July 28, 2014

No repeats

Grounds that have hosted only one Test
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A tour game at Buffalo Park, 1999
A tour game at Buffalo Park, 1999 © Getty Images

As the Rose Bowl stages its second Test, there are currently 19 grounds that have held just one Test match. Some - like Bogra, Fatullah and Khulna in Bangladesh - may well have more in future. But here are 11 that probably won't:

Sheffield
The first ground to be a one-Test wonder, Bramall Lane in Sheffield staged the third Test of the 1902 Ashes series. The classy left-hander Clem Hill scored 119 - Sheffield's only Test century - as Australia won by 143 runs to take a 1-0 lead in a series they eventually won 2-1. The ground was shared with Sheffield United football club, but Yorkshire played occasional matches there until 1973. A permanent stand was then built to enclose the football pitch, so a return for cricket is impossible.

Jullundur
The only Test at Burlton Park, in Jullundur (now Jalandhar) in northern India, had a sensational start: Mohsin Khan was lbw to the first ball of the game, in 1983-84. Pakistan recovered to make 337, and the match ended in a draw, not helped by the loss of the third day to rain. The ground - briefly named after Bishan Bedi, and now called the Gandhi Stadium - has staged a couple of ODIs since, but no more Tests. Punjab last played a Ranji Trophy match there in December 2000.

East London
The regular home of South Africa's Border province, Buffalo Park in East London had a brief taste of Test cricket in 2002-03, when Bangladesh played there. They had just been blown away in the one-day series, and when Khaled Mashud decided to bowl first, one local journalist rather unkindly observed that Bangladesh had won the toss but refused to bat. Graeme Smith, in just his third Test, made 200 as South Africa ran up 529 for 4 and won in four days. The second match of the series was played at the North West Cricket Stadium in Potchefstroom, the only Test ever played there.

Jaipur
The Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur, where Rajasthan Royals have proved almost unbeatable in the IPL, staged its solitary Test back in 1986-87, against Pakistan. Sunil Gavaskar, in his final series, was out to the first ball of the match, but centuries from Mohammad Azharuddin and Ravi Shastri piloted India to a strong position before the third day was lost to rain. The ground has also staged several ODIs, most recently a high-scoring one against Australia last October, as well as several matches when the Champions Trophy was held in India late in 2006.

Bulawayo Athletic Club
The Bulawayo Athletic Club staged Zimbabwe's second official Test - a draw against New Zealand in 1992-93 - and a solitary one-day international too. The Test was hit by rain, which meant it was doubly unfortunate that some of the ground's covers had been stolen just beforehand. Test cricket then moved to the nearby Queen's Sports Club ground, although the news was slow to sink in - when yours truly covered England's 1996-97 Test in Bulawayo (the one that ended with the scores level), his taxi deposited him at a deserted BAC ground on the first morning.

Karachi Defence Stadium
Of the 42 Test matches played in Karachi, 41 of them have been at the National Stadium, where Pakistan went unbeaten until that moonlight robbery by England in 2000-01. But when Zimbabwe visited in 1993-94, the first Test was played at what was then called the Defence Cricket Stadium (because the Defence Housing Authority team played there, rather than the army). It's now known, rather more cosily, as the Southend Club Stadium. It's still used now - four first-class games were played there in the 2013-14 season.

Lucknow University
After losing their inaugural Test by an innings in Delhi, Pakistan turned the tables to devastating effect in the second match of their 1952-53 series, at Lucknow University. Now Pakistan won by an innings, with Fazal Mahmood taking 12 for 94. This was the only first-class match ever played at the University Ground.

KD Singh, Lucknow
Named after KD Singh "Babu", an Indian hockey great who won Olympic gold medals in 1948 and 1952, this ground staged its only Test against Sri Lanka in 1993-94. India won by an innings, with Sachin Tendulkar making an imperious 142 and Navjot Sidhu 124, which included six sixes off Muttiah Muralitharan. The ground had also staged one ODI, five years previously. It completed an unusual double for the capital of Uttar Pradesh: two Tests have been held in Lucknow, at two different grounds.

Chandigarh
Kapil Dev was among those who played his first big cricket in the unexotically named Sector 16 Stadium in Chandigarh, and fittingly he did his bit - taking 5 for 50 in the match - when India played their first Test there, against Sri Lanka in 1990-91. The ground also staged a few ODIs, including one in the 1987 World Cup, but it was eventually superseded by the new stadium in nearby Mohali.

A helicopter dries the square at the Jinnah Stadium in Gujranwala during the 1996 World Cup
A helicopter dries the square at the Jinnah Stadium in Gujranwala during the 1996 World Cup © Associated Press

Rawalpindi Club
The first Test of New Zealand's 1964-65 tour of Pakistan was played at the Pindi Club, a venue also sometimes known as the Army Sports Ground. Pakistan won by an innings inside three days, but no more Tests were played in Rawalpindi until 1993-94, by which time a bigger stadium had been constructed. The Pindi Club did stage a couple of ODIs, including England's game against Pakistan in the 1987 World Cup.

Bombay Gymkhana
Test cricket has been played on three grounds in Mumbai (formerly) Bombay) - 24 at the Wankhede Stadium, 18 at the Brabourne... and one at the Bombay Gymkhana, the original home of cricket in the city and, fittingly therefore, the stage for India's first home Test, against England in 1933-34. Lala Amarnath celebrated by hitting India's first Test century. The Gymkhana staged its last first-class match in 1960-61.

