Which Test Venues Are Best For Cricket?
, 5 min reading time
, 5 min reading time
Which Test Venues Are Best For Cricket? I was asked to book tickets to an England Cricket Test match this Summer, who knew it would be so difficult. As we came out of lockdown pent up demand was obviously going to have a impact on the availability of match tickets. Restrictions on the crowd capacity was also a consideration, as most grounds attempted to comply with the new post Covid regulations. I was obviously trying to get tickets at one of our 'local' grounds, either Lords, The Oval or Edgbaston, to keep travel to a minimum. The first 3 days were already fully sold out so I looked at day 4 as our only other option. One of our group asked 'How many Test Matches actually go to day 4 though? A fair enough question, which needed further investigation.
In England and Wales there are 9 grounds considered for Test Match cricket. Having said that Durham's Riverside ground lost the rights to host Test Match Cricket after hitting financial difficulty a few years back. Lords are assured one Test match per series and with England normally hosting two teams, this gives them two Test Matches a year. The Oval is also guaranteed a Test Match due to a contract signed which allowed The Oval to get funding for ground development. The other venues tender for the right to host one of the matches, with many risking huge sums to secure a match. They include Edgbaston - Birmingham, The Rose Bowl - Hampshire, Trent Bridge - Nottingham, Old Trafford - Manchester, Sophia Gardens - Glamorgan - Wales and Headingley - Yorkshire.
As I had purchased tickets for the 4th day at Edgbaston I was wondering how often Test Match Cricket goes to the 4th or 5th day. The emergence of T20, one day cricket and the latest Hundred tournament seems to have had an impact on the length of Test matches. Or at least that is the perception given when our international side does badly. Since the year 2000 there have been 145 cricket Test Matches hosted in England and Wales. The length of a Test Match is scheduled for 5 full days play. However, the weather and the pitch conditions have a huge bearing on how many days play will last.
I was amazed to find that more than half of all Test Matches in England & Wales get to the 5th day of play. This may be a shortened day but at least it got to the final day. In fact 73 matches have gone to the last day which is 50.34%. Only 15.86% of matches end on day 3 or earlier (with 1 game being completed in two days during this period). All grounds tend to take out insurance to cover any potential lost revenue, should a match finish early.
|Ground||Matches||2 Days||3 Days||4 Days||5 days||Average Days Per Test|
From the table above you can see that The Rose Bowl and Sophia Gardens give you the best chance to see cricket on day 5. Both do have a low amount of test matches to take data from so may not be the most reliable figures. The Oval avergaes 4.55 days per test so you haver a great chance of seeing play long after lunch on day 5. Edgbaston though tends to have most games complete on day 4 with an average of 4.059. I would imagine many of the games here take the extended hours and so do not run into day 5.