Cricket's finest minds ponder the game's vital questions

Which is the best ground to watch cricket in?

There are pretty grounds, historic grounds, grounds that ooze atmosphere, and those that make you feel like you're in the Colosseum. Five writers choose their favourites

December 17, 2012

Comments: 158 | Text size: A | A

Galle International Stadium, Galle

Sambit Bal

Galle: you can watch the action while walking or driving past the ground © Getty Images

There's a photograph in my digital album titled "Sri Lanka" that always fills me with the warmest memories. In it I am with my wife and close friends. We are on a patch of grass, sitting, sprawling, and leaning on each other. We look relaxed, cosy and happy. Looking at that photo, taken in August 2008, it would be hard to guess we are watching a game of Test cricket - and in the subcontinent at that.

We were right behind the sightscreen - years of covering cricket have spoilt me to the point that the view of play from anywhere else in the ground seems a compromise. To our left was the gentle expanse of the Indian Ocean stretching into infinity, and behind us, a quaint little world inviting exploration. And we were not even inside the stadium.

We had tickets, and I had a seat in the press box, with a view of the waters, but on an overcast day there is no better place to watch cricket from than the ramparts of the Galle Fort. I have seen prettier Test grounds but Galle gets my nod for the whole package.

The stadium is informal and charming: it's perhaps the only Test ground in the world where you can watch the match while driving or walking past, and though the civil war hadn't ended when I watched the Test in 2008, the security wasn't overwhelming. But travelling to watch sport is also a cultural experience, and Galle is enchanting all the way.

The other three

  • Newlands, Cape Town: What can beat Table Mountain as a backdrop?
  • Adelaide Oval, Adelaide: The canopy rooftop, much imitated now, and the churches in the background
  • Trent Bridge, Nottingham: Beautiful walk along the river, and both an open and intimate ground

The drive from Colombo, winding and along the coast, is pretty. A new expressway will now take you to Galle in 90 minutes, but if you want memories and a couple of stops along the way for photographs, take the scenic route (at least one way). Stay in one of the boutique hotels inside the fort that, in a maze of lanes and bylanes, houses quaint shops, little houses and rooftop restaurants serving authentic Sri Lankan food. The nights offer the option of driving down to one of the nearby towns for dinner to the sounds of the sea.

If you go to watch a Test in Galle - a Test it has to be, because shorter matches are unlikely to provide the space to experience the peripherals - you will not only find that the best seats are free, but that you are likely to come back with a longing to return. As for me, it was perhaps the only place I could have got my wife to accompany me to a Test.

Sambit Bal is the editor of ESPNcricinfo


Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala

Harsha Bhogle

Dharamsala: where the Himalayas watch cricket © Getty Images

So what makes for a good cricket ground? A comfortable chair, a good internet connection, a dry toilet and good coffee? Oh dear, we'll have to start again, for you could get at best three of those at any ground. A great setting, a large enough car park, easy public transport and a spectator-friendly attitude? We're getting somewhere, even if the shortlist is very small. Grounds that evoke awe? Grounds that are friendly? Grounds that you can take your kids to?

There were three grounds I was most excited about and each disappointed me on my first experience. The MCG was vast, colossal; I felt like an ant, intimidated. I wanted to get away. Lord's was shocking. Everybody on the staff seemed intent on being rude, almost as if they would be sacked otherwise. And Queen's Park Oval... well, it seemed like just another ground. I have had better experiences at those grounds since. I quite enjoy the MCG, and quite grudgingly admitted to even liking Lord's a bit the last time I was there (it was the smiles at the gate and the girls serving coffee in the media centre that did it).

Increasingly, I find I am drawn towards grounds in proximity with nature. Queenstown is dramatic; Newlands is very nice too, though Table Mountain can get a touch monotonous; St Lucia is pretty; and while I haven't been to the Bellerive Oval in Hobart for a while, it must be very difficult to make that less scenic.

Indoors is the best place to be in Wellington, though, I find the idea of a large traffic island being used for Test cricket quite unique. The Kotla in Delhi is a lot better now but till very recently the best spot from which to watch a game there was at home. The Wankhede can only get better, and the Chidambaram Stadium (I still prefer to call it Chepauk) has.

The next best

  • For the best combination of history, comfort and warmth I am going to pick: Trent Bridge in Nottingham, the Sydney Cricket Ground (probably the greatest cricket ground in the world), and the Adelaide Oval, with the river flowing lazily by and the grass banks providing quite the most brilliant setting. Somebody told me they are taking the grass banks away, and I said not even the worst villains in the Hindi movies could be so cruel. There has to be an element of the leisurely associated with great cricket grounds (oops, the SCG just lost a point, having done away with its grass banks some years ago). It just goes well with the pace of Test cricket.

But I am not going to be a consultant, merely offering options. For long my favourite grounds were the back field at the Hyderabad Public School (sadly, I visited it again), the "A" ground of Osmania University (sadly, I revisited that too), and the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium (I said goodbye to the old commentary box, now a hostel, with underwear put out to dry).

And then a couple of years ago I flew in a small plane through the mountains to land at a quaint airfield (it wasn't an airport, if you know what I mean), drove on roads that went up and down according to the terrain, and encountered hill people who smiled and offered local food at prices that were a pleasant shock. The ground itself had me stunned. I saw the pavilion first, a blazing red pagoda, and then I turned around and saw the mountains; not hills, mountains.

The rays of the sun glistened off the snow on the peaks, and the sunset was a cinematographer's delight. Often I found myself looking at the mountains rather than at the cricket, and more than one evening was spent in an open-air restaurant with simple tables and chairs and eager waiters.

For the grandeur of its setting and the simplicity of its people, I will go with Dharamasala. Now if only they can keep away the rude, loud 4x4 gang that comes from Delhi and honks all along its lovely curving paths…

Harsha Bhogle is a commentator, television presenter and writer
Next week: Sambit Bal's favourite ground


St George's Park, Port Elizabeth

Telford Vice

A hodgepodge of creaking stands and diabolically pokey corners © Getty Images

The biggest single chunk of St George's Park is also the ugliest.

So much so that the Duck Pond Pavilion, which lazes in a slovenly curve on the northern boundary like some obese, rust-coloured slug slowly stinking to death in the sun and salty air, is a cautionary tale against what can result when bricks and steel are stacked symmetrically with not a smidgen of creativity.

Had the vast, soulless plastic bowl that is the Gabba existed in the early 1990s, when the Duck Pond Pavilion was "built", the offending architect, one Terry Baker, should have been sent to Brisbane and told: This Is Not What We Want.

But how do we know what is beautiful if we do not have an ugliness to compare it to? The rest of St George's Park, a hodgepodge of creaking old stands and diabolically pokey corners that seems to exist only to ensure visitors unfamiliar with the ground (let no one who calls the place a stadium make it out of there alive), is its charm.

The grandstand along the western boundary is a magnificence of wood and paint and the sense of community that comes with bumping knees and shoulders with your neighbours instead of pretending there is no one in the bucket seat next to you.

This is where the St George's Park brass band is in residence, parping out a well-worn repertoire of standards and occasionally shocking all and sundry with a freshly learned number that might last have been heard on radio ten years ago.

The next best

  • University Oval, Dunedin Zen garden of a ground; nothing superfluous to requirements. And a large, treed hill brooding over everything.
  • The Bourda Deep, dark verandahs - which have been known to shine with the incredible whiteness of Mick Jagger's presence - and a moat around the outside of the ground lend the place the irresistible aura of a murder scene.
  • The Oval The realness of red brick and wrought iron, and proof that not all Poms are yobs or snobs.

