Cricket’s new Mecca…Victoria Falls Stadium set to be one of the best in the world Harare Sports Club, Harare Zimbabwe

Brandon Moyo, [email protected] 

FOR decades, Harare Sports Club has held the title of the premier cricket stadium in Zimbabwe. Yet, this status is poised for a shift with the advent of a new stadium in Victoria Falls.

This past Tuesday, Cabinet gave its nod, confirming that Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has secured 10 hectares within the Masuwe Special Economic Zone for the construction of a new 10  000-seater stadium. 

Kensington Oval, Barbados (Caribbean)

The venue is slated to welcome the 2026 ICC Men’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup and the 2027 Men’s Cricket World Cup.

Located in a coveted tourist hotspot, the stadium is set to eclipse the conventional cricketing hub with the magnetic charm and splendour of Victoria Falls. The impending Victoria Falls stadium is anticipated to be a visual delight, a sterling addition not only to Zimbabwe but to the international cricket community. Moreover, it’s expected to be a significant boon for the nation’s sports tourism sector.

Saturday Chronicle dedicated time to explore various illustrious cricket venues that have risen in the resort and tourist locales worldwide.

Basin Reserve, Wellington, New Zealand

Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium, Dharamshala, India

It is a picturesque, stunning and breathtaking cricket stadium located in the serene town of Dharamshala, a hill-side city surrounded by cedar forests. The Stadium, which is the highest in the world and one of the most beautiful grounds, has a capacity of 23 000 and hosted its first ODI in 2013. It is regarded as the most picturesque stadium in the world with the beautiful Dhauladhar mountain range lacing its backdrop, offering a stunning view to fans, especially when the mighty peaks are blanketed in snow. The HPCA stadium established itself as a world-class cricket destination. 

 Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town, South Africa

In the port city of Cape Town in South Africa, lies one of the oldest sporting facilities in the country, the Newlands Cricket Ground. It has been described as one of the most beautiful grounds in the world with the majestic view that it offers. Located beneath the iconic Table Mountain and the Devil’s Peak, Newlands Cricket Ground offers the perfect backdrop that is likely to charm and warm one’s heart forever. The view is topped by ice, which resembles clouds. The cricketing paradise is a 25 000 seater ground.

Newlands Cricket Ground, cape Town, South Africa

 Galle International Stadium, Galle, Sri Lanka

Not the most beautiful stadium from the inside but the Galle International Stadium, located in the Galle Fort in Sri Lanka offers one of the best views for fans with a Heritage Site close by. It is situated near the Fort — which is a Heritage Site — and is flanked on two sides by the Indian Ocean, offering a picturesque view that has been described as “matchless.” Since its establishment, it has hosted all three formats at the international level, Tests, ODIs and T20Is.

 Queens Park Oval, Trinidad and Tobago (Caribbean)

Located in the Port of Spain in the Caribbean Island of Trinidad and Tobago, the Queens Park Oval is another world-class stadium that was built in a resort/tourist destination. It is generally thought of as the most picturesque of the old grounds in the Caribbean with a capacity of at least 20 000. It has breath-taking backdrops, notably, the Northern Range hills. It has hosted more Test matches than any other ground in the Caribbean.

Queens Park Oval, Trinidad and Tobago (Caribbean)

 Kensington Oval, Barbados (Caribbean)

The Kensington Oval, in Bridgetown, Barbados is one of the oldest stadiums in the Caribbean. The venue is steeped in history as it hosted the first England touring side back in 1895 and the first combined West Indies team in the 1910/11 season against Marylebone Cricket Club. It was also the scene of the West Indies’ first Test in 1930. It is considered the “Mecca” of West Indies cricket, a place “where cricket legends play.”

 Basin Reserve, Wellington, New Zealand

Lastly, The Basin Reserve in the New Zealand capital of Wellington is the only sports ground in the country on the National Heritage List. Nestled beneath Mount Victoria and Mount Cook, the Basin Reserve is an island of cricket in inner city Wellington. Test matches have been the ones mostly played at the Basin Reserve, followed by ODIs and T20Is. Notably, Sir Richard Hadlee took his 300th Test wicket at the Basin Reserve when he removed the then-Australian captain Allan Border. — @brandon_malvin





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