The world cup cricket final in 1987 was a historical one, not just because of the high-voltage clash between England and Australia, but that was the first time in international cricket history. A world cup final was hosted outside England. All the world cup final matches till then were played in Lord’s cricket ground, and suddenly there was a new home for cricket, far away from London- The Eden Gardens in West Bengal, India. It was on the same ground; in 1991, South Africa returned after a ban of two decades because of their overtly racist policy to play only against the white nations.
Eden Gardens would probably be the most favourite and memorable cricket stadium in VVS Laxman’s career, one of India’s great cricketers. In front of the Eden Garden stadium’s roaring crowd, he had scored a gritty 281 against Australia in the test cricket back in 2011 and helped India win the match after facing a follow on. In the same match, Eden also witnessed Harbhajan Singh becoming the first Indian to take a hat-trick against Australia and Rahul Dravid and Laxman’s historic partnership, one of the best innings in the history of test cricket. For the former Indian cricket captain Azharuddin also Eden is the lucky ground where he scored five international test centuries. Rohit Sharma’s love for Eden Gardens is well known, where he scored a dazzling 264 against Sri Lanka, the highest ODI score achieved at the ground. Undoubtedly, Eden has many more heroic stories to tell and historical moments to cherish.
Eden Gardens is not just another cricket ground for a cricket admirer in India. Established in 1864, the stadium is often hailed as the ‘Mecca of Indian cricket’. Situated in Kolkata city’s heart, the stadium got its name from the Eden Gardens, one of the oldest parks in Kolkata. Having a capacity of 80000, it is the oldest and second-largest cricket stadium in India. The first test match played in Eden Gardens was in 1934 between India and England. First ODI was in 1987 between India and Pakistan and in 2011, Eden Gardens had its first t20 match between India and England. The stadium had hosted the highest number of international matches in India, including two ICC world cup finals (1987 ODI world Cup and 2016 T20 world cup). Playing and viewing cricket here is true quite an experience both for the cricketers and the spectators. The stadium has a perpetual aura around it and a match in Eden would be a lifetime memory, which one cannot afford to miss.