Under the grandstand, the good women of the Westering Methodist Church feed the multitude - not with loaves and fishes but with the best hamburgers and pancakes that surprisingly little money can buy. They have been doing so for decades in the name of charity, and they will do so for many more.

The eastern boundary is home to a haphazard collection of stands, a grass bank, and the main scoreboard. Other than keeping spectators statistically informed, the board is an important indicator of what the captains should do at the toss. If the wind is coming off the nearby Indian Ocean and blowing over the scoreboard and across the field, insert the opposition. If it's blowing from inland and towards the scoreboard, bat.

Players, umpires, scorers and media are housed at the southern end of the ground. Stand on a particular landing between buildings and the view into the players' enclosure is clear and frequently instructive - players are far more likely to reveal their emotions when they can't see themselves on a television screen. So close are reporters to the action that it seems entirely possible to reach out and tap the captain on the shoulder to tell him to put in another slip.

The pitch? It is often a desert, sometimes a jungle, and occasionally both - one end dry, the other green.

That's because players come to St George's Park to be tested, not to be pandered to or protected from the real world. Cricket could do with more places like that.

Telford Vice is a freelance cricket writer in South Africa


Antigua Recreation Ground

By Chloe Saltau

The Rec: an atmosphere all its own © Getty Images

There's nothing beautiful about the Rec, unless you like your cricket grounds buffeted by prison walls and rough around the edges. It was a place to bat, and bat, and bat - the Rec hosted both of Brian Lara's world-record innings, 375 and 400. And yet there was something special about this tiny ground in an unpretentious part of St John's that hasn't existed since it stopped hosting international cricket.

Australians flocked to the Rec for the carnival as much as the cricket. I shouted myself a trip to the Caribbean to celebrate graduating from cadet reporter to graded journalist in 1999. Happily, the journey coincided with Australia's tour of the West Indies, and Antigua appealed because it was the island home of my cricketing hero, Viv Richards. I have only vague memories of the rambling interview I conducted with a very generous Viv as he sweated profusely in the press box, but he embodied the national and regional pride riding on everything that happened on that sweet batting pitch. The Rec is within walking distance of the street where Viv was raised. With its white concrete walls and ramshackle stands, it blends in with a town that's edgier than Antigua's reputation as an idyllic beach paradise suggests. The rum joints inside the gates did business even when there was no cricket, and the smells of jerk chicken and flying fish burgers pervaded the air.

My next three

  • My favourite suburban ground is Holbrook Reserve, home of Brunswick Park Ladies Cricket Club in Melbourne. Tucked beneath the Tullamarine Freeway, it's small enough that well-struck sixes can endanger cars bound for the airport. It's also where I learnt to play cricket and how to reverse out of the car park without landing in Moonee Ponds Creek.
  • On a grander scale, the MCG is more than a cricket ground. It's a meeting place (especially in the Long Room on Boxing Day), a theatre and a workplace. It was a privilege to witness Shane Warne's 700th Test wicket from the press box, and a thrill to hide behind a concrete pillar as Sachin Tendulkar had a private net.
  • I love the Wanderers, in Johannesburg, because of its heady mix of intimacy and intimidation. It felt like a cauldron for the World Cup final in 2003, and the high altitude promotes a breathless atmosphere, where the ball seems to sail for miles.

The ground barely holds 10,000 people, and in '99 it was bursting at the seams. Everyone was desperate to catch a glimpse of the genius of Lara, who had peeled off a match-winning century in the previous Test in Barbados. He saved his most devastating innings for Antigua, where every exquisite stroke made the Rec vibrate even more violently than the reggae music blasting from the Double Decker Stand.

What captivated me most was the intense and sometimes delirious way the Antiguans watched the cricket. Lara's 82-ball century wasn't enough to stop Australia winning the Test, and when the Frank Worrell Trophy was retained, I remember an Australian flag fluttering above a haze of ganja.

It's possible the Rec has been romanticised in my memory, simply because there is nothing like it in the age of standardised modern venues. I returned almost a decade later to find the outfield overgrown and the buildings in a state of sad disrepair as a game of intra-island soccer unfolded. Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, the soulless stadium built for the 2007 World Cup, is an abomination, shunned by locals because it's so far out of town and disliked by the man it's named after. I'll never understand why the Rec could not, instead, have been lovingly restored to its former glory.

Chloe Saltau is the chief cricket writer at the Age, Melbourne


In Hove, you also get to fight off seagulls for your sandwich © Getty Images

County Ground, Hove

By Lawrence Booth

Maybe it's because I grew up in landlocked Oxfordshire, but I've always had a weakness for watching cricket near water. Bear with me.

Rivers have their moments, and I refer you to Chelmsford, where over the years the Can has punched far above its weight in Essex match reports (you can keep the Fremantle and its fancy breeze). Lakes are better, none more so than Wakatipu, which lurks beyond the Queenstown Events Centre in New Zealand, should you manage to avert your gaze from the Remarkables mountains.

But - with apologies to Iris Murdoch - it's got to be the sea, the sea. And it's why, on a grey day at home in south-west London, I can usually feel the pull of Hove.

Hop on a train at Clapham Junction and you're at Brighton station within the hour. Brighton is Hove's left-wing neighbour, a pimply student digs of a town to Hove's genteel retirement home. Yet a five-minute taxi ride is all it takes to cross the cultural chasm. And when you emerge at the home of Sussex CCC, you can sense it instantly: the haziness of the English seaside town, the whiff of salt, the chatter of seagulls.

Better still, you are driven on by the promise at stumps of a beer on the beach, with its rounded pebbles and horizon views. When the sun is out - as it always seems to be when I visit Sussex - it exudes calm, especially before lunch, when deadlines still feel an age away.

There are Hove clichés, it's true. The stripey deckchairs are de rigueur in any depiction; so too the ice-cream van, the sea fret, the slope (wicket to wicket, rather than crossways, as at Lord's). Then there's "Sussex by the Sea", a throaty anthem sung on special occasions by the most extrovert of the spectators, or possibly the drunkest.

But county cricket is full of clichés, and their familiarity is comforting. I'd no sooner deprive Worcestershire acolytes of their cathedral and Yorkshire folk of their harrumphing than I would take the Flake 99 out of Hove. (For non-English readers, a Flake 99 is a creamy goo vaguely approximating to ice-cream, garnished with a chocolate finger and served in a cone. It's a taste of every Briton's childhood - and often their adulthood too.)

My next three

  • The Parks If I wasn't here on the first day of a new first-class season, it can only have been because I had too much homework.
  • Cape Town Apologies, but there's no getting round Table Mountain.
  • Arundel Sussex again, but this time within the grounds of an 11th-century castle, with a glorious view over the South Downs through a gap in the trees.

Until recently, the Hove press box resembled a small greenhouse - seagulls would take their morning constitutional on the roof - and was positioned square of the wicket. This meant journalists had no idea which way the ball was moving, but became adept at spotting no-balls. I still bristle at the number of times Australia's Ben Hilfenhaus overstepped in a tour game in 2009 without being called.

It feels sacrilegious to suggest it after all I have written, but Hove's crowning glory may just be the buildings that surround it. On three sides of the ground, local residents can recline on their balconies, or peer out of the kitchen window for ten minutes with a cuppa - and instantly feel part of their community.

If that has long been an underestimated part of the English domestic game, then in Hove it is inescapable. My 37-year-old sensibility may be more suited to Brighton, but I can think of worse places to grow old than in an apartment overlooking Hove.

