Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town has received lavish praise across the cricketing community for its condition during the second Test match between South Africa and England.
A mixture of large stands, grassy banks and shelter-providing trees make it a haven for supporters. The lush outfield and excellent pitch made for an entertaining game and the awe-inspiring backdrop of Table Mountain provides a fairy-tale setting.
Newlands is certainly the best cricketing venue South Africa has to offer, but what about the rest of the world? Here are some of the finest locations for cricket around the globe:
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There are a number of excellent candidates in Australia. While the Melbourne Cricket Ground is the most famous and has the highest capacity, as a multi-sport venue it lacks the charm of other cricket exclusive arenas.
Perhaps Australia’s finest international venue is the Waca in Perth. With an excellent blend of all-seated stands, grass banks at either end of the ground and a pitch widely regarded as the hardest and quickest in the world, the home of Western Australia is an iconic Test match setting.
The lush nature of the landscape throughout the majority of New Zealand provides a picturesque backdrop for many of its cricket grounds.
However, undoubtedly the pick of their plethora of venues is the Basin Reserve in Wellington. As a registered Historic Area and New Zealand’s oldest Test-playing venue, a sense of heritage surrounds the Basin.
Containing a striking pavilion, the William Wakefield Memorial and tree-laden surroundings, this Wellington arena is definitely the best New Zealand has to offer.
There are some outstanding venues for Cricket dotted around the Caribbean, but none are finer than Arnos Vale on St. Vincent.
The home of the Winward Islands has a sizable capacity of 18,000 and encapsulates everything that is West Indies cricket. Situated just metres from the ocean, when filled, this stadium brings a carnival atmosphere rarely found anywhere else across the cricketing globe.
No list of elite sporting venues can exclude Lord's Cricket Ground. Known around the world as the ‘Home of Cricket’, this venue is steeped in history. In its current site, the ground has hosted cricket since 1814 and despite an already sizeable capacity of 28,000, plans are underway for that to increase with a large scale redevelopment.
Home to numerous unique features such as the iconic pavilion, the futuristic media centre and the Old Father Time weather vane; Lord's is quintessentially English.
It is often regarded by overseas players as a great honour to be afforded a chance to play at the London venue and the unblemished outfield and sloping square serve to further set it apart from all other playing fields in England.
Devastated by the tsunami of 2007, Galle International Cricket Stadium has recently been restored to its former glories.
The stadium is flanked by a busy main street at one end and a stunning 16th-century Dutch fort at the other. This is another seaside venue to make the list, but can surely be one of the only sporting venues with a UNESCO World Heritage site as part of its grounds. A true pitch and lightning fast outfield makes this a fantastic venue for the highest level of the game.
Cricket stadiums in India are often colossal, all-seated, inner city venues like Eden Gardens in Kolkata and the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. However, a glorious exception to this is the HPCA stadium in Dharamshala.
In the town home to the Dalai Lama of Tibet, the cramped atmosphere of the inner city grounds is replaced by ornate, colourful stands and a more spacious feel. The backdrop of an immense snow-capped mountain range completes a breath-taking arena.
As shown by this list, cricketing venues come in all shapes and sizes and with a great variety of settings; it is yet another reason why the sport is so great.
Each of these grounds are worthy of staking a claim to be the best in the world, but which one do you think is the most beautiful?