With a seating capacity of more than 66,000, Eden Gardens is the largest stadium in India and the second-largest in the world, behind only the Melbourne Cricket Ground. And given it houses the most vociferous fans in the country, there are enough reasons for it to be iconic in India.
The stadium has seen some of the most historic and significant moments in Indian cricket. From VVS Laxman’s 281 against Australia in 2001, where India came from behind to win, to Rohit Sharma’s 264 off 173 against Sri Lanka in 2014, the highest score in ODIs by an individual, this ground has seen it all.
But it’s not just its size and history that makes it an iconic stadium. It also has rabidly partisan supporters who cheer for India in a cauldron of a stadium. Eden Gardens can be a very intimidating stadium for visiting teams, with the crowds acting as a 12th player of the team. The partisan nature of the crowd is most telling when an Indian wicket falls, and there’s pin-drop silence.
All in all, if you are in Kolkata and India is playing at the Eden, don’t miss the experience even if you aren’t an ardent cricket fan.
Now as it gears up to host India’s first-ever pink-ball Test here’s a look back at its history.
History of the Eden
The Eden Gardens complex that the stadium is a part of is in the heart of the city, and its surrounding landmarks include the state’s High Court and State Secretariat.
Designed in 1841, the stadium was established in 1864 and gets its name from the Eden Gardens, one of the oldest parks in Kolkata. The ground was named after the Eden sisters of Lord Aukland, the then Governor-General of India.
In 1871, the pavilion was built with cricket started being played on the ground. However, it was in the year 1917-18 that the first-ever first-class match was played in the ground.
Memorable moments at the Eden
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The first Test was played in 1934 between England and India, while the first one-day international at the ground was in 1987 between India and Pakistan. The first T20 international at the ground was held in 2011 between India and England.
In 1987, Eden Gardens became the second stadium to host a World Cup final (between England and Australia), after Lord’s in London, which had hosted the finals in the first three editions of the tournament.
After regaining Test status in 1991, the Proteas played their first match at Eden Gardens on November 10, 1991.
Harbhajan Singh bagged a hat-trick against Australia in 2000-01 at Eden Gardens. Singh became the first Indian player to bag a hat-trick in Test cricket.
– India holds the record for the highest Test score at Eden. They scored 657/7 against Australia during the series in 2000-01.
– India also scored its lowest total at the ground when the West Indies restricted them to just 90.
– Harbhajan Singh became the first Indian to take a Test hat-trick when he achieved the feat against Australia in 2000-01.
– VVS Laxman’s historic 281 against the Australians in 2000/01 is the highest score at the ground.
– Anil Kumble’s 12/6 against the West Indies in the finals of the Hero Cup is the best bowling figures in ODIs by an Indian.
– Both Mohammed Azharuddin and VVS Laxman have slammed 5 centuries at this venue.
Location: Dr. B. C. Roy Club House, Eden Gardens, Kolkata
Seating Capacity: 100,000
End Names: High Court End, Pavilion End
Home Team: Bengal and Kolkata Knight Riders (IPL)
Owner: The Cricket Association of Bengal
First Test: India vs. England – Jan 5-8, 1934
First ODI: India vs. Pakistan – Feb 18, 1987