Heck, I don't even support Sussex. That fate has befallen Northamptonshire, but Wantage Road - though better than it once was - remains a ground only its mother could love. For me, Hove has the lot, including the glorious liberation of not actually caring who wins.

Lawrence Booth is the editor of the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack and a cricket writer for the Daily Mail

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by laki93 on (December 18, 2012, 16:45 GMT)

Pallekale Stadium also another venue to watch out...lovely place to visit

Posted by Pablo123 on (December 18, 2012, 13:26 GMT)

Dharamshala & Newlands. No other competitors.

Posted by   on (December 17, 2012, 20:07 GMT)

Obviously you all have forgotten Kensingto Oval in Barbados easily top of the list

Posted by Mayan. on (December 17, 2012, 18:15 GMT)

Dharamshala,,,,,,,,,,, come on guys we always want to go 1 up against india bt here there is no comparison, Dharamshala clearly best place

Posted by   on (December 17, 2012, 17:58 GMT)

Don't overlook that beautiful ground in St. Vincent at Windies

Posted by   on (December 17, 2012, 17:36 GMT)

The Macca of Cricket, where Any cricketer wants to play in his life, Lords, London

Posted by   on (December 17, 2012, 16:21 GMT)

galle and dharamsala stadium are very beautiful....

Posted by   on (December 17, 2012, 16:03 GMT)

NO Lords , MCG , Eden Gargens !! I thik the juries had delibarately left out the giants while making this list .

Posted by Arrow011 on (December 17, 2012, 15:59 GMT)

Dharamshala is clearly the best, i dont know how people forget to see the real beauty it is by forgetting their nationalities.

Posted by zan_69 on (December 17, 2012, 14:21 GMT)

Inidan grounds are not that attractive compare to SL once.In india you only see full of people.

Posted by   on (December 17, 2012, 13:45 GMT)

Even D Y Patil, Navi Mumbai is fantastic...

Posted by   on (December 17, 2012, 12:53 GMT)

Galle International Cricket stadium is a historcally and also very beautiful ground. As Sri Lanken we are very proud ..... Come and see the next test match here,,,

Posted by Gizza on (December 17, 2012, 12:19 GMT)

@ JohnAndrew, I think Lords has become bit of a cliche. In reality most writers here have chosen a ground which is under-appreciated by the broader cricketing public. Also I don't think the pitch itself and the bat vs ball contests have much to do with the selections. The focus is on the ground/stadium itself and the scenery around it.

Posted by NAD_SriLankanBoy on (December 17, 2012, 12:00 GMT)

wOw...Dharamsala's Looking very pretty..havent gone there though, so from the places I know..Galle's the best..

Posted by JohnAndrew on (December 17, 2012, 11:45 GMT)

There must be a good reason why nobody has mentioned Lord's.

Galle, Dharamsala and Hove are all beautiful places to watch a cricket match but Lord's is the original: the pitch is always a competitive pitch, with something for both the batsmen and bowlers, and the players want to succeed there more than anywhere else.

Not mentioning it anywhere is bizarre.

Posted by   on (December 17, 2012, 11:45 GMT)

@ Dhushan: so you mean from one to ten, the list should be: 1) Galle International Stadium, Galle 2) Galle International Stadium, Galle 3) Galle International Stadium, Galle 4) Galle International Stadium, Galle 5) Galle International Stadium, Galle 6) Galle International Stadium, Galle 7) Galle International Stadium, Galle 8) Galle International Stadium, Galle 9) Galle International Stadium, Galle 10) Galle International Stadium, Galle

Get a life dude, your stadium is listed at top, you still moaning ?

Posted by Dhushan on (December 17, 2012, 10:48 GMT)

I was wondering when anyone would name Galle stadium as their top. You feel so relaxed going to watch a cricket match there. For the others writers who have listed other grounds as their best, I just want to ask, have you been to Galle stadium to watch a test match? If you haven't, I'm sorry but you don't know what you're missing out

Posted by AceofSpades on (December 17, 2012, 8:20 GMT)

I would like to mention little known Sher-i-Kashmir Stadium in Srinagar,India for this title....

Posted by Akheel on (December 17, 2012, 8:04 GMT)

Galle, my sweet home town- Fort, Galle! obviously I'm biased. but here's another reason you should love Galle: no boring draws and and pitch is result oriented. 16 results:5 draws in 21 tests. good pitch for brave hearts: Murali with the ball; Shewag once with the bat. and Aussie as a team Epic!!

Posted by   on (December 17, 2012, 8:02 GMT)

Galle top the list..... The total package is breath taking......Visit Sri Lanka

Posted by   on (December 17, 2012, 5:51 GMT)

No match for Newlands, Cape Town and Dharamsala, India.... Absolutely fantastic views and great cricketing environments... Pleasant weather throughout and cooler summers make these two my favourites... Would love to watch Test cricket being played in Dharamsala soon... :) Those snow clad peaks would mesmerise anyone... LOVE DHARAMSALA :-)

Posted by   on (December 17, 2012, 4:20 GMT)

The Galle stadium is indeed a great place to watch cricket - and is one place where a few people DO turn up to watch a test-match, unlike in other parts of the country. Btw, only Tests are played in Galle now. The last ODI there was played 12 years ago.

Posted by mikeyp147 on (December 12, 2012, 14:48 GMT)

I see that the last ODI between India and England is in Dharamsala at the end of January, where the visitors should certainly be more familiar with the conditions. It'll be like playing in England in early April.

Posted by jay57870 on (December 12, 2012, 11:51 GMT)

Harsha - History buffs love Dharamsala! High above the scenic cricket stadium (1,457 M), on the mighty Dhauladhar Range slopes, lies McLeod Ganj. It served as a hill station & army cantonment in the British Raj. Lord Elgin, Viceroy of India (1861-63), died of a heart attack while touring his beloved recreational area. He lies buried in the churchyard of the St. John in the Wilderness. His father was the other Lord Elgin - notorious for removing the "Elgin Marbles" from the Parthenon in Athens. A century later, McLeod Ganj transformed into "Little Lhasa" - a settlement for thousands of Tibetan refugees, forced to flee from the Chinese in Tibet. The Dalai Lama now lives in exile in the Viceroy's residence. But the world's "highest cricket ground" title belongs to Chail (2,444 M) across the state. It was built in 1893 in the Maharaja of Patiala's estate (also in exile) after he was banished from the state capital of Simla by the British. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder: Dharamsala!

Posted by Advanced_Donkeys on (December 11, 2012, 16:13 GMT)

Dharamsala....amazing! no words.....

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 13:41 GMT)

gotta go with mcg too!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by saifur.raffael on (December 11, 2012, 12:27 GMT)

SBNCS- dhaka....what a crowd support it has .nothin like this.........

Posted by HueyLad on (December 11, 2012, 10:12 GMT)

Anyone suggesting the SCG is the greatest cricket ground in the world has clearly never queued for 40 minutes through the lunch interval for some woeful excuse for food (no pass-outs are allowed for those who wish to seek alternative edible options) and weak beer.

Nor have they missed several overs play searching in vain through the Trumper and O'Reilly stands for a toilet cubicle with a functioning lock and upon reaching the Bradman stand been informed by the ever helpful stewards that you may not use the bathroom in that stand as your ticket is for the Trumper stand and if you couldn't find a suitable place there then you should go to the pub over the road from the ground. And yes, you would have to purchase another ticket to get back into the ground.

