Cricket is the second most-watched sport in the world, with a viewership of almost 2.5 billion spectators worldwide. Estimating the importance of this sport, not only players but cricket stadiums also has a strong influence over the game.
In most sports, the dimensions of the ground remain the same, or they are standardized, but that doesn’t happen with cricket grounds. Discussing only the size of a cricket stadium (boundary Area) varies with the diameter in the range of 137.16 meters up to 150 meters. The smallest boundary on a cricket field can be 59.43 meters from the cricket pitch, and the most extended Straight-ish boundary cannot exceed 82.29 meters.
Before making further comments on boundary lengths and sizes of cricket grounds! Have you ever wondered about how the size of cricket stadiums affects this game? If yes, then we’ll be exploring the smallest cricket stadiums in the world.
Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, wins the battle of being the smallest stadium in the world with a straight boundary of just 55 meters, which makes Eden Park a famous choice for limited-overs matches. However, remember that Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa, and Eden’s Garden, Kolkata, also come in the list of smallest cricket stadiums in the world, only stretched a few meters.
Let’s explore the list of the smallest cricket stadiums in the world one by one, along with the smallest grounds of the two biggest rivals, Pakistan and India. Furthermore, we’ll talk about the effect of short boundary lengths on batters.
Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand
Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand Cricket stands first as the world’s smallest cricket stadium. At the same time, it is New Zealand’s largest cricket stadium, with a capacity of 50000 spectators. With the shortest boundary of 55m, it is considered favorable for short-format cricket like T20 matches.
Eden Park Stadium was opened in 1900, and till then, it has not only served as a cricket ground but has also been used for Rugby matches.
Since that moment, it has held 153 international matches to date.
The First International cricket (test) match played in Eden Park in 1930 was among the teams of New Zealand and England and was drawn. Since that moment, many international cricket matches in all three formats have been played.
Wanderer Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa
Coming second on the list of smallest cricket stadiums in the world “Wanderer Stadium” is in the Johannesburg suburb of Illovo. It was built in 1956 to replace the old Wanderers stadium.
This stadium is officially named Imperial Wanderers Stadium until the end of 2025 because of a sponsorship agreement. It has a capacity of 34000 people. Wanderer Stadium is also called Bullring because of its intimidating environment for sports.
A short boundary of 64 meters makes it easier to strike fours and sixes. In December 1956, South Africa and England played the first-ever international cricket test match. From that day, this place hosted many cricket matches of all formats.
Historically it gained popularity in the twenty-first century because of many significant moments. In 2003 it hosted the final of the cricket world cup 2023. The same place witnessed an iconic ODI match played between South Africa and Australia, in which South Africa chased down the 434′ target.
Lord’s London, England
Lord’s Cricket stadium is of huge importance for cricket as it’s being called the “Mecca of Cricket” and” Home of Cricket”. This oldest stadium came into being in 1814 and is situated in St. John’s Wood, London. With the short square boundary of 65 meters, conditions are pretty good for playing all-format cricket. The ground can hold 31,100 spectators.
Until this stadium was built, many historical matches occurred here. Even the first inaugural ICC Cricket World Cup final happened on 21 June 1975, among the teams of Australia and West Indies.
Another amazing final of the ICC world cup 1999 between Australia and Pakistan was played here on 20 June 1999. Pakistan lost this match by eight wickets. This historical home of cricket hosted international finals for a total of five times.
Eden Gardens, Kolkata, India
Eden Garden is India’s oldest international cricket stadium, located in West Bengal. This stadium was established in 1864; it is the third largest stadium in the world, with a capacity of 68000 and a short square boundary of 66m. The smaller playing area is because most of the stadium is dedicated to seating arrangements.
This cricket ground is considered the home of Indian cricket and is also said to be” cricket’s answer to the Colosseum” and referred to as the “Mecca of Indian cricket.
Eden Gardens hosted many international matches, including the World Twenty20, Worldcup, and Asia Cup. Eden Garden is used as home venue in IPL for KKR. In 1987 it became the second stadium to host a world cup final. In 1996, in the world cup semi-final between India vs Sri Lanka, a huge crowd of 110,564 was witnessed.
Holkar Stadium, Indore, India
Holkar Cricket Stadium stands last on the list of the top 5 smallest stadiums in the world, having a short boundary of 68 meters. It is located in Indore.
Previously, its name was Maharani Usharaje Trust Cricket Ground, but later, in 2010 Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association changed its name to Holkar after the dynasty of Marathas that governed Indore State.
The first-ever International Cricket match was an ODI between India and England on 15 April 2006; India won this series by 5-0.
This stadium is mostly dominant for Indian domestic cricket. Till date this ground has hosted a total of 5 ODIs(2006, 2008, 2011, 2015, and 2017), 2 Tests (2016 and 2019) and 3 T20Is (2017, 2020, 2022). India had a 100% winning rate till 4 October 2022 because of losing to South Africa by 49 runs in a T20I match of the South Africa Tour of India in 2022.
Smallest Cricket Ground in India by Bounday Size
Arun Jaitley Stadium
Arun Jaitley Stadium is the smallest cricket stadium in India, located on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi. It was established in 1983 as Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium. It is the second oldest stadium in India after Eden Gardens, Kolkata. Its straight boundary is 68 m, and its square is 65m.
For the first time, an international test series between India and West Indies was played on 10 November 1948 which was drawn. Till today this stadium has hosted 34 tests, 25 ODIs and 6 T20Is.
This ground has also witnessed many memorable moments in the history of Indian Cricket. In 1999, Anil Kumble took ten wickets in an innings against Pakistan, which has only been achieved by two other bowlers in Test history.
In 2005, Sachin Tendulkar scored his 35th Test century at the stadium, breaking Sunil Gavaskar’s record for the most centuries by an Indian batsman.
Smallest Cricket Stadium in Pakistan by Boundary Size
Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium
Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium is the smallest cricket stadium in Pakistan by boundary with a capacity of 15000 spectators. It has the shortest boundary of 70m in Pakistan. This stadium is in DKS Rawalpindi in Punjab, near Pir Mehr Ali Shah University and Rawalpindi Arts Council.
The first time this stadium witnessed an ODI was in 1992, when Sri Lanka faced Pakistan.
And the first Test Match in 1993 against Zimbabwe. Till then, this stadium hosted many international cricket matches.
Does Short Boundary Affect Batting?
The answer is yes to some extent because short boundary pitches can favor batsmen to strike sixes and fours. This can lead to higher scores and a more exciting and entertaining game.
There are a few reasons why short boundaries can affect batting. First, it decreases the distance that the ball has to travel. This means that batsmen don’t have to hit the ball as hard to clear the ropes. Overall, short boundaries can have a significant impact on batting. They can lead to higher scores, more exciting games, and a change in how batsmen approach the game.