Sports IloveIndia
Brabourne stadium is one of the premier cricket stadiums in India

Brabourne Stadium Mumbai

Location: Mumbai
Established: 1937
Seating Capacity: 20,000
Floodlights: No
End Names: Pavilion End, Church Gate End
Home Team: Mumbai
Owner: Cricket Club of India
First Test: India v West Indies - 9-13 Dec 1948
First ODI: Australia v Pakistan - 23 October 1989

Brabourne stadium is a cricket stadium located in Mumbai, India. Owned by the Cricket Club of India, the stadium houses the headquarters of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The stadium was named after the then Bombay Governor Lord Brabourne, at the suggestion of the Maharaja of Patiala. The Brabourne stadium used to be Mumbai's first-choice ground for hosting international matches, until 1973, when it had a spat with the Bombay Association.

After a gap of 13 long years, international cricket was again played in the stadium, in 1989, when Pakistan played Australia in an ODI. However, when Bombay Cricket Association came up with the Wankhede stadium, Brabourne started missing the big games and had to be content playing host to first class matches. Go through the following lines to know more about Brabourne cricket stadium.

The Cricket Club of India (CCI) came into existence as a company, on 8 November 1933. The then president of the BCCI - R.E. Grant Govan, was appointed as the President of CCI, while the then Secretary of BCCI - Anthony de Mello - served as the Secretary of CCI, from 1933 to 1937. Bombay Governor Lord Brabourne and Mello arranged talks to negotiate for the establishment of a new cricket stadium. This gave rise to the foundation of Brabourne stadium. The foundation stone of the stadium was laid by Lord Brabourne on 22 May 1936, after whom the stadium was named.

During the time of its establishment, the Brabourne stadium had a seating capacity of 20000 spectators. It contained a pavilion, a couple of tennis courts and a swimming pool too. The first cricket match in the stadium was played between the CCI and the Spencer Cup XI, when the stadium was still incomplete. On 7 December 1937, the Governor of Bombay - Roger Lumley officially inaugurated the stadium. Thereafter, the inaugural first class match was played in the stadium, between CCI and Lord Tennyson's XI.

Brabourne stadium hosted its first Test match in 1948-49, when West Indies had played against India at the latter's home series. Between a period extending from 1938 to 1973, as many as 16 Ranji Trophy finals were played at the stadium. Denis Compton's 249 not out for Holkar in the 1944-45 final and Ajit Wadekar's triple century in the 1966-67 season are some of the memorable records, which the stadium has witnessed. The highest Test total of 629/6 declared by West Indies against India in the stadium in 1948-49 remains fresh in the minds of cricket lovers.

Ever since the Brabourne Stadium was built in Mumbai, CCI did not maintain good terms with their tenants - the Bombay Cricket Association (BCA). The causes of the strain in the relationship were the disputes regarding the allotment of seats in the stadium. The anger aggravated, when in 1971, BCA was told not to allot extra seats for England's tour of India in 1972. CCI asserted that it expenses a lot for the maintenance of the ground and any further concessions would result in heavy losses to the Club. With contrasting perception, BCA went on to construct a new stadium under the guidance of President S.K. Wankhede. This gave rise to the establishment of Wankhede, another stadium in Bombay. Since then, Brabourne staged only a handful of major matches, for about the following two decades.

Brabourne stadium made a comeback, when it staged the ODI match, played between Australia and Pakistan, in 1989. Although the pitch was too slow for one-day cricket, the stadium managed to become the venue for a few more ODIs. Thereafter, a number of teams touring India started playing a match at the Brabourne. It went on to host the final match of the 2006 Champions Trophy. This was the time, when floodlights were installed at the stadium. In the recent past, it has hosted the first Twenty20 (T20) International, when India beat Australia in October 2007.

Milestones at Brabourne Stadium:
A number of milestones in cricket have been touched at both the team level and individual levels, at the Brabourne Stadium. During the initial years of its inception, the highest Test total of 629/6 was declared by West Indies, when they played against India in the 1948-49 season. Another such record was set by B.S. Chandrasekhar, who achieved the best bowling figure in a Test match - 235/11 - against West Indies in 1966-67. Apart from the highest records, cricketers have also set some of the lowest records at the stadium, one being the lowest Test match total - 88 - by India against New Zealand, in 1964-65.