If we’re being honest, cricket may just be the most under appreciated sport in the entire world. It’s dismissed out of hand by people who criticize the game as overly long and the rules as inscrutable. But those people are wrong; they’re missing out on a game that’s immersive, dramatic, and unlike anything else you can play on a field. Fortunately, there are still several worldwide destinations that understand the value of a good game of cricket. If you’re one of those enlightened people who understands the beauty of the game and you want to seek out some like-minded communities or if you want to learn more about this mystifying game, a well-planned trip is the perfect opportunity to do so. Here are some great destinations that will teach you the basics or provide some great cricket thrills for anyone who likes to see athleticism in action.
The British influence is alive and well in Barbados, where cricket is thriving throughout the island nation. When you get bored lounging on the beach or hitting the island’s many nighttime hot spots, head to Kensginton Oval or Sabina Park to catch a professional or a local match.
2. The Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia
First established in 1854, the Melbourne Cricket Ground is a direct reflection of the Australian people’s love for the game. First and foremost, it’s one of the largest stadiums in the world, and the world’s largest stadium devoted solely to cricket. It seats a million people.
3. The Eden Gardens, India
There are plenty of reasons to visit the capital of Bengal beyond the cricket, but if you’re addicted to the pitch, then you’ll find plenty of opportunities to get your fix in Kolkata, home to Eden Gardens, the largest cricket stadium in all of India. Each match here delivers an aura of fevered intensity as people crowd in to root for their favorite players from the around the world.
4. Harare, Zimbabwe
You might not immediately think of an African nation as a cricket hotspot, but the Harare Sports Club in Zimbabwe’s capital city of Harare is a great spot to check out some pretty intense local matches. When you’re done fulfilling your cricketing needs, go ahead and check out world-famous Victoria Falls National Park.
5. The West Indies Cricket Heritage Centre, Grenada
When you’re hoping to take in the full scope of cricket’s impact on the world, you shouldn’t discount the contribution of the West Indies. In addition to producing some of the best players in cricket history, the West Indies was the first country to become the cricket World Champions.
6. The Lord’s Cricket Ground and MCC Museum, London
No cricket fan in the world needs an explanation as to the value of The Lord’s Cricket Ground and MCC Museum in London. The Lord’s Cricket Ground is basically the Fenway Park of cricket. It’s historic, prestigious, and impressive even if you don’t give a crap about the sport played therein. Meanwhile, the MCC Museum has an impressively-curated collection. It also boasts the title of world’s oldest sports museum.
7. Newland’s Cricket Ground, South Africa
If you’re lucky enough to catch a game at Newland’s Cricket Ground in Cape Town, South Africa, then you might find yourself having a little bit of trouble paying attention to the pitch. The scenery at Newland’s is some of the best in the world. The stadium is overlooked by Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak, additions that lend more than a little bit of drama to even the most mundane cricket match.
8. The Bradman Museum & International Cricket Hall of Fame,Australia
Cricket historians won’t want to miss a trip to the Bradman Museum & International Cricket Hall of Fame. Initially, the increasingly popular location was devoted to Sir Donald “The Don” Bradman, a cricket luminary who has a reputation as perhaps the best batsman in the history of the sport. In recent years, however, the museum has expanded its scope to tell the story of cricket as it has slowly expanded throughout the world.
9. Fatullah, Bangladesh
Anyone who pays attention to the cricket world circuit will understand Bangladesh’s emerging place on the international scene. The national cricket team is getting a lot better, as is the in-country competition, a gradually increasing talent pool that’s drawing bigger and bigger names from outside the country. What’s more, the home crowds are delightfully enthusiastic about cricket, so you’re in good company when you catch a match in Fatullah or one of the country’s other cricket-loving cities.
10. The Blades Of Glory Museum, India
It may not have the same lengthy history of some of the British or Australian options, but the Blades Of Glory Museum in Pune, India is still a beautiful tribute to the sport as a whole. The museum houses some pretty impressive memorabilia that every cricket fan will love, like cricket bats signed by every World Cup-winning team to date. Just because it’s new doesn’t mean the Blades Of Glory Museum doesn’t have a profound sense of history.
11. The New Zealand Cricket Museum, New Zealand
Located in Wellington, the New Zealand Cricket Museum is a gorgeous museum that’s devoted to cricket history reaching all the way back to the 1800s. It’s known for its extensive and eclectic mix of cricket souvenirs including one-of-a-kind mementos you can’t see anywhere else.
12. The Dukes Cricket Factory, London
Ever wondered about the skill and craft that goes into the creation of the perfectly round cricket balls? Then take a trip to the Dukes Cricket Factory which sells more than a million balls a year. The Dukes Company has a pretty well-respected name throughout the cricket world, so seeing how they make their most famous product can be quite the thrill.