Riverside Ground
Ground information
LocationChester-le-Street, County Durham
Coordinates54°50′58.72″N 1°33′38.54″W / 54.8496444°N 1.5607056°W / 54.8496444; -1.5607056Coordinates: 54°50′58.72″N 1°33′38.54″W / 54.8496444°N 1.5607056°W / 54.8496444; -1.5607056
Capacity5000 (domestic)
17,000 (internationals)[1]
End names
  Lumley End  

Finchale End
International information
First Test5–7 June 2003:
 England v  Zimbabwe
Last Test27–31 May 2016:
 England v  Sri Lanka
First ODI20 May 1999:
 Pakistan v  Scotland
Last ODI29 June 2021:
 England v  Sri Lanka
First T20I20 August 2008:
 England v  South Africa
Last T20I16 September 2017:
 England v  West Indies
First WODI28 June 1996:
 England v  New Zealand
Last WODI20 July 2002:
 England v  New Zealand
First WT20I8 September 2012:
 England v  West Indies
Last WT20I31 August 2013:
 England v  Australia
Team information
Durham (1995 – present)
As of 29 June 2021
Source: Cricinfo

The Riverside Ground, known for sponsorship reasons as the Emirates Riverside, is a cricket venue in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, England. It is home to Durham County Cricket Club, and has also hosted several international matches.


View to the north-east of the ground towards Lumley Castle. Additional seating on this side of the ground is now permanently erected, where previously for international matches, capacity was increased with temporary seating.
View to the north-east of the ground towards Lumley Castle. Additional seating on this side of the ground is now permanently erected, where previously for international matches, capacity was increased with temporary seating.

Durham's acceptance into first-class cricket in 1991 was made conditional on the building of a new Test match-standard cricket ground.[2][3][4] Work began on the new ground at the Riverside in a location overlooked by Lumley Castle in 1990, with development continuing in phases. Work on the outfield and playing surface began in 1993. In its first three seasons in the County Championship, the Club played in a variety of locations around the county, but the Riverside ground was pronounced ready for cricket in time for the 1995 season, even though many of the buildings were still temporary or unfinished. The ground hosted its first game, Durham vs. Warwickshire, on 18 May 1995.[5]

Other facilities at the ground continued being built over subsequent years, and the club's Don Robson Pavilion was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1996. The full ground capacity, including permanent and temporary seating, is 17,000.[6]

One of the entrances to the Don Robson Pavilion.
One of the entrances to the Don Robson Pavilion.

In September 2008 plans were announced concerning further developments to the ground.[7] These included installing permanent floodlights, and extending the County Durham stand so that permanent seating surrounds the entire ground, raising the ground capacity to around 20,000. A new entrance building was also planned to house the box office and club shop, as well as offices for club officials, a new perimeter road and a hotel. These developments were seen as a necessity, as the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have specified that they must take place in order for the ground to secure its status as a venue for the 2019 Cricket World Cup.[8]

In April 2015, planning permission was granted to erect six permanent 55-metre floodlights around the ground.[9] Within weeks, the lights were in action as Durham Jets hosted the Yorkshire Vikings in a T20 Blast match.[10]

On 16 September 2017, during the Riverside Ground's hosting of England's Twenty20 International match against the West Indies, a stand in the North-East Terrace partially collapsed. Three spectators were injured, and part of the stand was evacuated.[11]

Irish pop vocal band Westlife were due to perform at the stadium on 18 July 2020 for their "Stadiums in the Summer Tour" but the concert was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

International matches

The development of the Riverside into a significant cricketing venue was underscored in 1999, when it hosted two World Cup matches involving Pakistan, Scotland, Australia and Bangladesh, and then in 2000 when it staged two One-Day International matches in a triangular series between England, Zimbabwe and the West Indies. In 2001 a One-Day International between Australia and Pakistan was abandoned without a ball bowled due to rain.[12]

2003 saw the Riverside Ground raised to Test match status;[13] it has hosted six England Test matches: against Zimbabwe in 2003, Bangladesh in 2005, West Indies in 2007 and 2009, Australia in 2013 and Sri Lanka in 2016. The fourth day of the West Indies Test, 18 June 2007, saw Paul Collingwood hitting a century on his home pitch for England against the West Indies, and so becoming the first local Durham player to hit a Test century at the Riverside.[14]

