The picturesque Hagley Oval will forever hold a unique place in World Cup history © Getty Images
The picturesque Hagley Oval will forever hold a unique place in World Cup history © Getty Images

Ten editions of World Cup cricket, spread across all Test-playing nations, have witnessed 99 grounds. Abhishek Mukherjee looks at the unique space in the annals of World Cup cricket history that awaits Hagley Oval, Christchurch.

As the 11th edition of World Cup cricket tees off with the encounter between New Zealand and Sri Lanka, the venue, Hagley Oval, Christchurch is all set to make its way to cricket history. The ten editions of World Cup cricket have been played across 99 venues: barring a complete washout, Hagley Oval will be the 100th.

The 1975 cricket World Cup started off with four matches on the first day, though the contest between England and India at Lord’s is usually accepted as the first match. The remaining three matches were played at Edgbaston, Headingley, and Old Trafford; Trent Bridge and The Oval also hosted matches in the tournament. World Cup 1979 was also played across the same six grounds.

The third edition, 1983, saw nine more county grounds being introduced. Hyderabad (Punjab) hosted the first match outside England; Chepauk hosted the first in India; Eden Park, in New Zealand; WACA, in Australia; and SSC, Colombo, in Sri Lanka. World Cup 1999 witnessed International Cricket Council (ICC) allocating matches outside England. Thus, Dublin became the first ground to host a match in Ireland; Edinburgh, in Scotland; and Amstelveen, in Netherlands.

As the World Cup moved to Africa, Newlands became the first ground to host a World Cup match on South African soil; it was also the first match played in the new millennium. Other “firsts” were Harare, Zimbabwe; Nairobi, Kenya; Sabina Park, West Indies; and Mirpur, Bangladesh.

Headingley has hosted the most World Cup matches (12). Edgbaston, Old Trafford, and Trent Bridge have hosted 11 each, and Lord’s and The Oval, 10. The most for grounds outside England is seven — a count shared by Chepauk, Chinnaswamy, Premadasa, Sabina Park, Gros Islet, and Kensington Oval.

Cities with two grounds
Country City Ground 1 Ground 2
England London Lord’s The Oval
Pakistan Rawalpindi Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium Pindi Club Ground
Sri Lanka Colombo R Premadasa Stadium, Khettarama Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) Ground
India Chandigarh Punjab CA Stadium, Mohali Sector 16 Stadium
India Nagpur Vidarbha CA Stadium, Jamtha Vidarbha CA Ground

In all, 14 countries have hosted World Cup matches, of which England and India have used the most grounds (20). South Africa (12) and Australia are the only ones to have hosted World Cup matches at more than 10 grounds. Four countries — Scotland, Ireland, Netherlands, and Kenya, all Associates — have had World Cup matches at a solitary ground.

In number of matches, however, England’s count of 94 is way ahead of India’s 64. West Indies (51) and South Africa (46) are not too behind either, and both Australia (25) and New Zealand (14) would look to increase their match counts substantially by March 2015.

Grounds per country
Country Grounds Matches
England 20 94
India 20 64
South Africa 12 46
Australia 11 25
West Indies 8 51
Pakistan 8 26
New Zealand 7 14
Sri Lanka 5 14
Bangladesh 2 8
Zimbabwe 2 5
Scotland 1 2
Ireland 1 1
Netherlands 1 1
Kenya 1 1
Total 99 352

Finally, here is the list of all grounds that have hosted World Cup matches, in chronological order. It is to be noted that the first 15 grounds are all from England. Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong, was the 99th to host a World Cup match, and the list is all set to go up by one the moment Brendon McCullum or Angelo Mathews announce to bat or bowl.

