The advent of ODI cricket not only was an addition to the sport but also added a new dimension for both batsmen and the bowlers with a distinct set a target and defend, or chase the target set, all within a day, unusual from the three-session long Test Cricket.
Test Cricket remains the most real form of the sport but over the years, the One-day format hasn't lagged. Not just for the players, but ODI Cricket has also impacted the game commercially as we see more grounds coming to that host the matches, and this brings us to our topic for today.
Do you know which ground has held the most ODI matches? Such questions are not the easiest to answer and thus, we bring you the top five grounds that have hosted the most ODI matches.
Sharjah Cricket Ground, UAE (240)
Established in 1982, the Sharjah Cricket Ground has a capacity of 16,000. The ground has hosted several tournaments, especially since 1983, after India won their maiden World Cup.
Sharjah hosted over 190 ODI matches between 1984 and 2003, be it games of Pakistan due to political issues in their homelands. In 2002, the capacity was enhanced to hold 27,000 people but constant match-fixing scandals surfacing that time brought a lot of criticism to the venue.
Nothing was proven with evidence but several nations still started to part ways with the ground and averted opportunities to play there. The Indian government were very critical of this issue, and consequently, the Indian national side were banned from featuring on that ground.
Subsequently, no international games were played in Sharjah between April 2003 and February 2010. However, with security issues arising in Pakistan, and also the shortage of venues for the associate sides, international cricket resumed at the venue.
The first ODI game played at the ground was in 1984 between Pakistan and Sri Lanka and Sharjah also holds the record for most ODIs hosted (240).
Sydney Cricket Ground, Australia (159)
One of Australia's most popular venues, the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) was established in 1848 and has a capacity of over 44,000 people.
Earlier called the Garrison Ground, the SCG is a brilliant ground to bat on. Between the 1890s and 1920s, numerous sports were played on the ground.
Be it Allan Border's 11-wicket match to Don Bradman's 452* for New South Wales against Queensland, the ground holds a lot of memories for the Australians.
Its capacity is lesser than what the usual ground possesses, but that has caused the spectators to enjoy the game not just peacefully but also with a distinct vision and comforting visuals from any corner of the ground. The first ODI at the SCG was played in 1979 between Australia and England, and the ground is second in the list, having hosted 159 ODI matches.
Harare Sports Club, Zimbabwe (151)
Also known as the Salisbury Sports Club, this ground in Zimbabwe held its first competitive game in 1992, a Test match between Zimbabwe and India. The ground is home to Rhodesia, Zimbabwe, and Mashonaland.
Although the capacity of the ground is around 10,000, a total of 26,000 people had witnessed Rhodesia play in 1956. Crowd managing is not much of an issue here as even the biggest of games in the past years at the ground have not had many spectators.
However, it still didn't stop Harare Sports Club from hosting the ODIs as it stands strong, third in the list, having hosted 151 ODI matches. The first ODI was played at the ground in 1992 between Zimbabwe and India.
Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia (149)
The MCG or also known as the "Gabba," this ground in Australia is another popular hub of hosting scintillating ODIs. The Melbourne Cricket Ground was established in 1953 and it has a mammoth capacity of 90,000.
It has been a huge landmark in the Australian sports industry and the ground was also used heavily during the 1956 Olympic Games.
Reports suggest that before some enhancements in between the 1980s and 90s, the ground had a capacity of 1,25,000.
The ground also held the 1992 World Cup final between Pakistan and England and it has always been ground with equal support to the batsmen and the bowlers.
The ground has hosted 149 ODIs and the first ODI played at the ground was between Australia and England in 1971. However, the first Test match at the ground was played between the same opponents in 1877.
R.Premadasa Stadium, Sri Lanka (129)
Established in 1986, the ground in Colombo was also known as the Khettarama Stadium until 1994. Named after the former Sri Lankan president, Ranasinghe Premadasa, the ground has a capacity of 35,000.
It is the biggest stadium in Sri Lanka and it is mostly renowned for Sri Lanka's epic batting display against India when the Lankans broke the record for the most runs scored or the highest test total, scoring 952/6 in 1997-98.
The former Lankan captain and legend Sanath Jayasuriya scored 340 as he also registered the world record for the highest partnership in Test Cricket with 576 runs scored for the second-wicket. His partner was Roshan Mahanama, who scored 225.
The first ODI was held at the ground between Sri Lanka and Pakistan in 1986 and the ground has held a record 129 ODI matches, the fifth-most in the history of ODIs.
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