Durham’s Riverside Ground will host three games this summer as the World Cup roadshow visits English cricket’s youngest first-class county.
Sri Lanka are in action twice – against South Africa and the West Indies – at a ground that has been less than kind to them in the past.
In the freezing cold of May 2016, England beat the subcontinent side by nine wickets in the most recent of the ground’s six Tests.
Sri Lanka have, however, won both ODIs they have played at the venue.
There can be few greater sights in English cricket than the haunting, all-encompassing majesty of Lumley Castle overlooking the Riverside.
The risk of developing any ground is that it loses its soul, becoming a nondescript, concrete arena. However, Durham’s home has no such flaws; the turrets of the fourteenth-century fortress poke out above the canopy, interrupting the horizon. It is a landscape that personifies a proud region.
Such pride has been necessary in recent times; a ground built on a vision of bringing international cricket to the northeast threatened to lead a county’s demise.
Financial strife – much of which was brought about by efforts to upgrade the arena – appeared to have cast both county and stadium into the relative cricketing wilderness in 2016.
Yet, it seems fitting that the World Cup should return to a ground that has given English cricket so much – England won the Ashes here in 2013.
The venue’s first ever ODI came two decades ago during the 1999 tournament as Pakistan took on Scotland.
Four years later, it would become Britain’s first new Test venue in more than a century when England beat Zimbabwe inside three days.
The place has played host to some super players: the Australian duo of Mike Hussey and David Boon, alongside local stalwarts Paul Collingwood, Steve Harmison, Ben Stokes and one Gary Pratt. In a part of the world full of character, the Riverside is a perfect match.
Allan Donald of South Africa in action during a tour match against Durham in 1998
Ottis Gibson - now South Africa’s head coach - took a 10-wicket haul at the ground during his Durham days back in 2007 as he single-handedly rolled through Hampshire.
However, it is hard to look past an Ashes victory, not least a series-clinching one.
In 2013, with England having already regained the urn after drawing the third Test at Old Trafford, Ian Bell scored his third hundred of the series before Stuart Broad took six second-innings wickets to seal England’s glory.
Address: Durham County Cricket Club, Emirates Riverside, Chester-le-Street, County Durham, DH3 3QR
By car: The ground is situated a mile outside Chester-le-Street. There are two car parks at the ground, but permits must be pre-booked and are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. Booking is available by clicking here.
There is also a park and ride site at the Rainton Meadows Arena, with shuttles running to the stadium from three hours before the start of play.
By public transport: Chester-le-Street rail station is served by Northern Rail, CrossCountry & First TransPennine trains. The station is a 20-minute walk from the ground.
East Coast services stop at both Durham and Newcastle instead. However, a shuttle bus will run from Durham Station to the stadium, starting three hours before the start of play.
Several buses beginning their journeys in Newcastle stop near the Riverside.
Highest ODI score: 314/4 (England vs Australia, 2018)
Lowest ODI score: 99 (England vs Sri Lanka, 2014)
It's a long way north to Durham and, as such, spectators can usually expect it to be a little chilly at Chester-le-Street. The pitch itself is a good cricket wicket, offering plenty to bat and ball. It's the overhead conditions which will dictate things.
Either side of a £5.95 daily lunchtime menu and an equally good value traditional Sunday lunch, Fabio’s serves the best of Italy: pasta, pizza, meat and fish, all at a reasonable price (£15-20 per head for two courses)
191 Front St, Chester-le-Street, DH3 3AX
If hearty, honest fare is ticking your boxes, Viaduct has you covered. Complete with Spanish Wednesdays, steak Thursdays and a three-course lunch for £9.95, Sunday’s homemade Yorkshire puddings complete the line-up (£7.95 per head for two courses)
184 Front St, Chester-le-Street, Chester le Street DH3 3AZ
To put it simply, Hollathon’s has it all; a wide-ranging menu with flavours from Italy to Thailand, there is something for everyone. Look out for the regular themed nights (£15-20 per head for two courses – cheaper during happy hour)
6-9 Ashfield Terrace, Chester le Street DH3 3PD
Slightly further from the ground itself is Finbarr’s. For a fine-dining experience, it is hard to beat; a menu featuring a range of classics served in a comfortable, homely atmosphere (£30-40 per head for two courses)
Aykley Heads House, Aykley Heads, Durham, DH1 5TS
The Church Mouse
A proper regional country-style pub with a Travelodge nearby, the Mouse features a stunning garden, as well as a regular vegan menu (£15-25 per head for two courses)
Front Street, Waldridge, Chester-le-Street, County Durham, DH2 3RJ
Visit the phenomenal cathedral – first built in 1093, as seen in the Harry Potter films as Hogwarts.
Durham Cathedral, The Cathedral Office, The College, Durham DH1 3EH
St James’ Park
The home of Premier League side Newcastle United is not far away. The club offers regular tours of the 52,000-seater stadium.
Barrack Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4ST
Angel of the North
Quite simply, you cannot visit Chester-le-Street without making the trip to Anthony Gormley’s remarkable, iconic sculpture.
Durham Rd, Low Eighton, Gateshead NE9 7TY
The upmarket gin bar features a wide range of gins and offers regular promotional deals
1-2 Red Rose Terrace, DH3 3LN
The Sticky Wicket
A brand new sports bar located at the Riverside ground itself, it is promising live music, live sport, and good food and drink. It is opening in time for the World Cup
Durham CCC, Emirates Riverside, Chester-le-Street, DH3 3QR
The Wicket Gate
The international stadium’s local Wetherspoons, there’s plenty on tap for a good night out
193 Front St, Chester-le-Street, Chester le Street DH3 3AX
The Dun Cow
Located by Durham University, The Dun Cow is listed as a heritage pub, with its historic interior complimented by its tranquil atmosphere
37 Old Elvet, Durham, DH1 3HN
As well as its fashionable restaurant, Hollathan’s has a bar, which includes an extensive list of draught beers, flavoured vodkas and cocktails
6-9 Ashfield Terrace, Chester le Street DH3 3PD
Beamish: The Living Museum of the North
The world’s most famous open-air museum is a fascinating experience that tells the story of northeast history.
Regional Resource Centre, Beamish DH9 0RG
Opposite the cathedral stands Durham Castle, home to some of the university’s students, but a historical landmark dating back to the Norman period.
Durham Castle, Palace Green, Durham, DH1 3RWWebsite
The Riverside is the world’s most northerly Test venue.