I've seen some great moments play on that ground, but it is comfortably the least warm and welcoming venue I have visited in test cricket across the world.

Posted by chokkashokka on (December 11, 2012, 7:47 GMT)

nothing like the mecca of cricket - Feroz Shah Kotla - a royal experience. Althogh - the summer court can be held in Dharmasala. All Hail now.

Posted by Big-Dog on (December 11, 2012, 7:41 GMT)

@Gilly4ever...quite clearly, you have never been to Bellerive......crowded?

Posted by vish2020 on (December 11, 2012, 7:21 GMT)

Wow Dharmasala just putting the competition in dust! Picture perfect!!

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 3:13 GMT)

Basin Reserve. End of. On a beautiful summers day there is no better bank to be sitting on. Can get a beer or food without having to leave the ground and still watch the match while waiting in line.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (December 11, 2012, 3:02 GMT)

For the record, Bellerieve (Hobart) is a terrible ground that is cramped, crowded, no decent seating and the views are less than spectacular. Adelaide is okay if you can fork out the big bucks for one of the few decent seats in the ground - sitting on the hill is an absolute nightmare. The SCG isn't too bad, though it is a bit on the expensive side and lacks decent seating. The Gabba is okay but costs a fortune to go there and, like so many ground, lacks decent seating. The WACA is quite nice, pity it isn't bigger. Comfortably, by an absolute mile, the best ground in Australia is the MCG. The others don't compete. It is comfortable, good seats and a good view from every single seat on the ground, staff are extremely friendly, with the only bad part being that they charge the earth for food and drinks - but don't fret as you can bring your own in. The atmosphere from having 100,000 fans and when a mexican wave comes, oh you have to be there to experience it. Just amazing.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (December 11, 2012, 2:59 GMT)

In my opinion, the MCG is comfortably the best ground in Australia, and I would be surprised if there were any other ground in the entire world that comes close. I have only recently moved to Melbourne, but had been there on holidays previously. It has a kind of magic about it. It has all of the facilities, is one of the cheapest grounds you could go to, every seat has an amazing view, the scenery, the entertainment, the way that the staff treat you. The only bad part is the extremely overpriced food and drinks there. But you can bring your own food and drinks in (not alcohol though). Do that and you will be laughing at surely the best ground in the world.

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 2:19 GMT)

Basin Reserve in Wellington, New Zealand, you cant beat it.

Posted by debear on (December 11, 2012, 2:03 GMT)

I would have said Newlands, until I saw the pics of Dharmasala.

Posted by RohanMarkJay on (December 11, 2012, 0:29 GMT)

Dharamsala, looks like it is taken out of the pages of the novel The Lost Horizon by James Hilton. A cricketing Shangri-La. It looks spectacular. Who knew such cricket grounds existed. Love its Tibetan themed cricket pavilion.

Posted by subbu85 on (December 10, 2012, 17:22 GMT)

Dharmasala.........imagine test cricket

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 15:43 GMT)

They should play more cricket in Dharmasala, spectacular-photo. Even the Dalai Lama may turn up. Pallakelle- Sri Lanka, Trent Bridge, Lords in England, Sydney, Australia.I havent seen the South African ones or the ones in New Zealand.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 13:33 GMT)

Wow , Dharmasala seems to be the prettiest by far . why dont they play test matches on it

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 9:34 GMT)

I was lucky enough to be at the Oval when England won the Ashes in 2009, which was a day I'll never forget. Great ground to watch cricket from and wonderful atmosphere. I found Lord's to be a bit snobby tho. Not too many decent grounds in my home country of NZ. But you can't go past the bank at Seddon Park in Hamilton on a sunny summer's day. It's just a shame the boundaries are so small.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 9:02 GMT)

The old Newlands ground was nice with the trees and oaks and Durban was pretty as well before the east stand and demolition of those oaks.Harsha is right though Dharamasala is magnificent and is head and shoulders above almost every other venue in terms of scenery including Newlands.

Posted by Big-Dog on (December 10, 2012, 7:30 GMT)

Bellerive is great for watching Cricket. You have a grassy hill as well as modern stands. The backdrop of Mt Wellington & the Derwent estuary with all the sailing is spectacular. The best part is that no matter where you sit you are very close to the action.

Posted by edgie on (December 10, 2012, 7:08 GMT)

who would want to play or watch cricket at sub zero temperatures, and Harsha, if you say table mountain gets monotonous, then watching india play (and get beat) is even more monotonous, and hearing your drivel about iced up cricket pitches is a close second.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 6:26 GMT)

There is only a small grass-bank left at the Adelaide Oval and that is full of rather inebriated souls with plastic glasses and food debris strewn around, not at all idyllic I assure you.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 5:02 GMT)

My preference would be Dambulla , Hambanthota & Galle Sri Lanka Melbourne Cricket Ground Australia Loads in London

Posted by landl47 on (December 10, 2012, 4:45 GMT)

I was a member of Middlesex CCC for a number of years and saw a lot of cricket at Lord's. To walk through the pavilion, which dates back to 1890, is to relive almost the entire history of test cricket. The view from the top deck of the pavilion, looking straight down the pitch over the umpire's head, is unparalleled. For a county game there would be only a sprinkling of spectators and I would unpack my Wisden and settle down comfortably. On cold days there were high chairs in the Long Room to sit on and watch in comfort. During the day I'd move around the ground, watching from the grandstand, the Nursery End and the Tavern (with a pint, naturally). I preferred to go alone, so I could watch without needing to make small talk.

It's over 30 years since I emigrated from England. Those days at Lord's are still one of the things I miss most of all.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 4:10 GMT)

I am an Indian who has lived all my life in Sydney. And watched cricket all over the world. SCG is outstanding and IK loved my experience on the grass embakments at Pallakelle.

Posted by cricketkumar on (December 10, 2012, 4:04 GMT)

The Boland Park in Paarl is also very picturesque. Dharmshala, no doubt is the most beautiful of indian grounds. Adelaide oval used to be great but now they have ruined it. Newlands is beautiful, so is Buffalo Park. Asgiriya Stadium is also very scenic.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 3:58 GMT)

dharamsala looks awesome... breathtaking Himalayan view

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (December 10, 2012, 3:53 GMT)

Dharamsala really is a spectacle. I would really like to see that one in the flesh.And England have an ODI there in Jan.

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 20:03 GMT)

I just googled 2 grounds: Pukekura Park New Plymouth and Dharamsala. The first is a green paradise, uplifting and refreshing; but the latter, with Himalayan peaks rearing in almost-touchable proximity is awe-inspiring. Imagine 'howzatt'-ing the umpire, having him refuse your appeal, then turning and - lo! - having the sight of those towering snow-caps evaporate your frustration.

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 17:14 GMT)

New Road On (or Under) Severn gets my vote, when it's not under 8 feet of water that is.

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 15:54 GMT)

Himachal pradesh ground ,wanderers,Galle...

Posted by Harvey on (December 4, 2012, 14:12 GMT)

As far as Test grounds go, Adelaide Oval used to be my favourite. Now that it's been trashed and is being turned into just another football stadium, that leaves Newlands in Cape Town, followed by The Basin Reserve in Wellington and The Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo (nice ground, shame about the flat pitch). I've heard good things about Pallekele and Hobart too, but haven't yet been. Best English Test ground is Trent Bridge.

Posted by Rabies on (December 4, 2012, 13:47 GMT)

Lords for what it is and Newlands for where it is.....

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 10:16 GMT)

MCG, Adelaide oval, SCG and edan gardens are the best grounds in the world. Even the brisbane ground(GABBA) looks spectacular.. And the best of the lot is the Lords..

