Vizag gets the distinction of becoming 24th Test venue in India

Vizag gets the distinction of becoming 24th Test venue in India

Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium
Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, situated on the outskirts of Visakhapatnam, became 24th Test venue in India on 17th November 2016. The stadium, established in 2003, has a capacity of 38,000 and has hosted six ODIs between 2005 and 2016, all of which featured India. Of those, India won five and lost one, the most recent being the deciding fifth match with New Zealand which MS Dhoni’s team clinched to take the series 3-2.

The ground has been a lucky place. The first game which was hosted here saw India’s most successful skipper – MS Dhoni claim the limelight. On April 5, 2005, Vizag made its debut as an international venue, acting as hosts to India who were playing against Pakistan. India emerged victorious by 58 runs in the game, the match, however, better remembered for MS Dhoni’s audacious 148 batting at No 3 which made him an instant superstar.

The year 2016 has seen been a good year for venues which are located in lesser known cities on the cricketing map. Apart from the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, the Holkar Stadium  in Indore and the newly constructed Saurashtra Cricket Stadium, Rajkot also earned the status of being a Test venue and host their respective debut match in a space of a couple of weeks.

Historically speaking, Indian had only three Test venues before the pre-independence era. The Gymkhana Ground in Mumbai was the first Test venue in India. The gymkhana, formed exclusively for Europeans (Indians were not allowed in the gymkhana; even Maharaja Ranjitsinghji was disallowed), was formed in 1875 and later was used to host India’s first home Test in 1933. Unfortunately, the venue was able to host only one match as the Brabourne Stadium soon took over as the main cricket venue in Mumbai. Eden Gardens in Kolkata and MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai happen to be the only other two venues which hosted a Test match before independence.

Other vintage venues include Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi (1948), Brabourne Stadium Mumbai (1948), Green Park Stadium, Kanpur (1952), University ground, Lucknow (1952), Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium, Hyderabad (1955), Nehru Stadium, Madras (1955) and M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru (1974).

Here is the full list of the 24 venues that have achieved the Test status so far:
No Venue Span
1 Gymkhana Ground, Mumbai 1933-1933
2 Eden Gardens, Kolkata 1934-2016
3 MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk, Chennai 1934-2013
4 Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi 1948-2016
5 Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai 1948-2009
6 Green Park, Kanpur 1952-2016
7 University Ground, Lucknow 1952-1952
8 Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium, Hyderabad 1955-1988
9 Nehru Stadium, Madras 1956-1965
10 Vidarbha C.A. Ground, Nagpur 1969-2006
11 M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore 1974-2015
12 Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai 1975-2013
13 Gandhi Stadium, Jalandhar 1983-1983
14 Sardar Patel (Gujarat) Stadium, Motera, Ahmedabad 1983-2012
15 Barabati Stadium, Cuttack 1987-1995
16 Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur 1987-1987
17 Sector 16 Stadium, Chandigarh 1990-1990
18 K.D.Singh ‘Babu’ Stadium, Lucknow 1994-1994
19 Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali, Chandigarh 1994-2015
20 Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Jamtha, Nagpur 2008-2015
21 Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad 2010-2013
22 Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore 2016-2016
23 Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot 2016-2016
24 Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam 2016-2016