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The VRA Ground is the most important cricket facility in the Netherlands. The Dutch are an emerging force within the game, and they provide an excellent stadium for domestic and international fixtures.
The VRA Ground is the primary location for men’s and women’s cricket in the country, and here is an essential guide.
History of the VRA Cricket Ground
The VRA Cricket Ground was opened in 1939. Initially, it was the home of the VRA Cricket Club, who had been playing the game since 1914. The club had played in many venues, including Amsterdam’s Olympic Stadium, but a growth in interest in cricket meant that they had to find a permanent facility.
When cricket returned after World War II, the VRA Ground continued to host the local team before the national side got involved. The first international game took place here between the Netherlands and New Zealand in 1978, but this match wasn’t officially recognised by the ICC.
The VRA Ground enjoyed greater global exposure when it became a part of the circuit for the 1999 World Cup. The first official ODI took place in May of that year, when Kenya took on South Africa.
The Dutch national team eventually gained associate ICC status and they can now play official ODI and T20i matches. The VRA Cricket Ground continues to host matches in both of those limited overs formats, and is the main facility for the men’s and women’s national teams.
Capacity and Dimensions
The official capacity of the VRA Cricket Ground is currently listed at 7,000. This is more than adequate for many Netherlands internationals, but it can be a squeeze when the Dutch are playing one of the major ICC nations.
The fact that this is one of the only European cricket grounds to feature a grass wicket is a big bonus for the VRA ground. It makes it far more attractive to travelling sides, and we should see many more international matches as a result.
The dimensions of the VRA Cricket Ground are small in relation to others on the circuit. On average, they may dip under 70 metres, which means that this can be a high scoring surface.
How to find the VRA Cricket Ground
The VRA Cricket Ground is located in Amstelveen which is on the outskirts of the Dutch capital Amsterdam. Amstelveen is technically a part of the overall Amsterdam district, but it is located a few miles outside of the city centre.
Fortunately, there is a great transport network here, with trams and trains on hand. The Amstelveen metro station is just a few stops away from Amsterdam Central Station, and this is the most popular way to travel.
Tickets and Seating Plan
The approach to buying tickets at the VRA Ground will depend entirely on the magnitude of the game. When England visited here in 2022, the stadium was full to its capacity. The infrastructure struggled to cope, and there were complaints from the travelling support over the size of the beer queues in particular.
On such occasions, tickets for the game must be purchased in advance. The local ticket office will sell online, or they can be bought by overseas cricket fans as part of an overall travel package.
For minor games, including club matches played by the VRA cricket club, it should be OK just to turn up on the day. Tickets for all Dutch international games can also be purchased in advance from the office.
Owners, Operators and Tenants
Technically, the owner of the VRA Cricket Ground is the VRA Amsterdam club, although the Netherlands governing body has an obvious interest in the maintenance of the stadium.
The most important tenants at the VRA Ground are the Dutch national team. At the moment, there are no definitive plans to build any new cricket stadiums, although that may change if the Netherlands ever wants to be included as a full member ICC nation.
The VRA cricket club continue to play here too. VRA Amsterdam make full use of the facilities, as they have done since 1939.
Other Sports Played At The VRA Cricket Stadium
No other sports are currently played at the VRA Cricket Ground. This general area of Amstelveen is a big sporting complex, and there is plenty of scope for hockey and football nearby.
The situation is unlikely to change in the future, and the VRA Ground will continue to be used exclusively for cricket.
VRA Cricket Ground Records
The VRA Cricket Ground was the scene of a world record in 2022, and it’s one that the Dutch will not want to remember. In a One Day International against England on June 17th, the tourists posted the highest ever ODI total of 498/4.
With England hitting towards small boundaries against a weaker attack, they took full advantage. There is much debate over when a team will score 500 in an ODI, but this record may stand for some time.
The highest individual international score on this surface is the 157 hit by Sanath Jayasuriya for Sri Lanka against the Netherlands in 2006. The highest score by a Dutch player here is 98 by Ryan ten Doeschate versus Afghanistan in 2009.
Moving across to the bowlers and the best figures in internationals came from that first 50-Over World Cup game in 1999. Playing for South Africa against Kenya, Lance Klusener finished with match figures of 5/21.
As more teams are set to travel to the VRA Cricket Ground for international games, we can expect those individual records to be under threat in the near future.