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 5:38 GMT)

As an ex Lancashire member I have an affinity with Old Trafford (before the bulldozers wrecked it), but the most picturesque ground I have ever been on is beyond doubt Pukekura Park in New Plymouth NZ.

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 4:50 GMT)

For me the WACA is it! Still has hill, the Perth Summer is glorious and the crowds fair and vocal. So green the outfield and so blue the sky.we all the pitch is fastest, bounciest one out, and provides an even contest for bat and ball. It challenges the players to adjust and adapt and the spectators to swill cold brews and relax waiting for "the Fremantle Doctor" to soothe their sweating brows. It lends itself to the chanting of mantras and the echoes of "Lillee, Lillee,Lillee!" Bring forth the locals propensity to chorus new found heroes too. The onamatoeic name of the venue Isao appropriate that even seagulls flock to the ground to hear leather and willow. WACA!

Posted by MohammedSajid on (December 4, 2012, 4:32 GMT)

I think Dhrmasala,India is one of the best ground to watch cricket.

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 1:59 GMT)

Hi What about Pukekura Park New Plymouth: Try Googling it.

Its a beauty

Posted by mjcoxx on (December 4, 2012, 1:28 GMT)

Agree with Chloe Saltau. Fond memories of ARC in St Johns from 2003. Not quite the result I was hoping for but a terrific Test match played in a great atmosphere. Good natured support and banter between rival fans. The place was rundown and the wooden benches pretty uncomfortable but it really had character. Very tasty food on sale from stalls outside the ground. at lunchtime. The ground authorities certainly had and liberal interpretation of RSA too: you could only bring in one (one litre) bottle of rum per person and for $ECD30 you could get 10 beers and a T-shirt. Michael Bolton the pommie sailor might still be regretting being goaded into consuming his entire allocation of rum before play began on Day 1.

Posted by Whatsgoinoffoutthere on (December 3, 2012, 22:56 GMT)

The Nevill Ground, Tunbridge Wells, with the rhododendrons in bloom. A lovely ground, like a miniature replica of the real thing. Small capacity, tiny stand, diminutive pavilion, all to scale. I recall many a big hitter taking a shine to the size of the outfield as well (ref. Kapil Dev amongst others). Give me polite applause and beer that hasn't been cooled.

Notes: (1) Beer that hasn't been cooled in this country is the same temperature as that from a fridge in most of the rest of the cricket-playing world. (2) Watching Chris Tavare pace the 4th innings of a mid-1980s county game is a recipe for a long afternoon.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 22:32 GMT)

The guy who said Eden Park in Auckland made me laugh. It is a rugby ground and terrible for cricket. McLean Park in Napier is the best ground I have seen apart from the MCG.

Posted by Robster1 on (December 3, 2012, 21:58 GMT)

Whilst Newlands is a superbly located ground, St Georges seems to be the ideal location where a South African Boxing Day test could always be staged. The ARC in St Johns was an electric atmosphere - two years ago we went to the new Antigan ground and will never go back. North Sound is souless and empty.

Posted by Pedpathpres on (December 3, 2012, 21:29 GMT)

The Brabourne Stadium is the best --for player accommodation( ask Keith miller ashe said in his book "Cricket Crossfire") , for covered, unobstructed stands from the start ( as proposed by its driving force the late A.S. De Mello, for which he had to take enormous flak at the time ), and for standsdesigned to allow a full view of the entire ground --even those areas on the opposite side of the field !! At least that was the case in 1948 when i first saw a Test there ( India v West Indies , 5th Test -- match drawn , due to massive time wasting from the West indians!!)

Posted by The_Aeroboy on (December 3, 2012, 20:44 GMT)

Sherebangla national stadium, mirpur.... 1 of the best, all time full crowded...

Posted by wolf777 on (December 3, 2012, 19:01 GMT)

Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi grounds are probably the worst places to watch Cricket. No facility, lack of civic sense and unhelpful clueless police are norms in these countries. Why only subcontinent grounds need fence to keep people out of playing area? I regularly watch Cricket on Satellite TV and don't see any fence anywhere in Australia, NZ, England, SA, Zimbabwe and West Indies. I grew up in India and now call US my home. I have been to many sporting events here in the US. Even with alcoholic beverages freely available there is no fence on any of sporting venues. People behave respectfully with each other. Rare incidents of misbehaviors are swiftly and harshly deal with. I would rather prefer to go any country outside the subcontinent to watch Cricket in comfort. I don't know which Cricket ground is the best in the world to watch Cricket. However, I am pretty sure the worst ones are in the subcontinent.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 18:52 GMT)

There are many grounds with stunning cricketing environment but i think Oval, England is the best around the world.

Posted by K.A.Dhammika on (December 3, 2012, 17:47 GMT)

I believe MCG is the best cricket ground on the planet in terms of the capacity. Kolkata comes next, but there are few stadiums in Sri Lanka less capacity comparatively to above mentioned but the attractiveness and the natural beauty is so impressive. even is South Africa such as Johannesburg. So its difficult to mention a one stadium which is the most suitable cricketing venue.

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 17:15 GMT)

Centurion may not be the best looking but it certainly has the best atmosphere.

Posted by snorbens on (December 3, 2012, 16:50 GMT)

Lord's takes some beating but SCG and Adelaide run it a close as does Basin Reserve. What stops me nominating those was that I didn't see any cricket there, just had guided, off-season tours. But if you haven't played or watched social cricket in Verulamium Park in St Albans (north of London) in the shadow of the Cathedral on a balmy summer's Sunday evening with its bells and those of St Stephens and St Michaels churches ringing out, then you haven't lived. (PS. MCG is awfull)

Posted by Robster1 on (December 3, 2012, 16:44 GMT)

Wouldn't St Georges be the ideal venue for a traditional South African Boxing Day test ?

Posted by Rohan_K on (December 3, 2012, 13:54 GMT)

The Brabourne Stadium CCI is the best ground in the world..!!

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 13:51 GMT)

Basin Reserve,Wellington.... AMI, Christchurch, The one beside the ocean in St Kitts and Nevis

Posted by ARad on (December 3, 2012, 13:46 GMT)

This is an enjoyable series of articles. While I appreciate the photos that are already there, I think cricinfo can enhance the experience more. Considering how cheap the cameras and how cricinfo readers would be ready to submit photos submitted under the license of Wiki Commons, can we have more PANORAMIC shots of all the the grounds in the cricinfo database PLEASE? Also, it may be possible to even add VIDEOS if cricinfo wants to be more futuristic...

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 13:28 GMT)

Eden Park, Auckland Lords, London Durban

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 12:01 GMT)

sharjah is best ground with eden gardens

Posted by Beertjie on (December 3, 2012, 11:25 GMT)

Cape Town where I was born and Centurion where I reside are both picturesque and pleasant grounds from which to watch. Lords was literally awesome but I dream of shortly visiting the G, the SCG and Adelaide Oval.

Posted by OzHorse on (December 3, 2012, 10:52 GMT)

Telford, you obviously weren't at the Gabba in Nov 2010 to see the Ashes test. There was nothing 'soulless' about it then. Yes, the Gabba now is a generic modern stadium that has zero unique features. It has lost character from the days I first watched cricket there in 1975. But in a modern efficient 1st-world country, this is the way it has to be as the ground needs to hold 45,000 spectators in order for it to serve an an AFL venue - its primary source of revenue. Its a shame for cricket, but its the best thing for the city.

