Cricket is one of the most popular sports in the world, with fans thronging the stadiums to support their favourite teams since time immemorial. Cheering their players from the ground is a feeling that is unparalleled, with the noise and the atmosphere making it a memorable affair.
The cricket arena has seen plenty of historical venues throw up some memorable matches over the years. Watching a match with fellow fanatics is an experience to cherish, which is why fans are eagerly awaiting the end of the pandemic to turn out in large numbers in cricket grounds again.
We take a look at the biggest cricket stadiums in the world currently.
Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium, Ahmedabad
The stadium, which has officially been renamed the Narendra Modi Stadium, reopened this year after the Gujarat Cricket Association added high-end facilities and infrastructure to the former Motera Stadium. The ground has a seating capacity of a mammoth 110,000, which makes it the largest stadium in the world.
The original stadium had a capacity of 49,000 before it was renovated in 2006 to hold 54,000 spectators. After being renovated yet again, the ground was officially inaugurated by former the United States of America President Donald Trump last year.
The Motera Stadium hosted the last two Test matches of the series between India England earlier this year along with the ODI matches. It was also set to host the finals of the Indian Premier League before the tournament was rescheduled midway due to the rising Covid-19 cases in the country.
Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia
One of the most historical venues, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, or the MCG, has an overall capacity of 100,024, making it the second-largest stadium in the world.
The first Test match here was played way back on March 1877 and it continues to host Boxing Day Test matches every year. The MCG has been host to a number of memorable incidents, including Shane Warne’s only hat-trick in international cricket and the epic duel between Virat Kohli and Mitchell Johnson in 2014.
Equipped with state-of-the-art corporate facilities along with infrastructure for the players, the MCG is a venue where all cricketers dream of playing in one day.
Eden Gardens, Kolkata
The Eden Gardens too, like the MCG, is one of the must-visit places for any cricket lover. With a capacity of 66,349, the ‘Mecca of Indian cricket’ dishes out an unrivaled atmosphere every time a game is played here.
The home of Sourav Ganguly, Eden Gardens has a number of enviable records to its name. The highest ODI score of 264, by Rohit Sharma, was scored here in 2014 while Virat Kohli smashed his maiden international ton in Kolkata as well. The epic 2001 Test match between Australia and India that saw Harbhajan Singh scalp a hattrick was at Eden Gardens as well, and over the years we have seen players such as Rohit, Mohammad Azharuddin, and VVS Laxman form a strong affinity with the ground.
The first game here was played in 1934 between India and England. It was also due to host ten games of the 2021 edition of the IPL before the tournament was suspended.
Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Cricket Stadium, Raipur, Chhattisgarh
The ground was built only in 2008 in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh. With a capacity of 65,000, the ground is the third-largest in the world and fourth overall.
The first-ever game here was a friendly match between the Chhatisgarh Ranji Trophy team and the international cricket side of Canada. However, no international games have been played here till now.
Described as one of the best venues in the world, the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Cricket Stadium is a 21-st century stadium with great facilities and training infrastructure.
Optus Stadium, Perth, Australia
The historical WACA – the original ground in Perth – was considered as one of the bounciest tracks in the world, but Cricket Australia drew curtains on the venue as they inaugurated the Optus Stadium in 2018.
The new Test cricket venue has a seating capacity of 60,000 and also plays host to the AFL games since its opening. Besides hosting international matches, the ground also sees Big Bash League games (both men’s and women’s games) being played here regularly.
The venue, though, lacks the sting and the zip that the pacers were offered at the WACA, with the Optus Stadium having flatter wickets and higher scores.
Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Hyderabad
Yet another cricket stadium from India finds itself on the list of the largest stadiums in the world. Home to the IPL team Sunrisers Hyderabad, the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium was constructed in 2003, with the first international game only being played seven years later – when India hosted New Zealand.
The venue has a seating capacity of 55,000 and is spread over 16 acres of land in the southern city of Hyderabad.
Greenfield International Stadium, Trivandrum
The Greenfield Stadium in the Indian state of Kerala is a 55,000-seater multi-purpose stadium. Aside from hosting rare international cricket matches, the Greenfield Stadium also hosts football matches.
Built in 2012, the venue became the 50th international cricket ground for India when it hosted a T20 International match between India and New Zealand in 2017. It hosted its first One Day International a year later.
Built on 36 acres of land, the Greenfield Stadium is the first DBOT (design, build, operate, and transfer) outdoor stadium in the country.