It was announced in July 2009 that the ground would host the fourth Ashes Test match of the 2013 Ashes series,[15] the culmination of Durham's growth as a First Class County since 1992[5] coming after Durham missed out to Cardiff in its bid to host an Ashes test in 2009. Hosting an Ashes Test match was predicted to generate £20 million for the local economy.[16]

The first scheduled Twenty20 International at the ground, against South Africa in 2008, was abandoned due to heavy rain.[17] In 2012 South Africa returned for the Riverside Ground's second Twenty20 match, defeating England by 7 wickets,[18] in a match held alongside a women's T20I against the West Indies.[19] A second T20I double header was hosted in August 2013, where England defeated Australia in both men's and women's matches. The women's match formed the final encounter of the 2013 women's Ashes series.[20]

Further international matches held at the Riverside Ground included two ODI matches, against Sri Lanka in 2014 and New Zealand in 2015, and a Test match against Sri Lanka held in 2016.[21]

As part of the conditions of a package of financial support announced in October 2016, the ECB imposed a number of sanctions on Durham County Cricket Club, including removal of the club's eligibility to bid to stage Test cricket at the Riverside Ground.[22][23] The club will still be eligible to bid to host one-day and Twenty20 international matches, with a Twenty20 international against the West Indies scheduled to be held in 2017.[24] It hosted three matches at the 2019 Cricket World Cup.[25]


On 4 June 2010 it was announced that the stadium would be renamed the 'Emirates Durham International Cricket Ground' for sponsorship reasons. In February 2016 it was again renamed, this time to 'Emirates Riverside', following the extension of Emirates' contract with the county until 2022.[26]

See also


  1. ^ "The many shapes of England's cricket stadiums". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  2. ^ George Dobell (3 October 2016). "Brutal Durham punishment reflects poorly on ECB". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  3. ^ Stuart Rayner (4 October 2016). "Durham County Cricket Club crisis: A beginner's guide to what went wrong and what happens now". The Chronicle. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  4. ^ Tim Wigmore (30 June 2016). "How Durham Became A First-Class County". The Nightwatchman. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Will staging an Ashes Test help Durham join cricket's elite?". 8 August 2013. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
  6. ^ "Riverside Ground". Cricinfo. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  7. ^ Durham reveal ground plans, Cricinfo, Retrieved 3 May 2009
  8. ^ http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/durham-ccc-submit-plans-12m-8856245
  9. ^ http://www.skysports.com/cricket/news/12149/9829935/durham-given-green-light-for-floodlights-at-emirates-durham-icg
  10. ^ http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/controversial-cricket-lights-durham-county-9341300
  11. ^ "England v West Indies: Three spectators injured as part of stand collapses". BBC Sport. 16 September 2017. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  12. ^ "Rain dominates: Australia - Pakistan share points". Cricinfo. 16 June 2001. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
  13. ^ "Dawning of a new era with Test cricket at Riverside". 23 July 2013. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
  14. ^ "Collingwood gives England hope". The Telegraph. 18 June 2007. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
  15. ^ "Durham awarded Ashes Test in 2013". 30 July 2009.
  16. ^ "Ashes North East boost predicted to be more than £20m". BBC News. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  17. ^ "Twenty20 called off a day early". Cricinfo. 19 August 2008. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
  18. ^ "England lose to South Africa in Twenty20 international". 8 September 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
  19. ^ "All-round England sweep to victory". Cricinfo. 8 September 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
  20. ^ "England women 'can't wait' for their chance to get at the Aussies". The Independent. 10 August 2013. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
  21. ^ "ECB and Durham agree International schedule at Emirates". Durham County Cricket Club. 3 May 2013. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
  22. ^ "ECB and Durham agree financial package". ECB. 3 October 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  23. ^ "Durham relegated in return for ECB bailout, Hampshire stay up". ESPN Cricinfo. 3 October 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  24. ^ "South Africa and West Indies confirmed for England's longest season". ESPN Cricinfo. 1 July 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  25. ^ "ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 schedule announced". ICC. 14 June 2019.
  26. ^ Wellock, Tim (5 June 2010). "A new name – but the same old story". Durham Times. Retrieved 2 January 2011.