Mumbai has always been the hub of Indian cricket. As we all know, it has produced many iconic cricketers for Team India, especially the legends Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar. For this reason, the craze of cricket in Mumbai is always high, and the number of people who play cricket in Mumbai is huge.
Unlike other sports, cricket gives a special high for most of the Mumbaikars. Fortunately, there is a place where all the cricket madness gets expressed. Wankhede stadium – The ground of extraordinary feats & historical moments.
The stadium was built in 1974, located in South Mumbai Marine lines. With the infinite number of ardent cricket fans around the city, the ground never fails to provide a high-octane environment whenever cricket is played at a higher level.
Initially, international cricket in Mumbai was played in Brabourne stadium. Due to some disagreement between the Mumbai Cricket Association(MCA) and the Cricket Club of India, MCA built a stadium nearby and named it Wankhede stadium. The stadium Wankhede was named after SK Wankhede, who was a politician and former secretary of MCA.
The Wankhede stadium got famous when it conducted its first Test match between India and West Indies in 1975. With Clive Lloyd’s scintillating 242 runs, West Indies easily took over India in that match. Especially the invasion of a fan into the playing area to greet Clive Lloyd turned as the topic among the cricketing folklore for decades.
Later in 1976, India registered its first victory in Wankhede against New Zealand, and it eventually got the craziness going.
Things got bigger and bigger as years passed by.
- Sunil Gavaskar’s 235 (vs Eng, 1978)
- Vinod Kambli’s 224 (vs Eng, 1993)
- Sachin Tendulkar’s 148 (vs SL,1997)
- Ravi Shastri six sixes in a domestic match
- Harbhajan Singh’s 7 scalps against Windies in 2002
- India’s historical Test victories
- Hosted 1987 and 1996 world cup matches
- Most importantly, the host of the 2011 world cup final
- Farewell Test of Sachin Tendulkar
- Virat Kohli’s 235 (vs Eng,2011)
All these incidents added more fuel to the status of this south Mumbai ground.
Wankhede Stadium Capacity & Infrastructure
Earlier, the capacity of Wankhede stadium was 45000, and the stadium was filled with wooden benches and chairs. But then came the renovation in 2010, as Wankhede was about to host the final of ICC World Cup 2011.
The renovation brought in huge changes in the nature of Wankhede stadium. MCA planned to increase the stadium’s height from 16 m to 35 m, bring in three tiers, which would help the capacity to increase to 47000.
Eventually, the plan ended up at 29m in height due to permission issues. Moreover, suspended cantilever roofs were brought in, which avoided beam supports for the roofs to ensure a better view for the spectators. And also, the roof was designed to bring in the breeze from the west side, which helps in cooling the stadium.
The capacity got reduced to 33000 due to the introduction of bucket seats. To pay tribute to the legend Sunil Gavaskar, two seats were fixed on the name of Mr. and Mrs. Sunil Gavaskar in the president’s box.
The floodlights were in use from 1996, and they also got renovated before the 2011 ICC World Cup. The newly fixed floodlight high-efficiency light beams. Addedly, it was also designed to reduce light spillage in the surrounding area of the stadium. Along with the light system, the drainage system of the ground was also improved.
The two ends of the Wankhede stadium were named Garware Pavilion End and Tata End.
Stands in Wankhede
The Sachin Tendulkar stand is the biggest of all the other stands occupying one-third of the stadium’s stand. And it is where MS Dhoni hits the winning six against Sri Lanka in the 2011 world cup final.
The North stand is where unique chants get started and is located above the long-off area. Interestingly, it is the place that usually sets the environment of the entire stadium.
The Sunil Gavaskar stand is for those who prefer cheap ticket prices, while any fan who loves to catch the ball would like to be in the Vithal Divecha stand in the cow corner region.
One finds it difficult to find a seat in the MCA stand, as it gives a clear view of the dressing room stairs. And the Grand stand is placed right above the sightscreen.
