Edgbaston, Birmingham Cricket Ground
The Edgbaston Cricket Ground, also referred sometimes as the Warwickshire County Cricket Ground is a cricket stadium situated in the Edgbaston area of Birmingham, England. It is the home of Warwickshire County Cricket Club and is often used as home ground for England in international Test, ODI and T20 matches. Edgbaston Ground has hosted more domestic county cricket finals than any other English venue. It was the first English stadium to host an international tournament final outside Lord’s back in 2013 at the Champions Trophy. With a permanent seating of almost 25000 spectators, Edgbaston is the fourth largest cricketing venue in UK after Lord’s, Old Trafford and the Oval.
Brief ODI History:
Edgbaston is, without a doubt, one of the most utilized grounds when it comes to ODI cricket in England. The first ODI match played here was back in 1972. Over the years, the stadium has been used in many bilateral series as well as international events. A brief account of the ODI matches played here is given below:
- ODI Matches: 59
- Seating Capacity: 25000 Approx.
- Matches won by teams batting first: 26
- Matches won by teams batting second: 25
- Tie / No Results: 1 / 7
Teams batting first and second have won equal number of matches so toss won’t matter at this venue.
Pitch and Weather Conditions:
Edgbaston has a traditionally batting friendly pitch which doesn’t provide much spin to the bowlers. The ball might get some pace off the surface but not much swing. It will be a batting paradise for each team and the opposition will have to tighten up the field in order to put the batsmen under pressure.
As for the weather, it’s difficult to predict what sort of weather the teams will encounter at this venue. Edgbaston typically has a pleasant weather with plenty of sunshine all around. Rain isn’t expected to ruin any of the fixtures at this venue.
Edgbaston will host a solid 5 matches throughout the WC. 4 matches will be regular matches in the later part of the tournament and after 4 final teams qualify for the next round, the venue will also feature in the second semi-final of the tournament. A small account of the matches to be played here is given below:
- New Zealand vs. South Africa (19th June)
- New Zealand vs. Pakistan (26th June)
- England vs. India (30th June)
- Bangladesh vs. India (2nd July)
- Second Semi-final (2nd 3rd, 9th July)
The venue will live up to its reputation of providing some of the most historic matches in ODI cricket. The line-up contains two final-caliber matches. The first match to be played here will feature NZ and SA head-to-head. The two teams are 3rd and 4th ranked ODI teams respectively and if this match turns out to be anything like their encounter in the last WC, cricket fans will experience one of the most scintillating matches of the tournament. The second match will witness Pakistan battling NZ and NZ surely have the upper hand as they proved this in their series against Pakistan in UAE. Despite playing their home ground, Pakistan struggled massively against the Kiwis. The third match will be the most underrated match of this event. It features England, which is the current top ranked ODI team in the world, taking on India who is just below the English side in the rankings. Whoever wins this contest becomes the favorite to win it all. India have struggled against England in their backyard and this will be in the back of the minds of Indian players. India vs. Bangladesh seems like a one-sided contest and most likely, India will succeed in this match. Once the dust settles and final four teams are selected, Edgbaston will have the honor of hosting the second semi-final of this tournament. Another achievement for this already prestigious venue.
The cricket ground is fortunate enough to host some big matches as the Old Trafford stadium. Two top card matches will be played here and it is very likely that whichever teams succeed here will move on to the semi-final stage. NZ, SA, England and India are equally formidable sides heading into the WC but these matches will be most important to them at this point. These contests will surely keep cricket fans all over the globe glued to their TV screens.