The Enchanting Fields

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THE LARGEST MELBOURNE CRICKET GROUND (MCG), MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

The place where the first Test was held, the ground that witnessed the first ODI and the venue where Greg Chappell’s
orders to his brother Trevor in 1981, against New Zealand, to bowl under-arm prompted a change in the rulebooks. Yes, MCG’s history and claim to fame is as impressive as its numbers. The 1,00,024-capacity stadium also boasts of the tallest light towers of any sporting venue. Built in 1853 and included in the Australian National Heritage List in 2005, with the record number of audience being 1,30,000 for a Billy Graham evangelistic crusade in 1959, the mega arena also lent its glory to 1956 Olympics and 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Crowd capacity of MCG 1,00,024

THE MOST VOCAL

Eden Gardens

EDEN GARDENS, CALCUTTA, INDIA

The largest cricket stadium of India is not only an iconic setting for any cricketing extravaganza but the adrenaline rush and challenges that a boisterous crowd brings along makes for as good a story as one unfolding on the pitch. Be it the West Indies in 1966-67, Australia in 1969-70 or the 1996 World Cup semifinal against Sri Lanka, emotions dictated actions. And, when it comes to India, it can play the 12th man like nowhere else. Remember the 2001 Test against Australia when VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid led the comeback to stop the visitors from making it record 17th straight Test win?

 

Lords Cricket Ground

THE OLDEST

LORD’S CRICKET GROUND,

LONDON, ENGLAND

The Mecca of cricket/The home of cricket…The Lord’s has that ability to make you run out of adjectives. With history steeped in each and every inch, the ground, built in 1814, was witness to Sir Don Bradman’s 254 in 1930 — a ground record that stood for 60 years, before being broken by Graham Gooch’s 333 in 1990. Such is the rush of a victory at this ground, multiplied by the awe-inspiring settings, that the then India captain Sourav Ganguly could not stop himself from taking off his shirt at the balcony after India beat the hosts in the Natwest Series Final in 2002. It was here that the momentous Indian win in 1983 World Cup final against the West Indies, made cricket what it is in India.

THE MOST BEAUTIFULNewlands Cricket Ground 

NEWLANDS CRICKET GROUND, CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

They say beauty is subjective. But what could put to test the backdrop that Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak provide to the action on the pitch. If you are among the lucky ones to secure a spot on the grassy knoll, it’s not just a cricket match but a never-ending day of picnic. You just need to be there from dawn till dusk to appreciate and soak in the myriad hues of this place. With the morning bathing the lush green of the ground with sunshine and the sunset lending a heavenly beauty to the place, even the cloudy days and fog fail to rob a pinch of prettiness from it, adding a rather paradise-like effect to it.

Queen's Park Oval

THE MOST HAPPENING

QUEEN’S PARK OVAL

PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

For those for whom life is a big party and cricket another one, this is the perfect blend of both. Imagine the picturesque tropical hills as backdrop, two sides battling it out on the field and the spectators merrily blowing on the conch shells… Bordering the Caribbean on the north, and undoubtedly reflecting the same carefree way of life, it’s
fun to join the locals in an impromptu dance to the tune of the Calypso beats. If you thought party was what this place was all about, a flashback to 1994-95, when England were bundled out for 46 in the Test, is good to reassure yourself that the action on the pitch is as happening.

SPECIAL MENTION

THE HIGHEST

CHAIL CRICKET GROUND, HIMACHAL PRADESH, INDIA

While the lack of any international action has made the record books erase it from the list, statistically the cricket
ground in Chail holds the title at 7,500 ft above sea level. Built by Maharaja of Patiala, Bhupinder Singh, in 1883 and surrounded by thick deodar forests, the picturesque ground was made after levelling a hilltop.

Written by : Garima Verma

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