The 5 biggest cricket stadiums in India

The yet to be inaugurated Motera Stadium Motera Stadium
The yet to be inaugurated Motera Stadium Motera Stadium

India is the powerhouse of world cricket and it has got more cricket stadiums than any other country in the world, simply because of the geographical size of the country and the volume of the cricket watching audience that resides in it.

India not only leads the chart in terms of the number of the cricket stadiums, it has also got some of the biggest cricket stadiums. The atmosphere created by the Indian fans in most of the stadiums around the country during the home season and also, during the IPL is nothing short of extraordinary. Here are the 5 biggest cricket stadiums in India:

#1 Motera Stadium, Ahmedabad | Crowd capacity 110,000

Motera is the cricket stadium with the highest capacity in the world
Motera is the cricket stadium with the highest capacity in the world

Motera Stadium is located in Ahmedabad and is owned by the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA). The stadium is the largest cricket stadium in the world at the moment in terms of the seating capacity. This is not a new stadium and was built way back in the 80s, but its seating capacity was less than half of the new stadium till 2012. However, the stadium was renovated and the number of seats increased significantly and so have the facilities.

There is quite a bit of history attached to the Motera Stadium. One of the quarter-finals of the ODI World Cup 2011 was played here between India and Australia, which India won by beating Australia by five wickets enroute to winning the World Cup after 28 years. Motera is also the venue where Sunil Gacaskar became the first player to cross 10,000 Test runs.

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The upcoming matches at the venue include a day night Test match between India and England which will take place during the next Indian home season.

#2 Eden Gardens, Kolkata | Crowd Capacity 68,000

Eden Gardens
Eden Gardens

Eden Gardens was the largest cricket stadium in India before the renovation of the Motera Stadium. Its seating capacity has reduced over the years, but it can still hold a very high number of people.

Eden Gardens is known for its electric atmosphere. The Indian cricket team has played some unforgettable matches here, none bigger than the Test match against Australia in 2001. India beat the mighty Australian side in that Test, despite conceding a follow-on in the first innings.

The stadium also hosted the final match of the previous T20 World Cup in 2016. West Indies and England were the two finalists of the tournament and Carlos Brathwaite won it for West Indies by hitting four sixes off the bowling of Ben Stokes in the last over of the game.

Eden Gardens became the first ever stadium in India to host a day-night Test match last year as well. The historical day-night Test was played between India and Bangladesh, which the hosts won convincingly.

Eden Gardens is also the home ground of the IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

#3 Naya Raipur International Cricket Stadium, Raipur | Crowd Capacity 65,000

Naya Raipur International Cricket Stadium
Naya Raipur International Cricket Stadium

Naya Raipur International Cricket Stadium is a newly built stadium and is located in Raipur, the capital city of Chhattisgarh. Apart from its seating capacity, this stadium also has a huge playing area, unlike some of the other grounds in India which have got short boundaries. It’s not easy to clear the boundaries at this ground, for any batsman in the world.

This is not a home ground to any IPL franchise, however Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) have played a couple of their home games at this venue in the past and the crowd turned up in huge numbers to watch those games. Because of its sheer size, it looks fascinating when it’s houseful and it’s one of the stadiums which can be expected to host a lot of important matches in future.

Apart from the IPL, the matches of the now defunct Champions League were also held at the Naya Raipur International Cricket Stadium in 2014. Champions League was a tournament which was played between the top teams of various T20 leagues around the world.

#4 Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Hyderabad | Capacity 55,000

Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium
Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium

Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium is also fairly new and has become one of the Test grounds of India already. It recently hosted a Test match against Bangladesh, when Bangladesh toured India for a Test series for the first time since being given the Test status in 2000.

The stadium was initially named as Visakha International Cricket Stadium, but the former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, decided to change the name of the stadium to Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium later.

The first international match to have been played at here was an ODI between India and South Africa in 2005. Rajiv Gandhi Stadium is the home ground of the IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad and hence, hosts all the home games that Hyderabad plays during the IPL. The stadium has also hosted the finals of the two editions of the IPL, including the 2019 edition.

The most memorable match played at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium was the final of IPL 2017, where Mumbai Indians beat Rising Pune Supergiant by just one run to clinch the title.

#5 M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai | Crowd capacity 50,000

M.A. Chidambaram Stadium
M.A. Chidambaram Stadium

M.A. Chidambaram Stadium is one of the oldest cricket stadiums in India and is located in Chennai. It was built way before the independence of the country and hosted its first Test match in 1934.

The Chidambaram Stadium, apart from hosting international matches on a regular basis, also hosts IPL matches every year as it is the home ground of the 3-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK).

It is a huge stadium with the seating capacity of 55,000, but in the recent times, it has not been able to hold as many spectators as its capacity because of the manufacturing issues related to some of the stands. However, those issues are sorted now and the stadium is expected to be buzzing during the upcoming IPL.

The Chidambaram Stadium, which is also known as Chepauk, is most famous for the Test match played between India and Pakistan in 1999.

Although that Test match was won by the Pakistan cricket team, the spectators were so impressed with the quality of cricket played in that game that they gave a standing ovation to both teams, despite the result not going in India’s favour.

Also see | 7 most picturesque cricket grounds in the Southern Hemisphere

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Edited by rehaan díaz
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