What is a cricket ground?
The famous game of cricket is played on a ground which is huge in size and is covered with grass. The shape of the ground is usually oval but one can find various shaped fields which may be perfectly circular, slightly longer but oval, and of irregular shapes.
Cricket grounds were not necessarily made for playing the game in the early era. Cricket was played on sheep grazed fields and land cleared for other purposes. There wasn't any definite standard and measurements for the ground. If a batsman hits a boundary the spectators were cleared to fetch the ball.
Modern Day Laws and Measurement
Although the size of a cricket ground is not fixed, usually the diameter of the ground changes between 450 to 500 feet in length.
The ground is encircled by a rope which is called the boundary. A square shaped area is prepared close to the centre of the field, where the cricket pitches are usually made.
There are a few laws set by the International Cricket Council to standardize the playing conditions on any cricket field. The gap between the boundary and boundary square of the playing area has to be a minimum 137.16 meters, while the shorter side can reach a minimum of 59.43 meters.
The minimum distance of straight boundaries has to be 64 meters in length with the pitch as the centre. The main objective of the laws is to provide the largest playing area possible, however, it should not exceed 82.29 meters from the centre of the pitch to the boundary.
This is the main part of the cricket ground. Located nearly at the centre, it is a rectangular shaped area which is composed of clay and is sparsely covered with short grass. It is 22 yards or 20 meters long in measurement.
There are three wooden sticks linked by two small pieces of wood known as bails. There are two wickets each on opposite side of the pitch. One end of the pitch is occupied by the batsman and other end is for the bowler. There are lines drawn in front of the two wickets which are known as creases.
Other Areas of the Ground
An oval is painted from 27.4 meters of each wicket which is called the circle. The circle distinguishes the infield (anything inside the circle) and the outfield (anything outside the circle). The infield and outfield are used to place fielding norms and rules in the game.
Depending on the batsman (left handed or right handed), the side on which the batsman is holding the bat becomes the offside and the other side is the leg side.
A few fun facts
Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) at Melbourne, Australia is the oldest cricket ground in the world. MCG was built in the year 1853. The first professional game played on the ground was between Australia and England in the year 1877.
The title of the largest cricket ground (in terms of seating capacity) in the world is also snatched by Melbourne Cricket Ground which has a current capacity of 100,024. It is a heritage for anyone who loves cricket and is followed by Eden Garden in Kolkata India which has a capacity of 66,000.
Eden Park, on the other hand, is the smallest cricket stadium. It has been hosting games since 1883 and has a capacity of about 30,000 spectators.
There are a few best cricket grounds all over the world namely Lord's situated in London, Wankhede Stadium in India, The Oval in London and Sydney Cricket Ground in Australia.