Sawai Mansingh StadiumOne of the most iconic cricket stadiums present in India is the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur – built during the illustrious reign of Maharaja Sawai Mansingh II. Located near the Ranbagh Circle in Jaipur, with a seating capacity in excess of 30,000, the stadium has been one of the perennial seats of Indian cricket in the recent times.
How to reach the stadiumA line of the Jaipur Metro Rail Services is currently being used to connect the stadium to the various parts of the city. Plans to use a second line of the Metro for the same purpose have been set in motion and the connectivity of the stadium with the rest of the city, via the Metro, is expected to be improved manifold in the near future. Alternative modes of transport include buses and auto rickshaws.
Brief perspective of matches played in the stadiumIt was with a touch of grandeur that the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur got to host its first international match, way back in 1983, when India and Pakistan locked horns in a One Day International, shortly after the conclusion of the Cricket World Cup 1983. The match is etched in the memories of most cricket fans, as India managed to vanquish Pakistan without much ado, riding high on the confidence of winning the all important World Cup just a few days ago.
The only Test match that the stadium has hosted so far, in the course of its chequered association with Indian cricket, was replete with many a historic moment. It was in February 1987 that the same pair of India and Pakistan, which had inaugurated international cricket on this ground four years ago, came together for a 5-day affair. The incident that immortalised this occasion was the advent of the Pakistan President – General Zia-ul-Haq – into the stadium for the express purpose of savouring the second day’s play and promoting his newfound initiative of ‘Cricket for Peace’. Pakistan cricketer Mohammed Younis Ahmed’s comeback to the longer version of the game, after a hiatus of seventeen long years, and Sunil Gavaskar’s first ball dismissal were some of the other prime reasons for which this Test match is considered memorable.
An untoward incident involving the presence of sawdust on the pitch, as spotted by Pakistan players, and a wash out on the third day of play, however, ensured that the match, inspite of its many salient features, could not thrill the fans on either side of the border by virtue of purely cricketing reasons. Ultimately, it meandered towards a tame draw in the fifth day.
Sawai Mansingh Stadium is also among the few stadiums in India which have had the blessed fortune of hosting matches during the World Cups – once in 1987, hosting West Indies and England, and then in 1996, accommodating West Indies and Australia.
Latest developments in the stadiumThe B.C.C.I’s rise to supreme power in the arena of international cricket, in the last two decades, has ensured that stadiums all across the country have been allocated sufficient funds for executing various plans of redevelopment. Sawai Mansingh stadium was granted a magnanimous budget, in excess of Rs 400 crore, in 2006, for the purpose of upgrading its facilities.
The renovated stadium that greets visitors at present, has the following additional facilities -
- Excellently furnished galleries and media rooms.
- A couple of new blocks in the stands to accommodate 5000 more visitors, thereby increasing the capacity to more than 35,000.
- A cricket academy with the latest facilities and equipment.
Records made on this groundAs a dessert for the readers, we present here a list of records and achievements which teams and individuals have garnered at this ground –
- The legendary duo of Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly – the most successful opening combination in the history of Indian cricket – opened the innings together for the first time, at this venue.
- The ground witnessed history in the making in the year 2005, when a fire-breathing Mahendra Singh Dhoni blew apart a Sri Lankan team with a mesmerizing knock of 183 unbeaten runs.
- India achieved its highest chase in One Day Internationals at this venue – beating Australia in October 2013, after having been set a mammoth 360 for victory.
Quick FactsDate of establishment – 1969
Seating capacity – Greater than 30,000
Stadium Operator – Rajasthan Cricket Association
Stadium Owner – Rajasthan State Sports Council
Stadium Tenants – Rajasthan Cricket Team (State), Rajasthan Royals (Indian Premier League), Indian Cricket Team (BCCI)
First One Day International played – India v Pakistan, October 2, 1983
First Test match played - India v Pakistan, February 21st, 1987
Most recent One Day International Played – India v Australia, October 16, 2013