Oldest and Largest Cricket Stadium
Established in 1864 or about 155 years ago, the Eden Gardens is the oldest cricket stadium in India, seventh oldest cricket stadium in the world, and the largest cricket stadium in India. It is also the second largest stadium in the world by capacity.
Critics have dubbed the stadium the “Mecca of Indian Cricket” and “cricket’s answer to the Colosseum” for its grandeur, international impact, and relevance. In addition, critics often refer to it as one of the most iconic stadiums in the world.
In 1987, the stadium expanded its capacity from 40,000 to 04,000 just in time for the 1987 World Cup. The renovations included upgrades on the press box, infrastructure on television, and club house revamp. The renovation brought more people than anticipated and regular game attendance went as high as 100,000 until the early 2000s.
The 2011 Cricket World Cup brought another renovation opportunity for the beloved stadium. This time, measures were made ensuring that changes are on par with the standards set by the International Cricket Council. The renovations included a new clubhouse facility, new stadium façade, roof structure, and a general upgrade on the building infrastructure.
Cricket Stadium Events
The ICC World Cup has been held in the Eden Stadium in 1987, 1996, and 2011, as well as the 2016 ICC World Twenty20. In addition, it was the venue for the ICXC Women’s Cricket World Cup in the years 1978, 1997, and 2016. The stadium also hosted a series of test matches, the Pepsi Independence Cup, ODIs, and One Day Internationals.
Eden Gardens is the home of the Bengal Cricket team and the Indian Premier League team Kolkata Knight Riders. Its club house gets its name after the former West Bengal Chief Minister DR. B.C. Roy. In addition, the stadium is the venue for the Indian National Cricket team tests, ODIs, and T20Is. The cricket ground compares with the Lord’s in London where many critics call it the Lord’s of the Indian subcontinent. They even acknowledge it as second’s best cricket ground after Lord’s.
The stands of the stadium are notable as they are named after celebrated cricket players and Indian soldiers. These include Sourav Ganguly and Pankaj Roj, BN Dutt, and Jagmohan Dalmiya. In 2017, four stands were named after famous Indian soldiers; they are Havildar Hangpan Dada, Colonel Neelakantan Jayachandran Nair, Lieutenant Coloneln Dhan Singh Thapa, and Subedar Joginder Singh Sahnan.
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