridge Ground was opened in 1841 and has a current capacity of 17,500. The first test match to be played here took place between England and Australia in 1899.
The Oval Cricket Ground (1845)
Seating Capacity: 27,500
Despite being the third oldest cricket ground in the UK, The Oval had the honour of being the first in England to host international cricket matches. Australia were the visitors for a one off test in 1880.
Based in south London, The Oval was opened in 1845. It is home to Surrey County Cricket Club and has a current capacity of 27,500. It traditionally holds the last test of the English summer and has been known for its fast and bouncy wickets.
Old Trafford Cricket Ground (1857)
Seating Capacity: 26,000
Based in Manchester, the iconic Old Trafford Stadium is home to Lancashire County Cricket Club. It also hosts tests and other international contests. Old Trafford Cricket Ground was opened in 1857 and hosted its first test match when England played Australia in 1884.
Recent architectural additions include the infamous ‘Point’ which has helped to increase the capacity to 26,000 for international matches. It’s not always a regular venue on the international circuit but there’s always a great atmosphere when England host the touring sides at Old Trafford Cricket Ground.
Edgbaston Cricket Ground (1882)
Seating Capacity: 25,000
Edgbaston in Birmingham is the regular host for England’s T20 Blast finals day. It also continues to provide a venue for international games and day night tests have been played here.
The ground held its first test match in 1902 and the present capacity stands at 25,000.
Oldest Cricket Stadiums in Australia
Sydney Cricket Ground (1848)
Seating Capacity: 48,000
The oldest cricket stadium in Australia is the Sydney Cricket Ground. Affectionately known as the SCG, it was opened in 1848 and it hosted its first test match in 1882 when England were the visitors.
The Sydney Cricket Ground is also used for Aussie Rules Football and both codes of rugby. Cricket is the main focus, however, and it continues to host test and other international matches.
Melbourne Cricket Ground (1853)
Seating Capacity: 100,024
The Stadium that had the honour of hosting cricket’s first ever test match is the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The MCG held the very first game in this format when England travelled to take on Australia in 1877.
100 years later, the Centenary Test was played between the two countries. This cricket ground was first opened in 1853 and the MCG traditionally holds the Boxing Day test in the modern era.
In the present day, the Melbourne Cricket Ground also plays host to the Victorian State side in the Sheffield Shield and to the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash. It’s the second largest cricket ground in the world with a capacity just over 100,000.
Adelaide Oval (1873)
Seating Capacity: 53,500
Another ground that is very familiar to watchers of cricket around the world, the Adelaide Oval was first opened in 1873. Eleven years later, it hosted its first test match as Australia took on England.
Like a lot of cricket grounds Down Under, the Adelaide Oval is multi-purpose facility with Aussie Rules and Rugby also being played here. After a number of changes, the current official capacity is 55,317.
Oldest Cricket Stadium in India
Eden Gardens (1864)
India’s oldest cricket stadium is Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Cricket fans around the world would have seen it being used extensively for test cricket and the stadium also features highly in the Indian Premier League.
It was opened in 1864 but, because India were not admitted as a full member nation for some time, Eden Gardens had to wait until 1934 before it hosted its first test match.
In the present day, Eden Gardens in Kolkata holds a number of other notable records. With a capacity of 68,000, it’s the second largest cricket stadium in India and the third largest in the world.
Aside from hosting the national team, it’s also the regular home for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL. Eden Gardens will also provide a neutral venue for playoff games that take place later in the tournament.
Oldest Cricket Ground in New Zealand
Basin Reserve (Year 1868)
Wellington’s Basin Reserve is the oldest cricket ground in New Zealand. It’s known for its unusual location in the middle of a busy road junction and for the windy conditions that it attracts.
The Basin Reserve was opened in 1868 and it hosted its first ever test match when New Zealand took on England in 1930. It continues to be a regular stop for international touring sides whenever they head to this part of the world.
In domestic cricket, the Wellington Firebirds play here and they have done so since 1873. You can continue to watch the Firebirds at the Basin Reserve which has a capacity of 11,600 in the present day.
Oldest Cricket Ground in Sri Lanka
Galle International Stadium (Year 1876)
Galle International Stadium is an iconic venue with some spectacular scenery. It was originally opened in 1876 and, from those humble beginnings, it now has an impressive capacity of 35,000.
Sri Lanka were not admitted as a full member nation until the 1980s and the first international game to take place here was an ODI against India in 1998. Since then, the Galle International Stadium has regularly hosted touring sides for test matches, ODIs and T20is.
The Galle Cricket Club were the original tenants back in 1876. They still use the stadium to this day as they compete in Sri Lanka’s main first class competition.