The Dummies' Guide to The Great Cricket Holiday Destinations


The things we do for the love of Cricket! From sitting on the same chair throughout the match, no matter how uncomfortable, to making halwa, just because making the same led to a win on a previous match day. From waking up at ungodly hours to avoiding those late night meetings. From almost having heart attacks every time Dhoni's playing for a win in the last over to losing our voice screaming slogans. And lately playing a parallel match on twitter on game days, I think there is no limit to the things we can do for Cricket. Or, is there?

Cricket, without a doubt, is a sport we Indians are truly passionate about. Of-course, there is football too but it’s still in the process of being recognized all over India. While Cricket, well, has already made a home in our hearts. Yes, certainly a fact that cannot be refuted. I’m no exception either. Of course, over the years I have found my interest waning a little but somewhere I still know that the passion lives on. Dormant, yes, but certainly lives on. And just like that the moment this edition of the World Cup began, I found myself secretly wishing that India really doesn't give it back this year.

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One of the things I love about Cricket, or rather the Cricket World Cup in particular are the countries they are held in. Travel combined with the game of Cricket, an unbeatable combination, don’t you think? In fact, why don’t I tell you about some of the greatest cricket holiday destinations in the world today? And since this year the extravaganza is happening down under, let’s look at that to begin with.

You can’t have a piece on the greatest travel destinations linked to the game of cricket and not mention Melbourne. It is in fact the most livable city in the world with no dearth of attractions for a traveler. However, coupled with cricket it becomes something else altogether. Hence, it’s not really shocking that the MelbourneCricket Ground or MCG is indeed among the top draws in the city. In fact, it is considered to be one of the greatest cricketing grounds in the world. Built in 1853, it is believed to be the birth place of test cricket having held the First Test match between Australia and England in the year 1877. But even leaving all that aside, the sheer feeling of being inside the MCG, they say, is unparalleled.

Now, with Melbourne being in the list, can Sydney be too far behind? Of-course, not. The city of the Opera House and the Darling Harbor, trust me, is not one to be missed. And the Sydney Cricket Ground, believe me, is one of best in the world. Their vision is ‘To celebrate sport, create history, enhance entertainment and share the experience’, and trust me experience it, you must!

God forbid, I make a list of the popular destinations linked to cricket and not mention Lord’s! It is after all called the home of Cricket, isn't it? That ought to be enough to get you on a plane to London for a Lord’s pilgrimage.  Now, I won’t even try to sell London to you on this since it is already one of the most visited travel destinations in the world. And cricket, well, is something that London is very well associated with for a long, long time now. I still remember watching Saurav Ganguly twirling his jersey, having the last laugh at Lord’s. So, just three words for you here, visit Lord’s London! But that’s not all, there’s the Oval too, just saying!

Ben Marsh [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
I believe you haven’t really watched a cricket match if you haven’t watched it in an Indian stadium. Yes, the atmosphere, electric and passionate. It’s unlikely you’ll get the same anywhere else around the world unless of course India is one of the teams playing. And within India too, you have to be at the Eden Gardens to experience what watching a match at a stadium actually means. Kolkata is a city rich in history and the Eden Gardens too is a treasure house of cricketing history. There are very few places in the world which can compete with this package, in terms of a cricketing destination I mean.

What would you say if I told you I have a travel cum cricketing destination that has the best of both worlds? Would you believe me? Well, you better do because it’s Barbados I’m talking about. The beaches and the cricket, of-course, at Kennigston Oval, I don’t think I need to tell you more. Do I? Well, maybe just a few more points. Barbados is a paradise with beach resorts, fabulous nightlife and beautiful gardens. And there’s more, its capital, Bridgetown, is actually a Unesco World Heritage capitol. Well, that ought to get you interested I think.

I can’t have this list and not mention South Africa in it, can I? After all, it is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Home to two of the greatest cricketing stadiums in the world, there’s ample reason why South Africa should be in this list. The Wanderers, where the 2003 heart-breaking finals were held, for us Indians at least, and the Newlands CricketGround overlooked by the Devil’s Peak are among the greatest sports arenas in the world. A country with cricket in its nature and nature at its best; definitely a must visit.

Well, that was my list. I’m no cricket expert but as a fan I think I have made quite the list. What do you say? I might not know a leg cutter from an out-swing but I do know what makes a good travel destination. At least, I hope I do!

Before you go tell me, which according to you are the great cricket holiday destinations in the world? I really do want to know.

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