List of World Cup hosting grounds (in chronological order)
Ground City Country Matches
Lord’s London England 10
Edgbaston Birmingham England 11
Headingley Leeds England 12
Old Trafford Manchester England 11
Trent Bridge Nottingham England 11
Kennington Oval London England 10
St Helen’s Swansea England 1
County Ground Taunton England 3
Grace Road Leicester England 3
County Ground Bristol England 3
County Ground, New Road Worcester England 3
County Ground Southampton England 3
County Ground Derby England 2
Nevill Ground Tunbridge Wells England 1
County Ground Chelmsford England 3
Niaz Stadium Hyderabad Pakistan 1
Jinnah Stadium Gujranwala Pakistan 2
MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk Chennai India 7
Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium Hyderabad India 2
Pindi Club Ground Rawalpindi Pakistan 1
National Stadium Karachi Pakistan 6
M Chinnaswamy Stadium Bangalore India 7
Gaddafi Stadium Lahore Pakistan 6
Arbab Niaz Stadium Peshawar Pakistan 3
Wankhede Stadium Mumbai India 6
Nehru Stadium Indore India 1
Green Park Kanpur India 2
Feroz Shah Kotla Delhi India 6
Eden Gardens Kolkata India 6
Iqbal Stadium Faisalabad Pakistan 4
Sawai Mansingh Stadium Jaipur India 2
Sardar Patel (Gujarat) Stadium, Motera Ahmedabad India 5
Sector 16 Stadium Chandigarh India 1
Barabati Stadium Cuttack India 2
Nehru Stadium Pune India 2
Vidarbha CA Ground Nagpur India 2
Eden Park Auckland New Zealand 4
Western Australia Cricket Association Ground Perth Australia 3
Pukekura Park New Plymouth New Zealand 1
Melbourne Cricket Ground Melbourne Australia 5
Seddon Park Hamilton New Zealand 2
Sydney Cricket Ground Sydney Australia 4
Bellerive Oval Hobart Australia 2
Harrup Park Mackay Australia 1
Brisbane Cricket Ground, Woolloongabba Brisbane Australia 3
Adelaide Oval Adelaide Australia 3
Basin Reserve Wellington New Zealand 3
McLean Park Napier New Zealand 1
AMI Stadium Christchurch New Zealand 2
Eastern Oval Ballarat Australia 1
Manuka Oval Canberra Australia 1
Carisbrook Dunedin New Zealand 1
Berri Oval Berri Australia 1
Lavington Sports Oval Albury Australia 1
Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium Rawalpindi Pakistan 3
Reliance Stadium Vadodara India 1
Sinhalese Sports Club Ground Colombo Sri Lanka 1
Captain Roop Singh Stadium Gwalior India 1
Indira Priyadarshini Stadium Visakhapatnam India 1
Moin-ul-Haq Stadium Patna India 2
Asgiriya Stadium Kandy Sri Lanka 1
Punjab CA Stadium, Mohali Chandigarh India 4
County Ground Hove England 1
St Lawrence Ground Canterbury England 1
County Ground Northampton England 2
Sophia Gardens Cardiff England 1
Riverside Ground Chester-le-Street England 2
Castle Avenue Dublin Ireland 1
Grange Cricket Club, Raeburn Place Edinburgh Scotland 2
VRA Ground Amstelveen Netherlands 1
Newlands Cape Town South Africa 5
Harare Sports Club Harare Zimbabwe 2
Chevrolet Park Bloemfontein South Africa 5
The Wanderers Stadium Johannesburg South Africa 5
Kingsmead Durban South Africa 5
Senwes Park Potchefstroom South Africa 3
Boland Park Paarl South Africa 3
St George’s Park Port Elizabeth South Africa 5
City Oval Pietermaritzburg South Africa 2
SuperSport Park Centurion South Africa 5
Buffalo Park East London South Africa 3
Diamond Oval Kimberley South Africa 3
Willowmoore Park Benoni South Africa 2
Gymkhana Club Ground Nairobi Kenya 1
Queens Sports Club Bulawayo Zimbabwe 3
Sabina Park Kingston West Indies 7
Warner Park Basseterre West Indies 6
Beausejour Cricket Ground Gros Islet West Indies 7
Queen’s Park Oval Port of Spain West Indies 6
Sir Vivian Richards Stadium North Sound West Indies 6
Providence Stadium Guyana West Indies 6
National Cricket Stadium St George’s West Indies 6
Kensington Oval Bridgetown West Indies 7
Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur Dhaka Bangladesh 6
Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Sooriyawewa Hambantota Sri Lanka 2
Vidarbha CA Stadium, Jamtha Nagpur India 4
R.Premadasa Stadium, Khettarama Colombo Sri Lanka 7
Pallekele International Cricket Stadium Pallekele Sri Lanka 3
Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium Chittagong Bangladesh 2

 (Abhishek Mukherjee is the Chief Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs here and can be followed on Twitter here.)