Boasting its origins in late 16th century England, cricket is one of the oldest widely played sports on the planet. The sound of leather on willow can be heard from Manchester to Melbourne and countless locations in between – particularly in India, where cricket is the most popular sport in the nation.
Wherever cricketing fever has set in, club sides and National teams have sprung up – all of whom need somewhere to play. Enter the widely varied world of Cricket Stadiums, including the 132,000-capacity behemoth of the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, India, and the Melbourne Cricket Ground, which is the only other stadium to breach the 100,000-capacity threshold. There are many steps on this cricket ladder, and here we focus on those stadiums barely clinging to the lower rungs. So, what are the smallest Cricket Stadiums in the world?
World’s Smallest Cricket Stadiums
The answer to this question depends on whether we are using capacity or physical size as our measure. Some stadia have towering stands but a relatively tiny pitch, whilst others offer vast expanses of green turf but only shed-like viewing facilities. With that in mind, we have separated our answer into two categories.
Smallest by Capacity
When compiling this list, we have focussed solely on those grounds to have staged international cricket. The capacity of your local cricket club may extend no further than how many people can squeeze onto the balcony outside the bar, but attempting to gather data on the many thousands of such clubs left us stumped. Without further ado, here are your top five on the tiny end of the scale.
- White Hill Field, Capacity – 1,000 – Located in Sandys Parish, Bermuda, this minimally attired venue has hosted the national T20 side. The “stadium” such as it is, amounts to little more than a rather long blue bungalow.
- Ruaraka Sports Club Ground, Capacity – 1,000 – We head to Africa for the second member of the 1,000 club. A relatively small cricketing nation, Kenya has a minor stadium to match. This compact offering has hosted clashes with Ireland, Canada, and the Netherlands.
- Mombasa Sports Club, Capacity – 1,000 – When not entertaining a small gathering at the Ruaraka Sports Club Ground, the Kenyan national side heads to Mombasa and dons their pads at this historic site, which also stages hockey, rugby, and football.
- Pierre Werner Cricket Ground, Capacity – 1,000 – Home to the Luxembourg national side and the charmingly named Optimists Cricket Club. Named in honour of the former Prime Minister of Luxembourg, the pitch itself consists of artificial matting overlaid onto concrete.
- Pingfeng Campus Cricket Field, Capacity – 1,347 – The largest on our list of the small, this impressively modern facility is located at the Zhejiang University of Technology and is the regular venue for matches involving China’s national side.
Smallest by Capacity in Major Cricketing Nations
Each of the above stadiums are located in a nation where cricket falls firmly into the minor sports category. As such, it is no great surprise that the venues fall towards the lower end of the size scale. However, even major cricketing nations possess relatively quaint venues. The following table highlights a selection of the smallest club stadiums in the 11 nations that make up the International Cricket Council.
|Kabul International Cricket Stadium
|St George Cricket Club
|Shadeed Chandu Stadium
|St Helen’s Rugby and Cricket Ground
|Madhavrao Scindia Cricket Ground
|Saurashtra Cricket Team
|Muzaffarabad Cricket Stadium
|AJK Cricket Team
|Sir Vivian Richards Stadium
|Queen Sports Club
Smallest by Boundary
Moving on next to those stadiums that might be impressive in grandstand stature but lacking in field dimensions – the first of which falls short of the International Cricket Council’s stipulation that no boundary should be shorter than 59.43 meters.
- Eden Park, Straight Boundary – 55m – Home to Auckland cricket team, this 42,000-capacity venue has staged numerous tests involving the New Zealand national side. Beloved by batters and loathed by bowlers, the ground boasts the shortest boundary in the international game. Eden Park escapes sanction for falling below the ICC guidelines, as the rule only applies to stadia built after 2007.
- The Wanderers, Square Boundary – 64m – Home to the Joburg Super Kings and affectionately known as the “Bullring” due to its feverishly intimidating atmosphere, this is one of the most popular stadiums with the South African national side – particular batsmen who enjoy a solid square drive.
- Lord’s, Square Boundary – 65m – Easily the most famous name on our list, Lord’s may be long in history but is surprisingly short when it comes to field size. Established in 1814, the home of Middlesex is widely recognised as the centre of the cricketing world.
- Eden Gardens, Square Boundary – 66m – With a bumper capacity of 66,000, this Kolkata facility sits in the top five largest stadiums in the world. However, the home of the Kolkata Knight Riders falls to the other end of the scale in terms of field dimensions. Referred to as the “Mecca of Indian Cricket”, Eden Gardens is one of the nation’s most iconic sporting venues.
- Holkar Stadium, Square Boundary – 68m – Indian batsmen must hit the ball a little harder to reach the boundary at this excellent 30,000 stadium in Madya Pradesh, but only a little. An ODI venue since 2006, Holkar Stadium hosted its first international test match in 2016.
The above quintet are small by international standards but gargantuan compared to the St Paul’s Cricket Ground in Malta. Built in 1900 in the heart of Valetta, this smallest-of-the-small venue boasts a boundary of a mere 20m. Those turning up to witness one of the frequent matches between pub sides, and the occasional foray by the Maltese national team, can expect sixes and fours galore, and a rather congested outfield area. At the other end of the scale, we have the magnificent MCG in Australia, which – with a straight boundary of 85m and square boundary of 92m – boasts the largest playing area in the world.