If you’re a cricket fan, you’ve probably heard of the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune, India. Since its opening in 2012, the stadium has hosted numerous national and international cricket matches.
In this article, we’ll explore the history and evolution of the stadium, including its facilities and amenities.
The Early Years
Maharashtra has a rich cricketing legacy, boasting players like Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, and Sharma. However, before the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium’s construction, the state’s cricket stadiums lacked modern facilities.
In the early 2000s, Pune’s emergence as an IT and automobile hub created a need for better sports facilities. The Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium was constructed to cater to the growing demand for quality entertainment and sports facilities. The stadium’s cost totaled around 2 billion INR, taking four years to complete.
The stadium opened with a grand ceremony on April 1, 2012, attended by dignitaries such as N Srinivasan, the then-president of BCCI.
India and England played the stadium’s first international T20 match on December 20, 2012.
Since then, the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium has hosted various international and IPL matches, including the 2016 ICC World Twenty20.
The Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium provides the latest facilities for players, officials, and spectators. Here are some of the stadium’s facilities:
- Seating Capacity: The stadium has a seating capacity of over 37,000, making it one of the largest cricket stadiums in India. The stadium has both open and covered stands, providing ample shade and protection from the elements.
- Media Center: The stadium has a world-class media center that provides facilities for the press and media to cover matches. The media center has high-speed internet connectivity, TV monitors, and dedicated areas for press conferences and interviews.
- Floodlights: The stadium has high-quality floodlights that meet international standards and provide adequate lighting for day-night matches.
- Parking: The stadium provides sufficient parking space for cars and bikes. The parking area efficiently manages designated spots for VIPs, players, officials, and spectators.
- Food and Beverages: The stadium has several food and beverage outlets that offer a wide range of cuisine and drinks. The outlets are strategically located across the stadium, making it easy for spectators to access them.
Cricketers and fans highly praise the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium. “One of the best in the world,” said Ravindra Jadeja, India’s top all-rounder. International players such as England’s Eoin Morgan and South Africa’s AB de Villiers appreciate the stadium’s facilities.
Evolution of Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium
Despite having world-class facilities, the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium underwent several renovations to improve infrastructure and amenities.
Here are some of the renovations that took place:
- Capacity Expansion: The stadium’s seating capacity was increased from 36,000 to over 37,000 to accommodate more spectators.
- Drainage System: A drainage system was installed to make the stadium waterproof. This has reduced the chances of matches being abandoned due to rain.
- Media Center Upgrade: The media center was upgraded with the latest technology and facilities to provide an enhanced experience for the press and media.
- Spectator Amenities: The stadium’s seating arrangements were improved, and new facilities were added to provide a better experience for the spectators. This includes new washrooms, food and beverage outlets, and more.
Notable Matches Played at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium
The Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium has been home to several unforgettable matches.
The stadium hosted the 2016 ICC World Twenty20, which saw some thrilling encounters.
One of the most notable records set at the stadium was Rohit Sharma’s incredible performance in 2014, where he smashed 264 runs in an ODI match against Sri Lanka, breaking the record for the highest individual score in an ODI match.
Other notable records at the stadium include Virat Kohli’s highest score in an IPL match of 109 not out and the highest team total in a T20I match of 260 runs by Sri Lanka against Kenya in 2007. It was an astounding accomplishment for Virat Kohli – the king of cricket.
Opening Time and More
The Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium is open from 9 am to 6 pm, Monday to Saturday. The stadium provides guided tours, and visitors can also enjoy a cricket match if scheduled during their visit. The stadium’s location in the scenic Gahunje area offers a picturesque backdrop for the stadium’s visitors.
Future of Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium
Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium has already set a high standard with its world-class facilities and infrastructure. However, the management has plans for future upgrades and developments to provide an even better experience for players and spectators.
Some of the planned upgrades include:
- Indoor Practice Facility: An indoor practice facility is in the works to help players train and practice even during inclement weather.
- Hospitality Boxes: Plans are underway to add more hospitality boxes to cater to the demand from corporate sponsors and VIPs.
- Retail Space: The stadium is planning to add more retail space to offer a wider range of merchandise and souvenirs to fans.
The Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium has already made a significant impact on Indian cricket and the global cricket community. The stadium has hosted numerous international and IPL matches, bringing together cricket enthusiasts from around the world.
The stadium has also been a breeding ground for young talent, with several players making their debut on this ground.
Since its inception, the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium has become a hub of Indian cricket, attracting fans and players from all over the world. It has grown to become one of the most prestigious cricket venues globally, with the latest facilities and amenities that have earned praise from fans and cricketers alike.
The stadium’s planned upgrades and developments are sure to make it an even more attractive venue for players, sponsors, and spectators. As it continues to evolve and improve, the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium will undoubtedly make a significant impact on the world of cricket.