Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium

The Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, commonly known as the MCA Stadium was built in 2012. It is located in Pune and can hold just over 37,000 spectators. It is the home venue of the Maharashtra cricket team and the second cricket stadium for the IPL's Chennai Super Kings. As of September 2021, it has accommodated 7 ODIs, 2 test matches, 4 T20s, and 38 IPL Matches.

The History of the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium

maharashtra cricket association stadium maharashtra cricket association stadium

The Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) decided to construct another cricket venue in Pune due to ongoing ticket disputes with the Pune government officials. This conflict boiled over when a match between Sri Lanka and India at Pune’s Nehru Stadium was transferred to Kolkata because the MCA declared that they were currently in no fit state to allow these two teams to play there. It was then that the MCA declared that they needed a new cricket stadium. The British company, Hopkins Architects, were commissioned to design and build this stadium. It was hoped that the stadium would be ready by the end of 2010, but there were delays and it wasn’t ready until 2012. This delay meant that some 2011 Cricket World Cup games that were due to be played here had to be played elsewhere.

The stadium was designed in a way to ensure that spectators have a clear view no matter where they happen to be sitting. A very important aspect of this ground is the drainage system that was put in place. It rains quite a lot in Pune, meaning matches would be abandoned quite a lot if no suitable measures were taken. Therefore, the MCA decided the outfield should have a large percentage of sand alongside technology from the British company. This means that even if it rains heavily, the water drains from the pitch fast, making play available in just a couple of minutes.

In 2013, Sahara India Pariwar paid to have the stadium renamed to the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium. However, the name was eventually changed back to the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium because they didn’t pay the fee that was agreed. The stadium is located near the Mumbai Pune Expressway, which is on the outskirts of the city. It is situated in a beautiful setting as you can see majestic mountains in the background.

The first international cricket match that took place at this stadium was a T20 game between India and England on the 20th December 2012. England batted first and scored just 157 runs from the 20 overs. India managed to chase this score down inside 18 overs thanks to Yuvraj Singh’s quickfire 38 runs from 21 balls.

"In 2017, Pandurang Salgaoncar, the stadium’s groundsman, was fired after footage came out of him agreeing to the pitch before India took on New Zealand in an ODI. He agreed to make sure that the wicket would suit two particular bowlers. The match went ahead as planned though after Chris Broad, the match referee, inspected the pitch."

What Great Matches Have Been Played at the MCA Stadium?

  • India V South Africa in 2019: This was an ICC World Test Championship match that started on the 10th October. India batted first and scored an imposing 601/5d thanks to Virat Kohli’s majestic 254*. Mayank Agarwal (108) and Ravindra Jadeja (91) also made valuable contributions. In reply to the huge total, the South Africans stumbled to 275 all out, with Faf du Plessis (64) being the only player to make a valuable contribution.

    India enforced the follow-on and bowled them out for 189, meaning that they won the match by an innings and 137

  • India V Australia in 2017: Australia batted first in this test match and managed 260 runs, thanks to a 69 from Matt Renshaw and a 61 from Mitchell Starc. Umesh Yadav was the pick of the Indian bowlers with 4 wickets for 32 In reply, India were bowled out for a paltry 105 runs. Kannaur Rahul (64) score more than half of these runs.

    Steve O’Keefe was India’s tormentor in chief as he picked up 6 wickets for just 35 runs. In their second innings, Australia scored 285 runs, thanks to Steve Smith’s splendid 109.

    India needed 440 runs to win the match, but they came nowhere close as they were bowled out for 107 runs. Once again, O’Keefe did all the damage as he picked up another 6 wickets for another 35 runs. Australia won the match by 333 runs.

  • India V England in 2017: This was a day/night match that was played on the 15th January. England batted first and scored 350 runs thanks to a 73 from Jason Roy, a 78 from Joe Root, and a 62 from Ben Stokes.

    England probably thought that they had enough, but centuries from Virat Kohli (122) and Kedar Jadhav (120) ensured that India reached their target with 11 balls to spare.

  • India v Sri Lanka in 2016: This was a night T20 that took place on the 9th February. India batted first but never really got going and were bowled out for a mere 101. This was never going to be enough, and Sri Lanka reached their target with 12 balls to spare.

Cricket Statistics from the MCA Stadium

  • Virat Kohli holds the record for most test runs scored at this venue. In the 2 matches (3 innings) that he has played here, he has scored 267 runs at an average of 50. However, it should be noted that he scored 254* in one of those three innings.
  • Kohli also holds the record for most ODI runs scored here. In the 4 matches that he has played here, he has scored 319 runs (2 centuries and 1 half-century) at an average of 75.
  • Ravichandran Ashwin has the record for the most test wickets at this stadium. In the 2 matches (4 innings) that he has played here, he has collected 13 wickets an average of 76.
  • Jasprit Bumrah currently holds the record for the most ODI wickets at this venue. In the 3 matches that he has played here, he has picked up 8 wickets at an average of 00. He also holds the record for best ODI bowling figures, having picked up 4 wickets for 35 runs against the West Indies in 2018. However, he has also conceded the most runs in a single ODI innings as he was carted for 79 runs from his 10 overs when they played England in 2017.
  • Steve O’Keefe has the best bowling figures in a test innings at this stadium. He picked up 6 wickets for 35 runs against India in 2017. Coincidentally, in the second innings of the same match, he also picked up 6 wickets for 35
  • Keshav Maharaj has conceded the most runs in a single test innings at this ground. In 2019, he conceded 196 runs from the 50 overs that he bowled.

Why Should You Go and Watch a Match at the MCA stadium?

This is one of the most picturesque grounds in the whole country, so we would definitely recommend that you pay it a visit if a match is being played while you are visiting Pune. Furthermore, the atmosphere is always electric, so you are guaranteed to have an exciting experience. The majority of cricket stadiums in India do not allow the general public to enter unless it is a match day. Unfortunately, this is the case with this stadium as well. So, if you are in Pune and no match is being played, you could chance your arm and see if a member of staff will let you in for a couple of minutes.

How to get to the Stadium

Due to the fact that this stadium is situated on the outskirts of the city, it is not as easily accessible by public transport as other stadiums are around the country. There are no trains that will take you there, so you will have to go by bus. Luckily, the buses are relatively frequent and drop you off quite close to the stadium. There is also quite a bit of parking, so might want to consider hiring yourself a car if you can drive. Once you have ticked this stadium off of your to-do list, what else should you see in Pune? Well, in our opinion, you really need to see the Aga Khan Palace, Shaniwar Wada, Sinhagad Killa, Pune Okayama Friendship Garden, Visapur Fort, and Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple. You will obviously need accommodation if you are staying in Pune, but this will not be a problem for you as there are many different hotels in this city. No matter what your preferences happen to be, you will find exactly what you are after, and at very reasonable prices.