The ICC Cricket World Cup is just around the corner and promises to be one of the most entertaining and unpredictable Cricket world cup ever. England being the host of this edition will be trying their best to be crowned as the champions for the first time in ODI. The amount of quality cricket played all around the globe be it T20 or ODI, has not only helped the players but also improved the playing facilities. The stadiums are in a way better shape, with outfields being properly maintained and pitches are given utmost importance.

Talking about stadiums, this cricket world cup seems to be in the best hands. England which is considered as the home of cricket has some astonishing stadiums which are going to play a major role this summer. When we talk about iconic stadiums in England, we generally speak about LORDS, OLD TRAFFORD, Edgbaston but apart from these, there are some spectacular stadiums one needs to know about.

 

SOPHIA GARDENS

With a capacity of about 15,500, Sophia Gardens is the home ground for Glamorgan County Cricket Club, located in Cardiff, Wales. It was established in the year 1967 and was on lease for 125 years, which finally ended when the Glamorgan officials bought it in the year 1995. The first international match ever played in this venue was in the year 1999. It played host to the World Cup match between Australia and New Zealand. From 2001 to 2012, the ground was a regular venue for ODI’s, hosting nine matches in 12 years, but it was not until 2006 that it hosted its first England match, the first match of the series against Pakistan on 30 August 2006. In 2012, the ground was named as one of three venues for the World cricket championships Trophy, along with The Oval and Edgbaston; it hosted five matches, including the opener between India and South Africa, and the semi-final between India and Sri Lanka. The area where the cricket pitch now stands has a colourful history, having once played host to a ‘Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show’ and ‘Barnum and Bailey’s traveling circus and menagerie.

World cricket championships

 

Riverside Ground

Riverside Ground officially known as the Emirates Riverside for sponsorship reason was established in the year 1995. It is located in Chester -le -Street with a capacity of about 17,000. It has been the home ground for Durham County Cricket Club. They were awarded first-class status in 1992 and then the development really took off and an international-standard stadium. The hard work was rewarded in 1999 when the ground was awarded two matches in the World Cup, and the following year England even played a NatWest Series game. In September 2008, plans were announced concerning further developments to the ground. These included installing permanent floodlights, and extending the County Durham stand so that permanent seating surrounds the entire ground, raising the ground capacity.

It’s quite far from the train station or bus and, once there, spectators face a long day if exposed to the cold. The stands around three-quarters of the ground are fairly low, although compensation is made in some part by a fine view of Lumley Castle over the open eastern side from the west and south stands.

 

The Rose Bowl Cricket Ground

Also known as “The Ageas Bowl” for sponsorship reasons. It is a cricket ground and residential hotel complex situated in West End, Hampshire, England, located between the M27 motorway and Telegraph Woods. Established in the year 2001, the ground has been home for the Hampshire County Cricket Club since then. It has capacity of 6,500 (20,000 temporary seats) and most state-of-the-art, was designed by award-winning architects Michael Hopkins & Partners and hosted its inaugural first-team match in 2001. The shape of the ground is like a circular amphitheatre and it highlights the three-storey pavilion with canopied roof. The architecture of the stadium stands out as it is one of the best in England. It ran into financial difficulties in the year 2000 as the development cost was whopping £24million. Rob Bransgrove , Hampshire businessman and cricket enthusiast stepped in and secured its future.

 

Cooper Associates County Ground

It was established in the year 1882 and has been the home ground for Somerset County Cricket Club.  It has the capacity of 12,500 for international matches. Suituated in Taunton, Somerset , the ground was originally built as part of a sports centre by Taunton Athletic Club in 1881, and became the home of the previously nomadic Somerset County Cricket Club soon after. It was in lease for ten years until the club bought it in the year 1896, under club secretary Henry Murray – Anderdon. It is a ground that retains much character, despite extensive renovations and improvements. For many years the playing area was circled by a greyhound track, removed in the 1970s. The stats in ODI cricket suggests that it favours the team batting second.  It is a low scoring ground with the average first inn score of 219 and second inn score being just 194.  Now we need to see how the wicket plays during this summer, will the teams play in safe by opting to bowl first or they’ll take their chances by trying to put up a good score on the board and build pressure.

See article – Ground reality 1 and 2 for more stadiums of cricket world cup 2019 (links)

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