Posted by johnal on (December 3, 2012, 10:04 GMT)

for me nothing beats the MCG iin australia

Posted by MrKricket on (December 3, 2012, 9:14 GMT)

Only the SCG is a real cricket ground! The perfect shape for the field. The magnificent old Members' and Ladies' stands. The only dressing rooms left in the world that saw the players from the early 1900s still apparently. The new stands leave a bit to be desired from an aesthetic viewpoint but there is a good view from anywhere. I've been to 20 plus Tests there and I never get sick of it. Also been to Lords, The Oval and Newlands which are all great in their own way.

Posted by TomCalder on (December 3, 2012, 8:22 GMT)

@Zenboomerang - Perfect answer. There are 100+ International grounds all over the world and everyone is going to have agreements / disagreements.

Luckily, no matter what you want in terms of a cricket ground, there is something for everyone. The only trouble is getting there!

I've been lucky enough to go to some in England, Australia, South Africa, West Indies and new Zealand and so far, I haven't been to a bad ground. Every one is unique and the culture is so varied.

Posted by Affanz26 on (December 3, 2012, 7:01 GMT)

EDEN GARDENS ! The Best Ground To Watch Cricket In ! :)

Posted by   on (December 3, 2012, 4:48 GMT)

Dharshala. but indian people ruins it by making noise for no reason. any australia,sa,english ground is best

Posted by zenboomerang on (November 28, 2012, 11:59 GMT)

@Chloe Saltau :- "Which is the best ground to watch cricket in?"

Answer: How long is a piece of string... lol...

The MCG on the 1st day of an Ashes with 80,000 is hard to go past... For crowd entertainment & food the WI's have to win here... India with their intense crowd participation have a wonderful sub-continental feel... SL have some beautiful grounds & a warm & engaging people... England grounds feel traditional & sometimes quaint in what is a continually changing world... Yet to visit SA, Pak & surprisingly NZ for a Test series - hopefully I can remedy that in the future...

Perhaps your original question cannot be answered or is in fact the wrong question?... After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder & I love many cricket grounds for completely different reasons - some for the brilliant plays on the field, sometimes for the company I am with, or the friends I have made, & sometimes because of the surroundings - or for all those reasons & more...

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 14:59 GMT)

When i was a young kid the West Indian tour used to start from Bourda and then go through to Queens Park oval to Barbados to Recreation ground to Sabina Park at Jamaica. I would wake up until 1 am in the morning and then go to sleep. I still believe Bourda Oval deserves good amount of test cricket. I can't forget that imposing cut out of Rahna Kanhai right over tha Kanhai Stand in Bourda Oval Guyana. Its the only Test playing ground in mainland South America with a great sense of History.

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 12:12 GMT)

Newlands is a beautiful place to watch cricket!

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 9:37 GMT)

dubai cricket stadium the ring of fire u forgot the best in the world in terms of facilities

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 2:58 GMT)

I'm not so sure about Eden Park but I could sit on the green banks of the Basin reserve and watch cricket all summer long.

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 1:35 GMT)

This looks like any other ground with buildings around, I think Dharmsala in india has a magnificent view. Also Cape town in South Africa.

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 0:26 GMT)

I'm extremely biased but the University Oval in Dunedin is a perfect setting for test cricket - such an intimate atmosphere and picturesque surroundings! The Queenstown Events Centre is also beautiful with The Remarkables piercing the sky behind the ground - I'm sure it's only a matter of time before a six hits a low flying aircraft from the adjacent airport!

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (November 26, 2012, 23:33 GMT)

I see people mentioning Lords, if im honest I dont rate lords that much, there are areas where you can lose parts of the field due to obstructions, eg Top of the Grandstand you lose most of the square boundry edge, the same with the top of the edrich and compton stands at the back, thats why the Oval edges it over Lords, also I rate the SCG over the MCG. County grounds, Worcestershire's county ground is quiant when its not flooded, Hove is a nice ground as well. Of the grounds I've seen on TV, Eden gardens, Adelaide, Perth, and Cape town all look like fantasic grounds and they are on the list to visit when funds permit.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 21:32 GMT)

I've been lucky enough to see international cricket at all the Australian grounds and most of those in South Africa and the Caribbean. For me the SCG is the best place to spectate as the smaller playing surface (compared to the other Australian gbrounds), allows you to get closer to the action. The beer lines are never too long (at least in the Members) and if you choose, you can sit either in your allocated seat, or in air conditioned comfort in a bar. I was in Antigua when the West Indies toppled Australia with 7/418 in 2003 and the atmosphere was great. I was also at the Wanderers for the 2003 CWC Final - great atmosphere, cheap beer (approx $2AUD for a pint), and an outstanding performance by the Aussies put it near the top of my list.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 20:30 GMT)

I wonder in 10 years time which ground of the hopefully new test countries will get a mention. Whether Ireland, the Netherlands or even Afghanistan could have a ground to compete with the beauty of these mentioned.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 20:22 GMT)

We need investors to revive two grounds in the West Indies. Antigua Recreation Ground and GCC Bourda Guyana. The most picturesque ground in the world however is Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (November 26, 2012, 19:17 GMT)

Any ground in West Indies. Nothing to match the ambience and the vibes in The Caribbean.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 18:55 GMT)

newlands Cape Town Montains green grass and crystal clear air.Heaven is a place on earth.

Posted by vinjoy on (November 26, 2012, 18:46 GMT)

Different grounds are good for different reasons. Wellington and Cape town stand apart for beauty, the absolute fun and carnival with family. Melbourne: Intimidating for test cricket when packed and cloudy Old Trafford: Lovable when packed with intelligent crowd Adelaide: The turf and the grond, the way balls travels from bat to boundary

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 15:07 GMT)

Any ground with a white picket fence and green embankment, that isn't too big is what cricket is about. One of my favorite things in the world is sitting at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on a belter of a summer's day (you can keep the windy ones - and there are one or two)

Posted by Mr.AGP on (November 26, 2012, 13:57 GMT)

Anyone been to St. George's, Port Elizabeth? Whether the stadium is packed or not, the crowd is always in a cheerful, supportive mood towards the game. Oh, and don't forget the band, nothing can match that atmosphere.

Posted by DwightR on (November 26, 2012, 13:35 GMT)

although not listed here, the Galle international Stadium, by far gets my vote as best ground to watch cricket in- aboslutley stunning views of the ocean and a 16th century fort in the background makes you feel like your in a different time..espeically since its a Test only ground now

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 12:49 GMT)

Cape Town is just such a breathtakingly beautiful city and the Newlands setting with Table Mountain as backdrop is just so dramatic.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 12:48 GMT)

Cape Town is just such a breathtakingly beautiful city and the Newlands setting with Table Mountain as backdrop is just so dramatic.

Posted by RohanMarkJay on (November 26, 2012, 12:10 GMT)

Some have said one or two grounds in Canada even though cricket is not followed in Canada. However I to be honest the MCG is probably the best ground to watch cricket only because. Mainly because Melbournians can give a great atmosphere which you wont find in other cricket playing countries . At least that was my experience when visited there a couple of times in the 1990s. Especially one day internationals involving Australia. Also Australia are a tough team, who play very good cricket at the MCG most teams who visit the MCG even today with a weakened Ozzie team compared to the 1990s lose there. Every cricket fan should visit the MCG at least once in their lives to see how atmosphere created by the crowd can contribute to a memorable day out even if the cricket on offer is not that exciting.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 10:40 GMT)

The Rec is still known in these part as the ARG a site as the writer says had an atmosphere and back drop like no other.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (November 26, 2012, 8:32 GMT)

Newlands in Cape Town - obvious really.

