Inside of the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium

The Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium is a cricket ground that can be found in Hyderabad. It is relatively new, having been built in 2003, and can hold up to 55,000 spectators, making it one of the largest stadiums in the country. It is the home ground of the Hyderabad cricket team and the Sunrisers Hyderabad. As of November 2019, it has hosted 6 ODIs and 5 test matches.

History of the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium

rajiv gandhi international cricket stadium

The home ground of the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) used to be the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium in central Hyderabad. However, they did not own the stadium, so they had limited control over the events that happened there. Furthermore, due to its small size, the ground became known as a high-scoring one, so it was not chosen for any high-profile matches that were due to take place in India.

Therefore, in 2003, the HCA submitted a proposal to build a new stadium on the east side of the city. Approval was quickly granted, and a budget was allocated. They also found the HCA a piece of land that they deemed suitable to build the stadium on. Most of the funding for this stadium came from an auction where bidders were bidding for the right to name the stadium. The auction was won by Visaka Industries, who bid ₹65,000,000. In 2004, after ₹43,000,000 had been paid in advance, the stadium was called the Visakha International Cricket Stadium.

By 2005, this stadium was ready to host its very first ODI match. However, it was decided that the stadium would be called the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium out of respect for Ranjiv Gandhi, a former Indian Prime Minister. As a result, the HCA were ordered to give Visakha Industries 6 times what they paid for the rights to have the stadium named after themselves.

However, in the end, they got away with just paying the ₹43,000,000 back. The first ODI played at the ground took place between India and South Africa on the 16th November 2005. India batted first and scored 249 from their 50 overs thanks to a century from Yuvraj Singh (103). However, this was not enough as South Africa chased the target down with 7 balls to spare thanks to contributions from Graeme Smith (48), Jacques Kallis (68*), Ashwell Prince (46) and Justin Kemp (46*).

"The stadium is built across 16 acres, and there are six floodlights spread out around the ground that are used whenever day/night cricket matches are taking place. The wicket here is quite flat, meaning that batsman often enjoy playing at this ground. However, it is not a complete graveyard for bowlers either. "

After the 2019 IPL, the ground was described as the best pitch in the competition. The two ends are named after two great cricketers from Hyderabad - Shivlal Yadav and VVS Laxman.

Let’s Look at Some Great Games That Have Been Played at This Stadium?

  • India V New Zealand in 2010: This test match ended in a draw but those who saw it were thoroughly entertained by the cricket that was on show. New Zealand batted first and managed to score 350 runs thanks to a century from Tim McIntosh (102) and half-centuries from Martin Guptil (85) and Jesse Ryder (70). In reply, India scored 472 thanks to a century from Harbhajan Singh (111*) and half-centuries from Gautam Gambhir (54), Virender Sehwag (96) and VVS Laxman (74). In their second innings, the visitors scored 448/8d thanks to a majestic double-century from Brendon McCullum (225) and a half-century from Kane Williamson (69). India had 17 overs to survive and did so without losing a wicket.
  • India V Australia in 2013: India’s biggest test win at this ground came against Australia. The visitors batted first but could only muster 237 Michael Clarke scored 91 of these runs. In reply, India notched up a massive 503, thanks to a double century from Cheteshwar Pujara (204) and a century from Murali Vijay (167). In their second innings, the Aussies were bowled out for a paltry 131 thanks to a 5-wicket haul from Ravichandran Ashwin.
  • India V England in 2011: India batted first in this ODI and managed 300/7 from their allotted 50 overs thanks to half-centuries from Suresh Raina (61) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (87*). In reply, the visitors could only muster 174 runs, meaning that India won easily by 126 Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin picked up 3 wickets apiece.
  • India v Australia in 2019: This was a low scoring match that India won by 6 wickets, picking up their 500th ODI win. Australia batted first and scored 236/7, with Usman Khawaja top scorer with a 50. India chased down this total with 10 balls remaining thanks to unbeaten half-centuries from Mahendra Singh Dhoni (59*) and Kedar Jadhav (81).
Some Fun Statistics to Enjoy
  • Cheteshwar Pujara holds the record for the most test runs scored at this stadium. In the 4 matches that he played there (5 innings), he scored 510 runs (2 centuries and 2 half-centuries) at an average of 50.
  • Ravichandran Ashwin holds the record for most wickets collected at this ground. In the 4 matches (8 innings) that he has played here, he has picked up 27 wickets at an average of 03. He also has the best bowling figures at this stadium, having picked up 6 wickets for just 31 runs against New Zealand in 2012.
  • When it comes to ODI matches, Yuvraj Singh is the leading runscorer at this ground. He played 3 matches here and scored 233 runs (2 centuries) at an average of 66.
  • Umesh Yadav is the leading ODI wicket-taker at this stadium. He has played 2 matches here and picked up 6 wickets at an average of 16. He also has the best bowling figures, having picked up 4/53 against Sri Lanka here in 2014.
  • The best test partnership at this ground is the 160 runs that Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag put on for the first wicket in 2010 against New Zealand.
  • The best ODI partnership is the 145 that Shane Watson and Shaun Marsh accumulated for the first wicket in 2009 against India.

Should You Go Watch a Match at This Stadium?

Sporting events are even better when you are watching them in a stadium packed with thousands and thousands of avid fans because the electric atmosphere is something that you will not experience too often. This is what you will always come across when you go and watch a match at this stadium. Furthermore, If the match is close, you will be able to cut the tension with a knife. Therefore, if you are in Hyderabad when an international or domestic match is due to be played there, we recommend that you purchase a ticket and be part of the action. A few stadiums in India allow the public to have a tour of the stadium, but this is one of the many that do not. Therefore, if you are here when there are no matches scheduled to be played, your only chance of getting a look inside this stadium is by politely asking a member of staff. They might even accept a small bribe. You really should give it a shot as the worst scenario that can happen is that they turn you away.

Is it Easy to Get to the Stadium?

This stadium is on the outskirts of the city, which meant that it used to be quite tricky to get to. However, since a metro system arrived in the city, it is now easily accessible to the general public. There are a number of metro stations close by to the stadium, meaning that you do not have to walk far once you have got off the train. It is not as well served by buses, so we recommend that you take the metro. Some people might think about hiring a car and driving there, but we would also advise against this as parking spaces are limited even at the best of times. You can, of course, get a taxi to the stadium if you do not feel like travelling on packed trains. Once you have watched a cricket game at this stadium, what else is there to do in this wonderful city? Well, we recommend that you go and visit the Golconda Fort, the Chowmahalla Palace, the Birla Mandir, the Shri Jagannath Temple, the KBR National Park, the Wonderla Amusement Park, and the Nehru Zoological park. If you are worried about accommodation, you don’t need to be as there are plenty of hotels in this city that suit all types of styles and budgets. So, like with most of the major cities in India, you will be able to find a hotel that is just what you are after.