Desert Springs cricket ground has received ICC accreditation to host One Day International matches. The ground, situated in the Almeria region of Spain, has met all the requirements to host ODI cricket. The Spanish venue is the first ground in Europe outside an existing ODI nation to receive this status.
The ICC sets minimum requirements for a ground to receive T20I, ODI or Test match status. To achieve ODI accreditation, the facility must have a turf wicket, as well as safety requirements and a minimum size of the playing area. The cricket ground, completed in 2018, is part of the wider Desert Springs resort, which includes accommodation, catering, and other sporting facilities. The resort has already proved popular for training camps and cricket tourism.
Desert Springs has already displayed its pedigree when it comes to international cricket, hosting a T20I series between Spain and Germany in March 2020. The two-match series was shared 1-1. The venue is one of about twelve grounds with turf wickets in continental Europe, though around half of those are in the Netherlands. Coupled with an incredible mountainous backdrop, the ground is one of the top cricket facilities in Europe.
Despite accreditation, it is not immediately obvious when Desert Springs will host its first ODI. Spain does not currently hold ODI status and does not play in the Cricket World Cup Challenge League. Any ODI cricket hosted in the near future is likely to be as a neutral venue. Europe has 4 teams with ODI status: full members England and Ireland, and associates Scotland and Netherlands. All four nations face cold winters and long off-seasons. Desert Springs, with a warm-climate year-round, could offer winter training or fixtures to the Northern nations.
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