Posted by alonsoe on (November 26, 2012, 8:17 GMT)

For atmosphere, energy and life (regardless the state of the match) there is none like the Antiguan Recreation Ground. But of the grounds still used for international cricket I love Newlands in Cape Town, Eden Gardens in India, Eden Park and Basin Reserve in New Zealand and Sir Viv in Antigua. I think these grounds are very beautiful. Sir Viv had a rough start but I really enjoy taking my family there. Stanford Ground next to V.C. Bird Airport, is a gem. Hope someone can redevelop it.

Posted by 200ondebut on (November 26, 2012, 8:10 GMT)

The home of cricket is the best - as is spectacular under lights.

Posted by Reverend-Cavalier on (November 26, 2012, 7:29 GMT)

Give me Tasker Park at Canterbury, NSW any time

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 7:16 GMT)

I hate to be a pedant (OK, I love being a pedant), but Fremantle is a city, or a suburb, not a river, and the Fremantle Doctor is a sea breeze.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 6:34 GMT)

I was taken to Newlands, Cape Town by my father in 1953 at the tender age of seven, and was hooked for life! The original Newlands was a beautiful ground, the Oaks were a favourite place to sit, but opposite were the Plains. The old,, corrugated railway stand was rustic and ugly, but many people enjoyed sitting there. And over everything looms majestic Table Mountain. Little did I know then that some 35 years later I would earn my living writing about the great game for various magazines and eventually an East London newspaper. Unfortunately in the 1990s and with South Africa's return to international cricket, the ground had a major face-lift and it really doesn't look the same. Some atmosphere is lacking, but Newlands is still a stunning place to watch cricket and must be among the all-time favourites in the world.

Posted by edgie on (November 26, 2012, 5:46 GMT)

Newlands hands down. Must admit I love a game in Paarl, specially on a Friday evening, and you can distinctly smell the mouth-watering aroma of all the braais/bbq's on the go across the vast grass embankments around the field. No better way to start off a weekend in my honest opinion (along with a tall, cool, frosty one ;)

Posted by   on (November 26, 2012, 5:42 GMT)

Newlands in Cape Town, great ground, great view, great crowd...what more would you want?

Posted by   on (November 21, 2012, 3:38 GMT)

For the record, Mt Wellington is 1270m high. It gets my vote. But I am biased.

Posted by   on (November 21, 2012, 1:10 GMT)

Adelaide Oval ! For sure !! and Centurion

Posted by Rajesh_india_1990 on (November 20, 2012, 19:53 GMT)

Every country has its own prestigious grounds..England-LORDS..Australia-MELBOURNE(but i like WACA)..India-EDEN GARDENS..Southafrica-NEWLANDS..srilanka-nil..pakistan-nil.. @trapper439 Well Dharmasala is the best cricket stadium in the world but nobody knows it because no international matches was played is situated near by the himalayas..go to 2010 ipl there was a match between chennai and punjab in dharmasala..where chennai needed 16 runs to win of the final over...DHONI sends two sixes to the himalayas and sealed the match for chennai..if you want see in youtube..

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 19:01 GMT)

It may be a concrete bowl, but the Wanderers in Johannesburg still lives in my heart. True bounce and a fast outfield has made it a high-scoring ground (except in the late Seventies, when Clive Rice would order wickedly bouncing tracks to suit his seam attack) and sight lines were excellent, wherever you sat (they might have changed, of course, what with all the building at both ends. and when it rained - and it used to, spectacularly, almost every day at about 4pm - the drainage was so good they'd be playing again by 5.

Posted by yorkshirematt on (November 20, 2012, 16:04 GMT)

Obviously we're all going to have our favourites depending on our allegiances. I have to say i don't like Headingley very much as it lacks something, that bit of character. On the subject of seaside grounds, however,I don't think I'm alone among Yorkshire supporters in that I love North Marine Road, Scarborough. When the sun is out (which admittedly is rare), with the gentle sea breeze off the North Sea, the sound of the gulls overhead and the smell of the finest fish and chips in England in the air, there is no better place to be. When there's a stiff northeasterly and a sea fret however...

Posted by LordKratos on (November 20, 2012, 10:25 GMT)

Cape Town the cape of good hope nuff said

Posted by Dolci on (November 20, 2012, 9:31 GMT)

The Royal Selangor Club in Kuala Lumpur is my favorite

Posted by zenboomerang on (November 20, 2012, 5:25 GMT)

@Timmuh & @Roddy Andrews... Mt Wellington is over 1,200 metres tall (over 4,000 ft) - climbed it many times as a kid... Name the tallest mountain in England!... Also you don't get winter south-easterly blasts coming up the Derwent - they come from the south-west or west - nor snow on the ground at Bellerive... Bellerives latitude is close to northern coastal Spain & the climate isn't greatly different... Bellerive (French - 'feminine' beautiful river) is one of the prettier grounds in Oz, but I do have a soft spot for Adelaide & the redevelopment should add to the grounds appeal for all patrons...

Posted by schumanth007 on (November 20, 2012, 3:02 GMT)

M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore...

Posted by raghavan88 on (November 20, 2012, 2:14 GMT)

My pick is the Adelaide Oval,a beautiful and picturesque venue.If its an Indian ground,it will be Eden for the crowd atmosphere.

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 0:46 GMT)

Anywhere in the Caribbean with rum, dancers and drums!

Posted by brusselslion on (November 19, 2012, 22:34 GMT)

Hove, Hobart, Cape Town. Utter nonsense. There can be only one winner: The (original) Oval. The backdrop of the gasometers, the wail of the police sirens speeding down Harleyford Road plus the recent addition of the beautiful OCS stand. It bringing tears to my eyes as I write.

Seriously, always liked Worcester. Pretty little ground.

Posted by Chris_P on (November 19, 2012, 20:22 GMT)

Not sure if this is restricted to International matches, (I guess it is) but I consider myself fortunate to play on a ground that was voted one of the 5 (FIVE) most picturesque club cricket grounds in the world in 2005. Nestled next to a small cove, a 180 degree view of the Pacific Ocean & in a natural part ampi-theatre surrounding the western side of the ground giving you the wide view, it is stunning. The beach is a long in an area where it is a tourist destination spot so the summer holidays see many beach goers watching the cricket. Opposition Captains always tell me how much they look forward to playing us at home for the view!

Posted by AlexfromPessac on (November 19, 2012, 19:51 GMT)

Chateau Giscours in Medoc, France, where Bordeaux CC play. Wide, open green space, wine chateau in the background, high trees, the occasional wild boar or wedding party r curious to know what's going on...

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 19:43 GMT)

You cannot beat New Road, Worcester

Posted by halberdierv2 on (November 19, 2012, 18:40 GMT)

Windsor Park, Roseau Dominica. - picturesque montain view in one direction, the Caribbean sea in the other.

Posted by suspect76 on (November 19, 2012, 17:05 GMT)

The best ground has go to go to Warner Park in St Kitts WI. You have a clear view of the entire field no matter where you are and you feel so close to the players that you feel like your playing as well. You also have a beautiful view of the ocean and the mountains as well. The second goes to Kensington Oval in Barbados for the atmosphere; the noise of the crowd is captivating along with the music, food and the people.

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 17:05 GMT)

Galle is near the ocean too. And there is a corporation ground near Cheapauk, chidambaram stadium at Chennai and many say that Kris. Srikanth once hit a ball into the Sea off Marina. But the best must be the one in Srinagar, Kashmir.

