Relatively younger than old-world grounds like Chepauk, Eden Gardens, and Feroz Shah Kotla, the Wankhede stadium has its own fair share of unforgettable memories attached to it.
It has been home to some of the greatest cricketers to have played for the country.
Mumbai has played host to Test matches at three different venues – the first ever Test in India was hosted at the Bombay Gymkhana in 1933-34 against England. After the second World War, Cricket Club of India’s (CCI) Brabourne Stadium became the city’s second ground.
However, a dispute between the CCI and the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) over the allocation of tickets for cricket matches forced the latter to build a separate stadium.
The stadium was named after the association’s president Barrister Sheshrao Krishnarao Wankhede. The initial capacity of the stadium was around 45,000. The first Test was staged in the season of 1974-75 when West Indies toured India.
The stadium has seven different stands – Sunil Gavaskar Stand, North Stand, Vijay Merchant Stand, Sachin Tendulkar Stand, MCA Pavilion, Divecha Pavilion, and Garware Pavilion.
In 1996, Wankhede stadium underwent an upgrade, during which, floodlights were installed to provide excellent lighting to host the day and night cricket matches.
Wankhede received its second upgrade in 2010-11 before the 2011 World Cup and the ground was unavailable for domestic and international cricket until February 2011. One of the highlights of the stadium is the suspended cantilever roofs.
No beam supports on the roofs ensure better view for the spectators. The stadium has 20 elevators for North and South stands. After its renovation and installation of bucket seats the capacity of the Wankhede Stadium was reduced to around 33,000.
How does the pitch play?
The wicket at the Wankhede offers help for both the pacers and spinners.
Close proximity to the Arabian sea helps the swing bowlers considerably, especially during the early hours of the day.
However, spinners have been known to benefit during the last couple of days of a Test match as the pitch turns into a vicious turner.
- Although the new ball does a bit in limited-overs cricket, the pitch tends to ease out and favor batsmen as the innings progresses.
The venue provides great entertainment when it comes to T20 cricket.
Bangladesh scored the lowest ODI total at the stadium. They were 115 all out, when it competed with India in the 1998.
Ravi Shastri’s six sixes in an over off Baroda’s Tilak Raj en route to the fastest double-hundred in first-class cricket was on this ground in 1984-85.