Eden Gardens is a cricket ground in Kolkata, India. It is the home of the Bengal cricket team and the Indian Premier League's Kolkata Knight Riders, as well as being a Test and One Day International ground. It is the largest cricket stadium in India by seating capacity. It is widely acknowledged to be the most iconic cricket stadium in the country.
Popularly called the Lord's of Asia, Eden Gardens is the oldest cricket ground in India and also one of the finest in the world. It was established in the year 1864 and has the largest accommodation as compared to all the grounds in the world. Though there is no definite information about the history of Eden Gardens, some believe that the land belonged to the Maharaja of Cooch-Behar, while some are of the opinion that it was the property of the Auckland Family. However, one thing which is certain is that the land was conferred to Governor General's family, who, in turn, presented it to the citizens of Calcutta for recreational purpose.
It was, then, that the Calcutta Cricket Club was established, Eden Gardens serving as it's headquarter. In the year 1871, the pavilion was built with which started the history of playing cricket in the ground, amidst Sylvan surroundings. However, it was in the year 1917-18 that the first ever first-class match was played. The foremost test match played was in the January of 1934, against Douglas Jardine's MCC. Since this first match, the ground has hosted more test matches than any other venue in India. Talking about the one day internationals, the first match was played in 1987 February against Pakistan.
Modernization Of Eden Garden:
The first time ever Eden Gardens was revamped was in the 1987 World Cup. Being the venue wherein the final match was to take place, the ground was given a face lift and covered stands were built all around, with a modern Club House and pavilion. In the present times, the Club House holds as the office of the Cricket Association of Bengal. Floodlights were first installed in the year 1993, in the stadium, on the eve of the five-nation tournament, held to celebrate the CAB Diamond Jubilee. The ground played host to all the day-night one-day international matches in the tournament.
Eden Gardens holds the distinction of being the largest cricketing facility in the world. It is a dream-come-true for all the cricketers in the world, when they play in this magnificent and gigantic lush green stadium. Boasting of the largest seating arrangement in the world, the average number of people attending the matches has never been less than 50, 000. The stadium is always filled with people, who cheer the players and keep their hopes alive. However, on the flip side, crowd violence has marred some of the key matches played in this ground.
Eden Gardens, today, is basking in the glory and has reached the pinnacle of success. Whether it was the epic India-Australia Test match in 2001, or the hat-trick clinched by Indian spinner, Harbhajan Singh, against Australia or South Africa's comeback into International cricket, or even matches against the arch-rivals Pakistan, Eden Gardens has always been known to produce some of the most exciting and electrifying cricket encounters. The stadium is also the home ground of Kolkata Knight Riders, a franchise of the recently started India Premier League (IPL).
Basic Facts about the Ground:
Location: Dr. B. C. Roy Club House, Eden Gardens, Kolkata
Seating Capacity: 100,000
End Names: High Court End, Pavilion End
Home Team: Bengal and Kolkata Knight Riders (IPL)
Owner: The Cricket Association of Bengal
First Test: India vs. England - Jan 5-8, 1934
First ODI: India vs. Pakistan - Feb 18, 1987
Milestones At Eden Gardens:
India holds the record for the highest Test score on the ground so far when they made 657-7 against Australia, during the Series in 2000-01.
Indian also has the ignominy of scoring the lowest total at the ground when the West Indies restricted them to just 90.
Harbhajan Singh became the first Indian to take a Test hat trick when he achieved the feat against Australia in 2000-01.
VVS Laxman's historic 281 against the Australians in 2000/01 is the highest score at the ground.
Anil Kumble's 12/6 vs. the West Indies in the finals of the Hero Cup is the best bowling figures in one day matches, by an Indian.
ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 matches at this ground:
South Africa vs Ireland on 15th March
Ireland vs Netherlands on 18th March
Zimbabwe vs Kenya on 20th March
How to reach Eden Gardens Cricket Stadium:
If you want to avoid the terribly crowded and chaotic buses then go in for the trundling and slow trams. Though we dont have a stop at Eden Garden, you can always resort to the closest stop. The underground mode of transportation or more commonly the metro can help you avoid congestion from the streets. You can take a metro from any of the stops like Dum Dum, Shyambazar, Kalighat, Park street to name a few. You need to get down at Maidan and take a walk from there. Instead of walking, you can also take a hand pulled rickshaw. Auto rickshaws or motorized three wheelers arent prevalent in this area. Taxis run round the clock and you can always hire them to reach Eden Gardens. You can hire a personal car as well so as to reach Eden Gardens.
Eastern Railway runs two EMU special trains one between Pricep Ghat and Naihati and the other between Baruipur and BBD Bagh so as to help people from the outskirts reach Eden Gardens.