The SSE SWALEC is a cricket stadium in Cardiff, Wales. It was initially called as Sophia Gardens but due to sponsorship reasons, the name was changed in 2015. Being located at River Taff, it is the home to Glamorgan County Cricket Club and is listed as an international Test cricket venue.
The stadium with a capacity 15,643 was constructed by HLN Architects. The capacity of the stadium has increased from 5,500 to 15,000 following the redevelopment in 2008. About half of the £9.4 million cost to redevelop the stadium was funded in the form of Cardiff Council loan.
It is believed that the revamped stadium could host seven Test matches, nine ODIs, and two World Cup games till 2028, boosting the local economy by at least £50 million.
Since 24 May 1967, the venue is home to Glamorgan County Cricket Club which has played its home matches thereafter moving away from Cardiff Arms Park. A 125-year lease of the ground was acquired by the club in 1995.
The first International match that was played here was the 1999 Cricket World Cup match between Australia and New Zealand on 20th May 1999. From 2001, the ground hosted 9 matches in 12 years, but it was not until 2006 that it hosted its first home match, when England hosted Pakistan on 30th August 2006.
It went on to host its first Test match on 8 July 2009, when England and Australia in the Ashes which ended in the spoilt being shared amongst the two. This also made Sophia Gardens the 100th Test match venue.
The first match after redevelopment was between Glamorgan Dragons and the Gloucestershire Gladiators in a Friends Provident Trophy.
The stadium hosted the only T20 international between Australia and England at Cardiff on August 31, 2015. The match was a close one, in which the home team prevailed by 5 runs courtesy Moeen Ali’s all-around performance.
The Group A match between Sri Lanka and New Zealand was another important match as New Zealand won by one wicket in the 2013 edition of the Champions Trophy with Nathan McCullum rescuing side from humiliation.
In the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed was fined 10% of his match fee but escaped suspension for slow over-rate following their victory over Sri Lanka that pushed them into semi-finals of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy. The rest of the team were docked 10% of their match fee.
The most recent International match that was played here was the T20I between England and South Africa on June 25, 2017, where the hosts won, thanks to the heroics of CJ Jordan and DJ Malan.