Love or loathe the sport, we’re in for an exciting summer of cricket! In August the Ashes series returns to the UK but even before that the 2019 Cricket World Cup kicks off at the end of this month. Many of the countries competing for the Cup, also taking place over here in Blighty, happen to be rather desirable property destinations! Get padded up and prepare to be bowled over by one of these exciting cricketing destinations…
West Indies – Barbados
Given cricket is the national sport in this idyllic corner of the Caribbean, it’s no wonder the ‘Windies’ are one of the most exhilarating teams to watch at the crease. And for British spectators, the combination of sunshine, laid-back party atmosphere and colourful home crowds, just add to the appeal of watching them on their own patch.
The team draws on players from a selection of islands, including Antigua, Jamaica, St Lucia, Anguilla and Grenada, but its spiritual home is undoubtedly Barbados’s capital Bridgetown, home to the iconic Kensington Oval stadium or “The Mecca” as it’s known locally. With a capacity of 28,000, the first ball was bowled there in 1882, and the first test match played in 1930.
Bridgetown is located at the southern end of Barbados’s popular – and largely glitzy – west coast, also dubbed the ‘Platinum coast’ and famed for its white sandy beaches and luxury facilities. Hot spots for property-buyers include Westmoreland, Holetown, Sandy Lane, Mullins Beach and the increasingly popular Speightstown.
South Africa – Cape Town
South Africa’s cricket team, known as the Proteas, will always be serious contenders for the World Cup trophy. The country hosted its first test match in Port Elizabeth in 1888, becoming the world’s third test nation after England and Australia. Today, cricket is second only to rugby in terms of popularity.
A country of such diverse natural landscapes and passion for the sport couldn’t fail to have an enviable choice of cricket stadiums, from Johannesburg to Durban, Port Elizabeth to East London. But one of the most famous and scenic not just in South Africa but anywhere in the world is Newlands in Cape Town (main picture). Nestled amongst the lush residential suburbs of Cape Town, directly beneath the majestic Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak, Newlands’ idyllic setting has wowed spectators and players alike since the first test match was played there in 1889.
Cape Town blends a cosmopolitan outdoorsy lifestyle with world-class dining and shopping, stunning beaches and a balmy Mediterranean climate. Especially sought-after suburbs there include Constantia, Llandudno, Camps Bay, Fresnaye, Bel Ombre and Higgovale.
Australia – Melbourne
Together with England, Australia played in the first ever test match in 1877, the venue being none other than the now iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
Cricket was first played there in 1954, after which the MCG rose to become one of the most prominent cricket venues ever. Today it is the largest cricket ground in not only Australia but the entire world (and largest stadium of any sport in the southern hemisphere), and as such is used for other sports.
Melbourne, situated in Australia’s south-eastern Victoria state, is the sports capital of Australia. Besides the MCG, it’s famous for a host of international sporting events, including horse-racing’s Melbourne Cup, Formula One and the Australian Tennis Open. It’s hosted the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.
The city lives and breathes outdoors living, with active types also able to enjoy the beach and all types of water sports.
New Zealand – Christchurch
Auckland’s Eden Park might be New Zealand’s largest sports stadium, but cricket was being played in Christchurch in the South Island decades before the sound of leather on willow reverberated around its stands.
Christchurch’s oldest ground still in use is Hagley Oval, the spiritual home of cricket in the Canterbury region and often regarded as the cornerstone of the sport in New Zealand. The first game was played there in 1867. The city’s other major ground, Lancaster Park, is being repaired after earthquake damage.
Christchurch, known as the Garden City for its parks, gardens and tree-lined avenues, is a hub for outdoorsy types who enjoy the vibe of a city. The exciting landscapes of the South Island are on your doorstep, offering all types of outdoor activities.
Written by Overseas Guides Company.
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