EDEN GARDENS STADIUM- KOLKATA

EDEN GARDENS STADIUM – KOLKATA

Photo : Hooghly River   Courtesy: Google.com

 Kolkata, Bengali Kalikata, formerly Calcutta, city, capital of West Bengal state, and was capital  from 1772–1911 of British India. It is one of India’s largest cities and one of its major ports. The city is centred on the east bank of the Hugli (Hooghly) River, about 154 km upstream from the head of the Bay of Bengal; there the port city developed as a point of transshipment from water to land and from river to sea. A city of commerce, transport, and manufacture.  Kolkata is the dominant urban centre of eastern India. Today it’s known for its grand colonial architecture, art galleries and cultural festivals.  Durga pooja is celebrated during Dussehra  with its religious fervour.

EDEN GARDENS STADIUM

Until British cleared it in mid-18th century the area was a jungle.  According to popular culture, Babu Rajchandra Das, the then Zamindar of Kolkata, had gifted one of his biggest gardens behind River Hooghly to Viceory Lord Auckland.  It was initially named as “Auckland Circus Gardens” but later changed as “Eden Gardens”.    The Stadium was named after Eden sisters, Fanny and Emily.  It was designed in 1841 and was functional only by 1864 making it the FIRST cricket stadium in India built by the British.  It was built during the time of Lord Auckland when he was the Governor General of India.

DESCRIPTION

The stadium is situated in B.B.D. Bagh area of the Kolkata city near Secretariat and Calcutta High Court.  It stands in more than 50 acres of blissful landscape.  The verdant pathways of Eden Gardens are shaded by huge mahogany, mango and Banyan trees that make it a peaceful place to sit and enjoy the marvels of nature.  There is also a 3 storeyed Burmese Pagoda in red and yellow that was brought here by Lord Dalhousie.  

A brand new pitch cover was installed in 2016 from England. The entire ground can be covered in 15-20 minutes.

It’s second largest stadium in the country with 66,000 capacity after renovation.  It  is also used for Football matches.

The entire stadium and the surrounding land still is administered by the Defense Ministry, without whose permission no event takes place. The Cricket Association of Bengal is merely a lesser and not the owner. And the stadium visit is allowed when there are no matches played here.

FACILITIES

The stadium’s outfield and drainage system came under a lot of criticism.  When Sourav Ganguly become CAB President in 2016, he made sure that a new coring process was done in the outfield , so that the outfield does not remain water logged for long.  The drainage system was also upgraded. Previously the CAB had only 3 super soppers were in place.  Keeping in mind the unpredictable weather conditions, Sourav ordered 2 more super soppers from Australia so that even it it rained, the ground can be made ready for the match to resume quickly.

Eden Gardens had installed a new electronic score board like MCG.  The new scoreboard will show all the details, highlights and graphics of a match.

In 2016, a big bell ( like in Lord’s, England) was added to the stadium to ring in the start of a day’s play for all forms of cricket here. Kapil Dev was the first person to ring the bell to start the test of Ind Vs Newzeland in spetember 2016.

BEST MOMENTS 

  • When India’s win over England in 1972-73 by 28 runs, complete with music that wouldn’t have been out of place of Hindi movie.
  • Gundappa Viswanath’s brilliant century in 1974-75 series against West Indies in the 3rd Test of the series here after India were 2-0 down
  • When Azharuddin made century on his debut in 1984-85 against England, the crowd shouted  “ Azar, Azar” and also his 77 ball century in 1996-97 against S.A. and his 163 runs against Aussies in 1998.

VVS MAGNIFICENT KNOCK

And to top it all, the game that will deserve special mention here will be the massive heist India performed on the Aussies in a Test match in 2001 to win this test after being asked to follow-on after a marathon innings played by V.V.S. Laxman hitting 281 runs, his career best and Harbhajan’s 13 wickets haul, including a HAT TRICK.

FIRST EVER DAY- NIGHT TEST IN INDIA

The first ever DAY NIGHT Test  of India was played here on 22nd November , 2019 between India & Bangladesh which was viewed by 43 million people, highest viewership for a FIRST DAY of any test played over in 2018-19, the second test of the series and it was a one-sided test as India won by a whopping Innings & 46 runs.

HERO CUP SEMI FINAL 

When Sachin Tendulkar turned into a Hero with the ball, defending just 5 runs against South Africa in 1993-94 Hero cup and India romped home and went on to win the Final.

CROWD BEHAVIOUR

On happier days, the crowd in the stadium act as the 12th man of the Indian team.  But on bad days, the crowd turned violent and disrupted the proceedings of a match.  In the 1996 World cup Semi Final against Srilanka when India were staring defeat, the crowd pelted stones continuously and the match could not continue and the SF was conceded to Srilanka.

T2O WORLD CUP FINALS

West Indies became the FIRST team in history to win both Women’s T20 title match (Daymatch) and Men’s T20 title (D/N match) on April 2016 at this ground.  Especially the Men’s final match a scintillating  knock by Carlos Brathwaite, when he hit 4 consecutive sixes off Ben Stokes in the Final over.  And Ian Bishop the commentator remarked “Remember the name “ Carlos.

OTHER ACHIEVEMENTS

* Kapil Dev became the first  Indian bowler to take a Hat trick in ODI in 1991 against Srilanka and kuldeep Yadav followed him in 2017 against Australia.

  •  Rohit Sharma hit ODI’s highest 264 runs against Srilanka
  •  Virat Kohli scored his maiden ODI century in 2009
  • Harbhajan Singh became the FIRST indian to claim Hat trick in tests in 2001

SACHIN TENDULKAR’S  PENULTIMATE TEST

   When Sachin Tendulkar played his 199th Test here, a special coin was released and it was used as the Toss coin. 

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