Posted by OmanBiek on (November 19, 2012, 16:55 GMT)

Arnos Vale - St Vincent, I was lucky to get a seat at the north end with a spectacular view of the entire field and the Grenadine Islands in the back drop with a few yachts in the Bequia channel

Posted by shillingsworth on (November 19, 2012, 16:38 GMT)

@stormy16 - Surely the whole point is that it is a personal view. I'd expect writers from other parts of the world to pick their favourites from their home country and the less well known they are the better. @Timmuh - Describing Trent Bridge as 'ramshackle' is hardly fair. It has more character than some English test grounds certainly but is very well appointed these days.

Posted by Unomaas on (November 19, 2012, 14:27 GMT)

My vote go's to Newlands. Nothing beats table mountain in the background!

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 13:46 GMT)

As a Sussex lad, I'm biased, but I will say Hove is a lovely spot to watch some cricket. One of my favourite moments was in 2009, when Ricky Ponting drop an absolute dolly of a catch at mid-on from a mis-timed on-drive from Carl Hopkinson.

All things considered, it was quite funny.

Posted by OldAdam on (November 19, 2012, 13:45 GMT)

I first watched cricket at Chesterfield's Queens Park nearly 50 years ago and still haven't found a more beautiful venue though Newlands and Arundel certainly look attractive, too. It doesn't matter whether or not a ground is used for international cricket as it's easy to view pictures via Google if you want to check out anybody else's favourites.

Posted by TheRisingTeam on (November 19, 2012, 13:17 GMT)

Its when Crickets worst enemy 'rain' which can ruin the beauty of our stadiums making it dull and unattractive turning people away which is of course true. Most Cricket fans love watching Cricket when its warm with lovely amount of sunshine.

Posted by TheRisingTeam on (November 19, 2012, 13:14 GMT)

Cricket is one of the few sports where smaller grounds in capacity can be a joy to watch especially for test matches where at least for those matches in smaller capacity stadiums, it looks as if the stadium is packed with a reasonable amount of crowds. Its good that we have all sorts of Cricket stadiums in the world and use them everytime unlike other sports where you keep needing to make stadiums bigger and bigger making it less picturesque and waste a lot of money. Most Cricket grounds in the world are of decent standard but I don't really think that there is such thing as best ground in the world they're all unique in their own way. Cricket is a summer sport the best time to play Cricket makes it a joy to watch already.

Posted by Trapper439 on (November 19, 2012, 13:02 GMT)

As an Aussie fan I'd like to watch a match in Cape Town. And for some reason I've always liked Trent Bridge in England. Back in the day it was the ultimate English greentop.

@Prabahar_Trichy: I've never heard of the Dharmasala ground, but any sporting venue that has the Himalayas overlooking it would be a phenomenal place to visit. Off to google it now.

Posted by MJEllis77 on (November 19, 2012, 12:37 GMT)

I was suprised by Mr Booth's view. I am a Durham fan hence a neutral but I've always loved going to Wantage Road - you cannot get a bad view (square of the wicket or behind the wickets), never any horrendous queue's for the bar (featuring very good real ale) and there's a friendly, homely atmosphere. You've also got to love the ancient Cricket bookshop right beside the boundary!!

Agreed - the location of Hove is great but I don't find the ground aesthetically pleasing.

Posted by yorkshirematt on (November 19, 2012, 12:33 GMT)

@jonesy2 If there is any ground in England with a better chance of decent weather it's Hove. Or Canterbury or Chelmsford. All lovely grounds with their own unique characteristics. Not a soulless bowl like the Gabba or the MCG

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 12:30 GMT)

Eded Gardens..not even a soccer stadium can match it's atmosphere

Posted by Timmuh on (November 19, 2012, 11:20 GMT)

On the Bellerive comment, Mt Wellington might be around 2700 feet, not 2700 metres. Good viewing when there is no Antarctic howler coming up the Derwent.

I want to go Trent Bridge, such a ramshackle traditional style ground. Newlands would be great too. A packed MCG has a great atmosphere, provided you sit far enough away from those creating said atmosphere - its not nice there by mid-afternoon.

Posted by stormy16 on (November 19, 2012, 11:15 GMT)

shouldnt this be restricted to international venues only? Also I think this is a bit difficult as its too personal. For example when someone says 'the parks' or 'arundale' this means nothing to those who havent been to England. I think international venues will some meaning as the fans will be aware through atleast seing it on TV.

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 9:47 GMT)

Bellerive Oval and the Junction oval, can't say I've seen a match from outside Australia though.

Posted by Tigg on (November 19, 2012, 9:46 GMT)

Hove and Arundel are two of the most picturesque grounds around. A ground, not a massive ugly hulking stadium.

Posted by denwarlo70 on (November 19, 2012, 9:34 GMT)

Galle, Pallekelle, Dambulla in Sri Lanka. Three different kinds of grounds with it's own surrounding which is very soothing to be around in watching a game of cricket. Yes, I like Newlands in Cape Town as well.

Posted by Thaimike on (November 19, 2012, 9:33 GMT)

I was brought up in Hove, and saw all my early first-class cricket there. the first match I saw was 1946, India v. Sussex. In this famous match, India made 533-3 dec, with 200 for Merchant, and 100 each for Mankad, Amarnath and Pataudi. Maybe the only match in which all four batsmen made centuries, all on the same day!

Posted by jonesy2 on (November 19, 2012, 9:08 GMT)

cant be any ground in england it just cant because 1- the weather, 2- the weather. needs to be a list of proper stadiums like the gabba or the g. or nice places like newlands

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 9:01 GMT)

For me & my family Newlands in Cape Town has to be the best with the brewery & table Mountain as a backdrop this just has to be one of the best in the world.

Posted by Prabahar_Trichy on (November 19, 2012, 7:51 GMT)

Dharmasala -- The snow capped mountains can be easily viewed throughout the year & all season.. my favourite...

Posted by Prabahar_Trichy on (November 19, 2012, 7:48 GMT)

Guys !! What abt Dharmasala on the verge of Himalayas....

Posted by Leggie on (November 19, 2012, 7:28 GMT)

The first time I saw a match played at Hove was the India vs. South Africa WC match in 1996. This was on TV. Ever since then, there was a part in me that longed for watching a match "live" at Hove. This wish came true when I got to move to UK, and stayed close to Brighton. Once there, I got to see Hampshire vs. Sussex at Hove - live. It was a dream come true - with my idol Warne also playing that match! It was a day-night match and I was watching the match from a Square-Leg view. The biggest disappointment was that I could not spot the ball at all. This did not stop me from going to the ground again. Saw the India vs. Sussex match when India toured England in 2006. Once again had trouble sighting the ball. Otherwise a great ground, great environment, very picturesque and very friendly Sussex people. Happy memories indeed.

Posted by Icetto on (November 19, 2012, 7:28 GMT)

No mention of Newlands in Cape Town?

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 6:49 GMT)

i prefer the giant stands like mcg!

Posted by sawifan on (November 19, 2012, 5:58 GMT)

2700m mountain?! Making it a few hundred metres taller than Kosciusko?! haha... Bellerive is a nice ground though!

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 5:50 GMT)

Bellerive Oval, Hobart. This ground has the sea and a 2700m mountain all in view. Also one of the last Australian test venues to still have a glorious grassy hill to recline on. Sheffield Shield games are free entry and one of the worlds best batsmen, Ricky Ponting plays there for Tasmania....beat that Hove.

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