Since the inception of international cricket on 15 March 1877, when the first Test match was played between Australia and England at Melbourne Cricket Ground, a total of 108 grounds have hosted an international cricket Test match. Of the 2163 Test matches played in international cricket (up till the Headingley match between England and New Zealand, Test #2163), 492 have been hosted in England, 398 in Australia and 244 in India.
These are the five grounds which have witnessed the maximum number of matches till date.
|Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne||1877-2014||107|
|Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney||1882-2015||103|
|Kennington Oval, London||1880-2014||97|
|Old Trafford, Manchester||1884-2014||76|
The following are the venues to host the highest number of Test matches:
The Mecca of cricket has been a host to 130 international Test matches, starting from 1884 to 2015. Named after an English professional cricketer Thomas Lord and established in 1814, the ground is privately owned by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). Lord’s was used as a venue for archery in the 2012 Olympics. The ground is famous for its iconic Victorian-era Pavilion with its balcony, which has been the site for many memorable occasions, and the Media Centre.
The Melbourne Cricket Ground, established in 1853, was the venue for the first ever international match. With a seating capacity of approximately 100,000, it has hosted 107 Test matches so far. It is regarded as Australia’s premier sporting venue, having been the main stadium in the 1956 Olympics, the athletics venue for 2006 Commonwealth Games, besides being host to Australian rules football, rugby, and several other sports. Its floodlights are the tallest for any sporting venue around the world. The annual Boxing Day Test match is one of the most popular events hosted at the ground.
The Sydney Cricket Ground is the third on the list, with 103 Tests played here starting from 1882. Like the above two venues, the SCG has also been a host to various other sports. Its reconstruction over the recent years has limited its seating capacity to nearly 45,000, though some stands are expected to be redeveloped to increase the stadium’s capacity. It is the home ground for the New South Wales Blues and the Sydney Sixers.
Also known as the Oval or the Kia Oval, the Kennington Oval has hosted 97 Test matches so far, starting from 1880. It was the first ground in England to host international Test cricket – a match won by England by five wickets against Australia. It is the stadium where the English cricket season traditionally ends. It also staged the first FA Cup final in 1872 and was the home of the same between 1874 and 1892. In 2005, a four tier grandstand, known as the OCS stand was built in place of four outdated stands to increase the stadium’s capacity to 23,000.
The Old Trafford soil has witnessed 76 international Tests since its establishment. It was the venue for the first ever Ashes test to be held in England in July 1884, a match drawn after rain cut short the playing time. It was also the venue for the most brilliant individual bowling performance ever seen, where in 1956, Jim Laker decimated the Australian batting with match figures of 19 for 90. Its turf also saw the ‘Ball of the Century’, bowled by Shane Warne to Mike Gatting in a 1993 Ashes Test.