It is a widely known fact that the Melbourne Cricket Ground(MCG) is the world’s largest cricket stadium with a seating capacity of 100,024. However, the largest cricket stadium in Asia is the iconic Eden Gardens of Kolkata.
It can accommodate 66,000 heads in total. Initially, it used to boast of a capacity of 90,000. However, the figure reduced as a result of the upgradation work done before the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup.
Eden Gardens was established way back in 1864 and was named after the Eden sisters of Lord Auckland who was the Governor-General of India. The stadium hosted its first ever test match in 1934 when the England team visited India.
Being the largest cricket stadium in Asia, Eden Gardens produces some of the best cricket atmospheres of the world. Besides the classic Hero Cup Final, the stadium also witnessed India’s historical victory over Australia in the 2000-01 Border-Gavaskar Trophy after Australia enforced India to follow on after their 1st innings. VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid both played spectacular knocks as Harbhajan Singh picked up a hat-trick to send the crowd on their feet.
The stadium also bore witness to Rohit Sharma’s innings of 264 runs against Sri Lanka, which happens to be the highest international ODI score by a batsman till date.
Another one of the spectacular atmosphere produced by the Eden Gardens happen to be the India vs Pakistan T20 group stage match at the ICC T20 World Cup of 2016. India won the game on the back of Virat Kohli’s amazing match winning 50, with the crowd singing Vande Mataram in the background.
The crowd at Eden Gardens is one of the most emotional ones as well. During the 1996 ICC Cricket World Cup semi final between India and Sri Lanka, play was stopped after India were reduced to 120/8 chasing Sri Lanka’s target of 252 due to crowd interference.
Another incident occurred in 1999, when Sachin Tendulkar was runout following a collision with Shoaib Akhtar. Akhtar impeded Tendulkar, after which the crowd rioted which caused eviction of the crowd by the police. The match continued in front of an empty stadium.
More recently, the stadium played host to the finals of 2016 ICC T20 World Cup (Men’s and Women’s). Both the finals were won by West Indies men’s and women’s team respectively.