The Wankhede Pitch
A typical Indian pitch, which is made of red soil. With the sea breeze around, the bowlers get the swing with the new ball, especially in the morning and evening sessions.
Spinners love Wankhede pitch as it provides turn, bounce, skid, and at times low bounces too.
On the flip side, it’s a good pitch for a batsman to be too. Most importantly, in white-ball cricket, this pitch is always prepared to produce copious runs.
Wankhede is the home of the mighty Mumbai team, which has won 42 Ranji trophy titles so far, and it is the highest by any state team.
Mumbai team has always been a dominant batting team in domestic cricket. Right from Sunil Gavaskar to Suryakumar Yadav, they have produced the best batsmen for Team India. In fact, the Mumbai team is also called the ‘Mumbai school of batsmanship’.
“Mumbai batsmen are trained to bat the way they bat. If a batsman scores 60 runs, he is not called a batsman. A minimum of 100 runs are required.” – Sanjay Manjrekar.
Definitely, this has a lot to do with their home ground, Wankhede. Only in Wankhede we can find thousands of spectators watching a first-class game, and this Wankhede element powers the Mumbai team’s intent to out-think their competitors.
The Home of Mumbai Indians
The whole of Wankhede turns blue when Mumbai Indians play their home game. In many respects, Mumbai Indians have been a gift for the Wankhede stadium, and it brings in more matches for the stadium packed full. At the same time, Wankhede stadium hasn’t failed to provide a turbocharged environment of T20 for their home team.
It is a fact that MI often gets their appetizers gobbled by playing at home. Out of 65 games played in their home venue, they have won 41
In the beginning, the fan base for MI was high because of Sachin Tendulkar. And the legacy is now taken forward by the likes of Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, and many other world-beaters. And it is where Sachin Tendulkar got his one and only three-digit mark in IPL.
So far, the dominant MI has won 5 IPL titles and 2 CLT20 titles.
Wankhede Stadium Records
|FORMAT||MATCHES PLAYED||WON BY INDIA||WON BY OPPOSITION||WON BY NEUTRAL SIDE||DRAW/TIED|
|FORMAT||LEADING RUN SCORER|
|TEST||Sunil Gavaskar – 1122 Runs in 20 Inns|
|ODI||Sachin Tendulkar – 455 Runs in 11 Inns|
|T20I||Virat Kohli – 197 Runs in 3 Inns|
|FORMAT||LEADING WICKET TAKER|
|TEST||Anil Kumble – 38 Wickets in 7 Matches|
|ODI||Venkatesh Prasad – 15 Wickets in 6 Matches|
|T20I||Kyle Abbot (SA) – 5 Wickets in 2 Matches|
|FORMAT||HIGHEST TEAM SCORE||LOWEST TEAM SCORE||HIGHEST INDIVIDUAL SCORE||BEST BOWLING FIGURES (INNS)|
|TEST||631 – IND|
(VS ENG – 2016)
|93/10 – AUS|
(VS IND – 2004)
|ODI||438/4 – SA|
(VS IND – 2015)
|115/10 – BAN|
(VS IND – 1998)
|T20I||240/3 – IND|
(VS WI – 2019)
|172 – AFG|
(VS SA – 2016)
To Wrap up
Only very few grounds in cricket have produced so many historical memories. And this Wankhede stadium stands tall in providing it.
Above all, the moment that made entire India to tears came in the Wankhede.
“That exact point, you know, maybe four or five overs before we won the game, when the whole stadium and the spectators knew that we were going to win the game. That was the time when they started chanting Vande Mataram and all the other songs, that was the moment. We knew from that point on that we would win the game. That whole atmosphere has never been recreated, but hopefully someday, I will be able to witness it again.” – MS Dhoni.
On the whole, Mumbai, with its star scraper players and the most precious Southern stadium, will produce more prolific benefits for Indian cricket, and it will only get better and better as time moves on.