Introduction of Eden Gardens
Eden Gardens in Kolkata, established in 1864, is not just a cricket stadium; it’s a historical landmark and a fortress of Indian cricket. With a capacity of 66,000, it’s India’s largest and one of the world’s top cricket stadiums. Beyond numbers, Eden Gardens is a place where cricket legends are made, and the fervent crowd adds to its legendary status. Hosting several marquee matches, including the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 final, it has witnessed unforgettable moments and controversies alike.
A Cricketing Colosseum
Eden Gardens, often referred to as the “Mecca of Indian cricket,” earned its reputation through a rich history. Its name stems from the Eden sisters, Emily and Fanny, who received a garden from local zamindar Babu Rajchandra Das. This garden, initially called the ‘Auckland Circus Gardens,’ was later renamed ‘Eden Gardens.’ The stadium’s significance was further solidified when it hosted its first Test in 1934, pitting India against England.
However, Eden Gardens’ legacy isn’t without its share of tumultuous events. Riots disrupted matches against West Indies (1966-67) and Australia (1969-70), while the 1996 World Cup semi-final against Sri Lanka was abandoned due to unruly behavior. Despite passionate crowds of up to 90,000, it didn’t bring much luck to India until spin wizards like Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble turned the tide against Australia and Pakistan.
Renovation and Glory
The Stadium underwent a significant renovation before the 2011 Cricket World Cup, with plans to host four group-stage matches. However, the ICC moved the India vs. England game to Bengaluru due to concerns about the stadium’s readiness. Still, it hosted three World Cup matches in 2011, witnessing a record low attendance of 15 spectators during Kenya vs. Zimbabwe.
In 2017, several stands were named after cricket legends, administrators, and Indian soldiers, adding to the stadium’s rich heritage. Eden Gardens stands as a symbol of cricketing glory and passion, a venue where the sport truly comes alive.
Pitch and Records
The pitch is known for favoring batsmen initially but offering assistance to spinners as the match progresses. It has hosted 39 Tests, the most by any venue in India.
Notably, Rohit Sharma‘s historic 264 against Sri Lanka in 2014, the highest ODI score by any batsman, was achieved here.
Eden Gardens, a cricketing colosseum, has etched its name in cricketing folklore. As one of the world’s iconic cricket grounds, it continues to be a stage for cricketing drama, skill, and unforgettable moments.