Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai, India

Waleed Zia

brabourne stadium

India, a country with a rich cricket history, has one the oldest built cricket stadiums. Brabourne Stadium is also one of them. It has a seating capacity of around 20,000, which is not a big number, but the facilities it offers are exclusive as it was built in the British era.

Want to know more about this stadium? Read this article to get a historical tour!

General Info

Established1937
Named AfterLord Brabourne, Governor of Bombay
Capacity20,000
End NamesPavilion End, Church Gate End
Flood LightsYes
Home TeamsMumbai
PitchGrass
Old Brabourne Stadium

History

Back in the times of British-ruled India, in 1936, a piece of land was offered to the Cricket Club of India by Lord Brabourne (Governor of Bombay at that time). The foundation of this stadium was laid by Lord Brabourne himself on 22 May 1936, and the construction work took a year to complete.

The story about the construction of this stadium is very interesting. It is said that de Mello (who was painting Lord Brabourne at that time) asked Lord Brabourne, before leaving after a meeting, “Your excellency, which would you prefer to accept from sportsmen—money for your Government or immortality for yourself?” Brabourne picked immortality, and the CCI received 90,000 square yards from the Backbay reclamation plan for a cost of $13.50 per square yard.

First Match

In 1937, the first match played in this stadium was between Lord Tennyson’s team and CCI’s team. This is how this stadium was officially inaugurated.

Decline

The Bombay Cricket Association (BCA) and the CCI have had a tense relationship ever since this Stadium was built, primarily because of disagreements over seat allocation.

The President of the CCI at that time, Vijay Merchant, informed BCA President S. K. Wankhede in 1971 that the BCA would not be given any additional tickets for the tour of England in 1972. 

CCI claimed that because of the high cost of maintaining the field, any additional discounts would result in a considerable loss of revenue for the club. BCA decided to move forward with building its new stadium. This led to the construction of the world-famous stadium, the Wankhede Stadium, just 700 meters from the Brabourne Stadium.

wankhede-and-brabourne

Architecture

Brabourne Stadium was built to be a marvelous cricket stadium of its times. It has pavilions, a swimming pool, a badminton court, and tennis courts. Featuring rounded pedestals, flagpoles, and circular windows, the pavilion is a three-story contemporary building.

OTHER FACILITIES AT Brabourne Stadium

The pavilion includes ornate marble floors and dark wood paneling on the walls. Photographs of renowned cricket matches and images of former and current cricket players adorn the walls of the pavilion.

Many cricketers have praised this stadium as the most complete stadium in the world.

Brabourne Stadium

Seating Capacity

The stadium previously was built with a seating capacity of 35,000 spectators but after the renovations, the seating capacity was reduced to 20,000.

Seating at Brabourne Stadium

Pitch Report

The pitch is generally considered a batting pitch but it also helps pace bowlers to some extent. The dew effect of the grassy pitch at night favors batters a lot, and the short boundaries of this stadium add to it.

brabourne stadium

Domestic Cricket

The venue has hosted 16 Ranji Trophy finals along with a Plate final between 1938 and 2008. Bombay participated in fourteen of these tournaments and was victorious each time.  Brabourne held an inter-zonal competition for three years following the end of the Pentangular.

Other Sports

This stadium also holds a history of sports other than cricket. This stadium has hosted several sports competitions; Tennis championships, Football matches, and dog races.

In 1963, this stadium played host to its first international tennis match, a Davis Cup match in which India was defeated by the United States.  In April 2006, Brabourne played home to a Davis Cup match,  in which India defeated Pakistan. 

The CCI tennis courts next to the venue hosted the Kingfisher Airlines Tennis Open, in 2006 and 2007. In 1955, the stadium hosted an exhibition football game between Bombay, the national champion, and the visiting Soviet Union squad. 

In the 1970s, Brabourne hosted dog races and Rovers Cup soccer matches too.

Other than Sports

In 1950, Jawaharlal Nehru spoke before thousands of people at Brabourne Stadium during an NUS convention.  In 1985, the Indian National Congress celebrated its 100th anniversary at the Brabourne Stadium. 

The Filmfare Award ceremony in 1955 and the 26th International Film Festival of India in 1995 both took place in this stadium. 

Bryan Adams gave his first performance, for India in 1994 at Brabourne Stadium. Indian musicians like Lata Mangeshkar and Jagjit Singh have also performed here.

Interesting Facts about Brabourne Stadium

  • Sachin Tendulkar’s first double century in first-class cricket in a tour match between Australia and Mumbai, in 1997–1998.
  • Denis Compton recorded 249 scores for Holkar in 1944–1945.
  • Ajit Wadekar’s triple century against Chandrasekhar and Prasanna during the 1966–1967 series.

recent development

CCI recently installed the largest roof-top solar power project at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium. 11.5 lakh units of electricity are produced annually.

Records and Stats

TEST

Total Matches18
First TestSri Lanka vs. India | December 02 – 06, 2009
Last TestSri Lanka vs India | December 02 – 06, 2009
Matches Won Bowling First5
Average 1st Inns Scores339
Average 2nd Inns Scores351
Average 3rd Inns Scores254
Average 4th Inns Scores150
Highest Total Recorded726/9 by IND vs SL 
Lowest Total Recorded88/10 by IND vs NZ 

T20

Only T20IAustralia vs. India | October 20, 2007
Total Matches11
Matches Won Batting First5
Matches Won Bowling First6
Average 1st Inns Scores165
Average 2nd Inns Scores150
Highest Total Recorded209/4 by AUSW vs ENGW 
Lowest Total Recorded96/10 by ENGW vs AUSW 
Highest Score Chased199/3 by ENGW vs INDW 
Lowest Score Defended172/8 by AUSW vs INDW 

How to Reach Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai    

By Air24.1 kms
By TrainChurchgate Station (0.25 Km)
Local TransportRailways, Buses, Taxis
Important Spots NearbyAir India Building, Wankhede Stadium, Nariman Road

Why is it called Brabourne Stadium?

The ground was named after Lord Brabourne who was the British Governor of Mumbai at that time, at the suggestion of the Maharaja of Patiala.

What is Brabourne Stadium suitable for?

Test matches were no longer played at Brabourne after the construction of the Wankhede Stadium. Tennis and football association competitions, as well as music performances and concerts, have all taken place at the venue.

What type of pitch is Brabourne Stadium Mumbai?

The pitch is generally considered a batting pitch but it also helps pace bowlers to some extent. The dew effect of the grassy pitch at night favors batters a lot, and the short boundaries of this stadium add to it.

M. Waleed Zia is a Sports Expert with a keen eye on sports news and discussions. With years of experience, he has an all-rounder knowledge of Cricket.

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