There’s little doubt that 2019 was a great summer for cricket, particularly in England. Hosting the World Cup and going on to win it, in somewhat controversial circumstances, created a ‘cricket frenzy’ throughout the country. Just a few weeks later, the English test side would face their old enemy Australia in an attempt to regain the Ashes. They failed, only managing to tie the 5 test series and therefore allowing Australia to retain the coveted Ashes Urn.
Despite it being a big summer for cricket in England, there’s little doubt that other countries in the world share a greater love for this particular game, at least amongst the general population. In India, for example, it is the most popular sport by far. In England, football is number one and it always will be.
A good way to measure the popularity of a sport in a particular country is to look at the stadiums used to host games. Big crowds need big venues to host all the keen spectators and when it comes to cricket, none of the 5 biggest venues can be found in England.
So where are the biggest cricket venues in the world? Below are the top 5…
5. Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium – (55,000)
Cricket is the most popular sport in India and their top players are treated like idols. Therefore, it comes as little surprise to find out they have some of the biggest stadiums in the world for watching a cricket.
A great example is the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, which is in Hyderabad. It has a capacity of 55,000 people and has played host to the India national team many times. It also hosts Indian Premier League cricket and staged the final in 2019.
4. Perth Stadium – (65,000)
Moving to Australia and there some tremendous venues for cricket, which is a much-loved sport in the country. Perth Stadium, as the name suggests, is located in Perth and it officially opened in January 2018.
The stadium holds 65,000 people and the first cricket match to be played at the venue was a One Day International between Australia and England. The stadium has been selected as a venue for the ICC World Twenty20 tournament in 2020 and has also played host to other sports including soccer, Australia rules football, Rugby league and rugby union.
3. Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Cricket Stadium – (68,000)
We return to India for our third biggest cricket stadium in the world. Located in the city of Naya Raipur, Chhattisgarh you will find the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Cricket Stadium. The stadium has a capacity of 68,000 people, slightly edging it when compared to the Perth Stadium above.
The stadium opened for play in 2008 and interestingly, the first cricket match to be played at the venue featured the Canadian cricket team who played the Chhattisgarh cricket team in a one day match. Since then it has played host to the Indian Premier League and the Champions League Twenty20 competition.
2. Eden Gardens – (68,000)
Staying in India and we move to the legendary Eden Gardens. This cricket stadium is located in Kolkata and is the home venue of the Bengal cricket team and Kolkata Knight Riders, who play in the Indian Premier League.
Eden Gardens is the oldest cricket stadium in India yet still has the largest capacity. Previous crowds have been over 90,000 but now the capacity is restricted to 68,000 for cricket matches. The India national team plays Test Matches, One Day Internationals and Twenty20 cricket at Eden Gardens and it has hosted a World Cup final.
1. Melbourne Cricket Ground – (100,024)
Completing the list of the 5 biggest cricket venues in the world we travel back to Australia. The Melbourne Cricket Ground is a huge arena and can accommodate up to 100,024 people for cricket matches, making it the biggest cricket venue in the world.
Commonly known as the MCG, it has undergone several renovations since it was first opened in 1853. It is the largest stadium in the southern hemisphere and hosted the first Test Match played between Australia and England. The Melbourne Cricket Ground is also home to the National Sports Museum and it is the most iconic venue in Australian sports history.