Usually, a cricket ground (also called a cricket field) is a large, circular or oval-shaped grassy ground on which the game is played, although the principal action is centred on a 22-yard strip of brown land – mostly interspersed with bits of grass – which is right in the middle of the ground.
Similar to baseball, cricket is another major sport where the dimensions of the ground are not fixed, but the diameter usually varies from 450-500 feet. On most grounds, a rope (also called the boundary or fence) demarcates the perimeter of the field, keeping the spectators away from the playing area. In modern times, the boundary is reinforced by advertising hoardings placed horizontally along the entire ground a few feet from the ropes.
Other features of a cricket ground include the now-famous thirty yard circle, which divides the playing field into two parts – an in-field and an outfield. These are typically used to enforce fielding restrictions, and are more prominently displayed during limited-overs cricket.
India has a plethora of cricket grounds in place, most of which have seen international action as well as the flashier Indian Premier League games. Here is a list of the top five grounds that have witnessed great deeds in the sport over the years:
5. Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium, Jamtha, Nagpur
Built in the Jamtha area of the city of Nagpur in Maharashtra in 2008, the VCA Stadium replaced the old VCA cricket ground as the main stadium in the city. It has a capacity of 45,000 and has played host to both Test and ODI matches.
In terms of facilities, it is India’s best stadium – complete with world-class amenities for practice and training.
Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni holds the record for the highest individual ODI score on this ground when he made 124 against Australia in the 2009-10 season. South Africa’s Hashim Amla holds the same position in Tests – he made an unbeaten 253 against India in 2010-11.
The stadium also featured four matches of the 2011 World Cup – with the game between England and the Netherlands proving to be a humdinger thanks to a magnificent century from Dutch all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate.