Legacy of a Lost Ground: Know about Mumbai's oldest cricket stadium, that is NOT Wankhede

Legacy of a Lost Ground: Know about Mumbai's oldest cricket stadium, that is NOT Wankhede

In the British era, this stadium was cloaked in exclusivity.

In the heart of Mumbai, two iconic landmarks stand as testament to India's rich cricketing history: The famous Wankhede Stadium (1975) and the lesser-known Brabourne Stadium (1937). Like twin pillars of glory, these hallowed grounds have witnessed countless cricketing battles. While the latter talks about a storied past, the other coliseum, exactly 700 metres away, emerged to shift the spotlight. But why so?

Mumbai's cricketing hub, before Wankhede

Brabourne Stadium, with its regal facade, exudes an aura of timeless elegance. Nestled amidst the bustling streets of South Mumbai, it stands as a relic, where cricket legends once graced its immaculate turf. Known for its excellent pitch, this stadium has hosted many Test Matches between 1948 and 1972.

It was built in 1937 as a tribute to Lord Brabourne, Bombay's then Governor. Under the custodianship of the Cricket Club of India (CCI), Brabourne Stadium swiftly ascended to become Mumbai's cricketing heart with a capacity to house 20,000 [later increased to 50,000].

However, after disputes over ticketing arrangements with the CCI, Bombay Cricket Association (BCA) built the Wankhede Stadium in 1975 and Brabourne lost its Test status. 

Brabourne Stadium's legacy

In the British era, Brabourne was cloaked in exclusivity -- its gates opened solely for the privileged elite and registered members. The clubhouse of the stadium is still a beautiful structure with curved balconies, used for viewing, purposes.

Starting from its first Test Match in 1948, where India clashed with West Indies, to the showdown of the only T20 International in 2007, between India and Australia, Brabourne Stadium has seen it all. In addition to Test cricket, it has also hosted numerous One Day Internationals (ODIs) from 1989 till 2018.

Faded but not forgotten!

Brabourne Stadium has also hosted a Test Match in December 2009, after 36 years -- thus creating a record for the biggest gap between two tests at the same ground. Moreover, the ground was also home to Mumbai Indians during the third season of Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2010.

On certain occasions, the stadium has even been the venue for domestic cricket matches as well, including Ranji Trophy and Indian Premier League (IPL). And before each match, it's a familiar sight to behold: a line snaking its way outside the gates of Brabourne Stadium.

Knock Knock

Apart from cricket, this Mumbai stadium has also hosted other events, including football matches, concerts, and cultural programs. It has undergone several renovations and modernisations to meet international standards while retaining its old-world charm. Today, Brabourne Stadium stands as a symbol of Mumbai's sporting heritage.

Where: Stadium House, Block No 3, 1st Floor, Veer Nariman Road, Churchgate, Mumbai

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