One-Day International cricket, with fifty overs per each side, owes its creation to Test cricket, when during the first three days of the third Test of the 1970-71 Ashes were washed out and officials decided to abandon the match; and, instead, play a one-off one day game consisting of 40 eight-ball overs per side. Australia won the game by 5 wickets.
A total of 3653 ODIs have been played so far (as of June 1, 2015), out of which 598 have been played in Australia on 18 grounds, 404 in India on 44 grounds and 351 in England on 20 grounds, among other countries and grounds. The following are the venues to have hosted the most number of ODIs:
1. Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah (218 ODIs)
The Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the United Arab Emirates has been the venue for 218 One-Day Internationals. Sharjah was a popular venue attracting good numbers of crowds- mostly from the South Asian population of the UAE. However, with match-fixing scandals casting a shadow over the stadium, its popularity began to wane, and the Indian government banned the national side from playing there in 2001. Sachin Tendulkar’s famous Sandstorm Innings was played here in the 1997-98 Coca Cola Cup, when he scored 143 runs off 131 balls against Australia, in a match which India lost.
2. Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney (151 ODIs)
The Sydney Cricket Ground has hosted 151 ODIs, starting from 1979. The ground, situated in Moore Park in the city’s east is one of the world’s most famous cricketing venues. The green-roofed Ladies’ Pavilion of the SCG remains one of cricket’s most famous landmarks. The Sydney Cricket Ground was host to one of the finest ODI matches ever played-the 5th Match of the Benson & Hedges World Series of 1995-96. Australia were 74 for 7 chasing a target of 173 against West Indies, when Paul Reiffel showed tremendous grit alongside Michael Bevan in a great fightback. Australia won the game on the last ball with one wicket in hand.
3. Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne (144 ODIs)
The Melbourne Cricket Ground was the venue for the first-ever One-Day International, besides also being the venue for the first international Test match. It has hosted 144 ODIs so far. The MCG saw a dream World Cup final performance by Wasim Akram in 1992, who scored 33 runs and picked up 3 crucial wickets, which made Pakistan the champions for the first and as yet the only time. However, the ground also witnessed the infamous underarm bowling incident, which changed the rules of the game and let to a ban on such bowling.
4. R. Premadasa Stadium, Khettarama, Colombo (116 ODIs)
The R. Premadasa Stadium, formerly known as Khettarama Stadium, is the largest stadium in Sri Lanka with capacity of 35,000 spectators. It has been the host to 116 ODIs from 1986 onwards. It is nicknamed “Home of Sri Lankan cricket”. The stadium was the conception of the late Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa. Two of Lasith Malinga’s three One-Day International hat-tricks have been completed at this ground. A new training centre was developed here with 16 practice pitches and dormitories for the Academy which started in 2003.
5. Harare Sports Club, Harare (114 ODIs)
Harare Sports Club has been the venue for 114 One-Day Internationals from 1992. Initially known as Salisbury Sports Club, HSC is located in the heart of Zimbabwe’s capital city. Harare Sports Club has been the country’s major Test and ODI venue. It is surrounded by beautiful jacaranda trees, and bordered by the heavily guarded presidential palace on one side and the prestigious Royal Harare Golf Club on another.
|Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah||1984-2014||218|
|Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney||1979-2015||151|
|Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne||1971-2015||144|
|R.Premadasa Stadium, Khettarama, Colombo||1986-2014||116|
|Harare Sports Club, Harare||1992-2014||114|