For the record
The other one-Test grounds not mentioned above are the Dring Stadium in Bahawalpur (one match in 1954-55), the Peshawar Club (1954-55), the Ibn-e-Qasim Bagh in Multan (1980-81), and Gujranwala's Jinnah Stadium (1991-92).

Steven Lynch is the editor of the Wisden Guide to International Cricket 2014. Ask Steven is now on Facebook

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2014, 7:38 GMT

    Why do people get all worked up about items that have been 'missed out' in the ESPNcricinfo XI column? For crying out loud, it's Steven Lynch's collection of ELEVEN examples of the subject matter, which means, unbelievably, that if there are more than eleven some will be excluded. Every week it happens - can't readers just absorb this simple fact and engage their brains before 'fending and proving' and complaining about omissions?? @AvmanM, Bogra was even mentioned in the introduction under the Buffalo Park photo...

  • POSTED BY AvmanM on | July 28, 2014, 23:21 GMT

    Missed tons of places. I can think of Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra, BD off the top of my head, but I sure there are plenty not mentioned.

  • POSTED BY Pelham_Barton on | July 28, 2014, 13:59 GMT

    Readers may get the wrong impression from the statement about Bramall Lane, Sheffield that Yorkshire played occasional matches there until 1973. In fact, Yorkshire first played there in 1855. As county cricket became the dominant form of the first-class game, Yorkshire began to play at Bramall Lane every season and they played at least three first-class matches there in every full English season from 1871 to 1973 inclusive.

  • POSTED BY DavidCorbett on | July 28, 2014, 8:28 GMT

    Chris: those have all hosted two Tests each.

  • POSTED BY ChrisCaton on | July 28, 2014, 7:42 GMT

    Where is the Exhibition Ground in Brisbane, or Darwin or Cairns???

  • POSTED BY on | July 28, 2014, 4:22 GMT

    Bhawal stadium in bhawalpur Pakistan also had a solitary test Pak vs IND 1954-55 http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/ground/58921.html

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2014, 7:38 GMT

    Why do people get all worked up about items that have been 'missed out' in the ESPNcricinfo XI column? For crying out loud, it's Steven Lynch's collection of ELEVEN examples of the subject matter, which means, unbelievably, that if there are more than eleven some will be excluded. Every week it happens - can't readers just absorb this simple fact and engage their brains before 'fending and proving' and complaining about omissions?? @AvmanM, Bogra was even mentioned in the introduction under the Buffalo Park photo...

  • POSTED BY AvmanM on | July 28, 2014, 23:21 GMT

    Missed tons of places. I can think of Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra, BD off the top of my head, but I sure there are plenty not mentioned.

  • POSTED BY Pelham_Barton on | July 28, 2014, 13:59 GMT

    Readers may get the wrong impression from the statement about Bramall Lane, Sheffield that Yorkshire played occasional matches there until 1973. In fact, Yorkshire first played there in 1855. As county cricket became the dominant form of the first-class game, Yorkshire began to play at Bramall Lane every season and they played at least three first-class matches there in every full English season from 1871 to 1973 inclusive.

  • POSTED BY DavidCorbett on | July 28, 2014, 8:28 GMT

    Chris: those have all hosted two Tests each.

  • POSTED BY ChrisCaton on | July 28, 2014, 7:42 GMT

    Where is the Exhibition Ground in Brisbane, or Darwin or Cairns???

  • POSTED BY on | July 28, 2014, 4:22 GMT

    Bhawal stadium in bhawalpur Pakistan also had a solitary test Pak vs IND 1954-55 http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/ground/58921.html

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY on | July 28, 2014, 4:22 GMT

    Bhawal stadium in bhawalpur Pakistan also had a solitary test Pak vs IND 1954-55 http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/ground/58921.html

  • POSTED BY ChrisCaton on | July 28, 2014, 7:42 GMT

    Where is the Exhibition Ground in Brisbane, or Darwin or Cairns???

  • POSTED BY DavidCorbett on | July 28, 2014, 8:28 GMT

    Chris: those have all hosted two Tests each.

  • POSTED BY Pelham_Barton on | July 28, 2014, 13:59 GMT

    Readers may get the wrong impression from the statement about Bramall Lane, Sheffield that Yorkshire played occasional matches there until 1973. In fact, Yorkshire first played there in 1855. As county cricket became the dominant form of the first-class game, Yorkshire began to play at Bramall Lane every season and they played at least three first-class matches there in every full English season from 1871 to 1973 inclusive.

  • POSTED BY AvmanM on | July 28, 2014, 23:21 GMT

    Missed tons of places. I can think of Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra, BD off the top of my head, but I sure there are plenty not mentioned.

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2014, 7:38 GMT

    Why do people get all worked up about items that have been 'missed out' in the ESPNcricinfo XI column? For crying out loud, it's Steven Lynch's collection of ELEVEN examples of the subject matter, which means, unbelievably, that if there are more than eleven some will be excluded. Every week it happens - can't readers just absorb this simple fact and engage their brains before 'fending and proving' and complaining about omissions?? @AvmanM, Bogra was even mentioned in the introduction under the Buffalo Park photo...