The Bellerive Oval, also known as Blundstone Arena is located in Clarence on the eastern side of Hobart in Tasmania. Mainly used for hosting cricket matches, the stadium is also used for staging Australian rules football.
Bellerive Oval stadium has a capacity of 19,500 and is the home ground of the Tasmania state cricket team who are called the Tasmanian Tigers.
In the KFC Big Bash League, the stadium is the home ground of the Hobart Hurricanes. The stadium has been hosting home matches of Australia in Test cricket since 1989 and in ODI’s since 1988.
In 1913, a piece of land on the current site of the ground was sold to the Clarence Council and the Bellerive Recreation Ground was opened the next year in 1914.
The stadium had earlier gone modification in the 1960s when clubrooms were built and a small grandstand was built. Further improvements were made at the turn of the century. It cost the Tasmania Cricket Association $16 million which included state-of-art indoor nets and a 6000-seat Southern Stand.
The first international game to be played at the Bellerive Oval was an ODI in 1988 between Sri Lanka and New Zealand.
In 1989, Australia hosted Sri Lanka in a test match at the stadium which happened to be the first test match to be played at the stadium.
In November 1993, Australia handed New Zealand’s then heaviest Test match loss at the Bellerive Oval. After electing to bat, Michael Slater, David Boon and Mark Waugh all scored in triple figures as Australia posted 544 in their first innings.
In response over their two innings, the Kiwis had no answer to Australia’s spin twins Shane Warne and Tim May as they won by an innings and 222 runs.
In November 1999, Australia faced Pakistan in a test match at Hobart that had everything. After Australia won the toss and sent the Pakistanis in, Steve Waugh was left with a smile on his face as his bowlers bowled them all out for 222 on day one.
In reply, Australia lost control from 1/191 to 246 all out. With the help of Inzamam Ul-Haq’s 118, Pakistan set Australia a target of 369. At 5/126, Australia looked down and out until Adam Gilchrist scored a match winning 149*, in conjunction with Justin Langer who scored 127 to notch up the victory.
The Bellerive Oval found itself under much criticism in 2012 after Cricket Tasmania announced that some parts of the neighboring Bellerive Beach Park may be compromised for the expanding Bellerive Oval.
This was the fourth occasion when Cricket Tasmania laid such a demand. This time, the cricket board authority of the island state wanted encroach upon the area having a children’s park.
The park is owned by the Clarence Council. As the area is open for all residents, many residents rejected and criticized the move.
As of 31st December 2017, only game was played at the Bellerive Oval during the KFC T20 Big Bash League with three other scheduled to be played in the course of the next month.