Cricket is among the most popular sports in Australia. It is played at both domestic and international levels. Cricket generates interest in all regions of Australia and is often referred to as a national sport. Over 1.3 million people played cricket across the country in 2015-2016 making it the top participation sport in Australia. Australia has some of the most beautiful cricket grounds in the world equipped with modern technology and large enough to accommodate the large crowd of sports enthusiasts. Nineteen cricket stadiums have been used for international cricket matches.
1. Melbourne Cricket Ground
Melbourne Cricket Ground is in Yarra Park in Melbourne. It is the largest cricket ground in the country and the 10th largest in the world by capacity. The G, as it is sometimes called, was constructed in 1853 and has been in constant renewal since then. It hosted Summer Olympics in 1956 and the 2006 Commonwealth games. The stadium has also hosted two Cricket World Cups in 1992 and 2015. It also hosts some of the AFL matches in winter. Melbourne Cricket Ground has hosted some of the largest crowds including over 130,000 people during the Billy Graham’s evangelical crusade in 1959. However, because of safety measures, the seating capacity has been limited to 95,000 and with an additional 5,000 capacity in the standing room. The first cricket match to be played at the venue was between New South Wales and Victoria in 1856
2. Sydney Cricket Ground
Sydney Cricket Ground hosts several cricketing events and rugby union matches. The stadium which was built in 1848, is the home ground for several teams including the New South Wales Blues cricket team, AFL’s Sydney Swan, and Sydney Sixers. The first cricket match held at the Sydney Cricket Ground was the finals of the Civil Service Challenge which took place in October 1887 while the first class match took place in February 1878 between Victoria and New South Wales. Since then, Sydney Cricket Ground has hosted over 860 matches. The stadium under the management of the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust and has a seating capacity of 48,601.
3. Adelaide Oval
Adelaide Oval is located in Parklands, Adelaide and mostly used for cricket and Aussie Rules football. It also hosts several other games including rugby and soccer. Adelaide Oval has been the headquarters for the South Australian Cricket Association who has been using it since its development in 1871. The first cricket match to be held at the venue was between South Australia and Tasmania which took place in November 1877. The Adelaide Oval can accommodate 40,000 people on its stands after the renovation which was approved in 2008. However, the stadium has been characterized by a huge crowd including over 50,000 fans who attended the 2016 A-League Grand Final.
4. The Gabba
The Gabba, or the Brisbane Cricket Ground, is located in Brisbane, Queensland. The stadium is named after Woolloongabba region in which it is built. The first cricket match was held at the site in December 1896. The Gabba has hosted several games including athletics, rugby, soccer, and baseballs among other games. The ground is used for cricket matches from October to match, and it is the home ground to the Queensland Cricket Association. It usually hosts test matches between Australia and England and other international one-day cricket matches which are normally held in January. The Gabba has hosted over 660 cricket matches since it was built in 1895.