Sophia Garden’s is a unique ground in the County Championships in that it is the only stadium not in England, but in Wales.
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Ground Guide by Cricket Tripper
The Sophia Gardens Cricket Ground in Cardiff is aptly located in Sophia Gardens on the River Taff. Home to Glamorgan County Cricket Club, it is also listed as an international Test cricket ground. The Glamorgan County Cricket Club have played their home matches at Sophia Gardens Cricket Ground since May 1967 having relocated from Cardiff Arms Park. In 1995, the ground was given to Glamorgan County Cricket Club on a 125-year lease after the previous tenants, Cardiff Cricket Club moved to the Diamond Ground in Whitchurch.
Sophia Gardens Cricket Ground has held international cricket matches since 1999 when it hosted the World Cup match of Australia versus New Zealand. Between 2001 and 2012, it hosted nine of the One Day Internationals, however, did not host England until 2006 in the match against Pakistan on the 30th August. The quality of this cricket ground was showcased during 2013 when Sophia Gardens Cricket Ground was selected alongside The Oval and Edgbaston to be one of the three venues hosting the ICC Champions Trophy.
On the 6th June 2013 it kicked the tournament off with a match between India and South Africa. This welsh cricket ground went on to host three other matches in this tournament before holding the semi-final with India and Sri Lanka on the 20th June of that year. Less known for hosting T20 games, Sophia Gardens Cricket Ground has only put on two; between England and Pakistan in 2010, and then England versus Australia in 2015.
A notable moment in the history of Sophia Gardens Cricket Ground is the announcement that it would host its first Test match on the 8th July 2009 as the opening match of an Ashes series – between England and Australia. This made the ground the 100th Test match venue. However, hosting Test match cricket at Sophia Gardens Cricket Ground went downhill from then onwards. They were stripped of their rights to host the 2012 West Indies Test by the ECB, due to the failure of Glamorgan County Cricket Club to pay their £2.5 million fee that it owed the ECB after hosting the 2011 Sri Lanka Test. It wasn’t until 2015 when it held another Test match; the first Test of the 2015 Ashes series. 2019 brought more victory for the ground when it hosted four group matches of the 2019 World Cup.
All of these high-profile events could not have occurred without the stadium redevelopment that began in 2007 and was ready for play in May 2008. The £9.4 million redevelopment plans were 50% funded by a Cardiff Council loan. This loan was projected to allow Sophia Gardens Cricket Ground to host seven Test matches, nine One-Day Internationals and two World Cup games before 2028 – so far, the stadium has spectacularly achieved some than this – as well as injecting £50 million into the local economy. 2008 also brought a 10-year stadium name sponsorship deal with SWALEC worth over £1.5 million over the length of the deal.
Visiting the Ground - Travel
This charming ground is located in right next to the River Taff in Cardiff, Wales.
Satnav postcode is CF11 9XR. Sadly there is no matchday parking available to the general public. However, the ground does offer a park and ride service at Cardiff City Stadium. Or you could just walk, as it only takes 20 minutes to get to the ground from Cardiff City Stadium, and you can take in the wonders of Cardiff highstreet.
Train - Public Transport
The closest train station is Cardiff Central. It just a 20 minute stroll to the ground. There are also buses and taxis available if you don’t fancy the walk. Cardiff is easy to access as it is connected to the great british railway
Airports and Flying
Cardiff has it’s very own airport which is just a 25-minute drive from the ground. However there may be limited international flights, so you may be forced to go to Bristol Airport. Bristol airport is 1-hour drives away but has more flights going from it.