Learn All About the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium

The Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium is a cricket stadium that can be located in Rajkot. It was built in 2008 and can hold up to 28,000 spectators. The Saurashtra cricket team and the Gujarat Lions play their home matches here. It has played host to some international cricket matches - since November 2019 they have been 2 ODIs, 2 test matches, and 2 T20i games played at this stadium.

The History of the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium

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The Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) applied for permission to build a new cricket stadium in 2003 and they received the permission to do so without much hassle. They then had to find the land to build it on, which they did in 2004 - a 30-acre piece of agricultural land that was situated close to the Jamnagar highway. The construction of this stadium, for some unknown reason, was put on hold until 2006. After it had finally been built, it was estimated that it had cost the equivalent of $14 million to make. The SCA moved their offices from a cramped building to the new stadium, which has been hosting cricket matches since the end of 2008. This is one of the most modern stadiums in the whole country. To help with spectator movement, there are wide aisles between the rows of seats and a number of entrances/exits for each of the three stands; East Stand, West Stand, and the South Pavilion stand. The three stands are also covered by roofs, to ensure that the paying spectators are well protected from the weather. The roofs are solar panelled as well, making it only the second stadium in the country to make use of such technology.

There are two playing fields on the area that this complex is built on. The main playing field is obviously inside the stadium and has a 90-yard outfield, while the smaller one, which is where you will find the outdoor nets, has a 70-yard outfield. There is even a plan to build an academy in the near future. The Pavilion Stand and the West Stand have around 60 hospitality boxes, but the SCA only hires them out during international matches. The players’ changing facilities are huge and come equipped with luxurious seats for the ultimate comfort. When the players are not playing, they can make use of a gym that has all the equipment that they could ever wish for.

The first international match that the locals got to see was a day/night ODI between India and England on the 11th January 2013. England batted first in this match and scored 325 runs from their 50 overs thanks to a 75 from Alastair Cook and an 85 from Ian Bell. In reply, India gave it a good shot, but they ultimately fell short by 9 runs. This was despite half-centuries from Gautam Gambhir (52), Yuvraj Singh (61), and Suresh Raina (50). James Tredwell was declared Player of the Match for his 4 wickets for 44 runs.

"The stadium has never hosted a Cricket World Cup match, but there is a very good chance that it will when the next edition is played in India in 2023. This is a stadium that any cricketer would be happy to play at."

What Interesting Games Have Been Played at This Stadium?

  • India V South Africa in 2015: This was a day/night ODI match that was played on the 18th October. South Africa batted first and scored 270 from their 50 overs thanks a fine century from Quinton de Kock (103) and a half-century from Faf du Plessis (60). In reply, India could only manage 252 runs, despite some fine half-centuries from Rohit Sharma (65) and Virat Kohli (77). This meant that India lost the game by 18
  • India V England in 2016: This was the first test match that was played at this venue. England batted first and scored 537 runs, thanks to centuries from Joe Root (124), Moeen Ali (117), and Ben Stokes (128). In reply, India scored 488 thanks to fine centuries from Murali Vijay (126) and Cheteshwar Pujara (124). Ravichandran Ashwin also chipped in with a valuable 70. England, in their second innings, declared on 260, which they got to thanks to a century from Alastair Cook (130). This meant that India needed 309 runs to win. However, some fine bowling from England ensured that India never got close. However, they couldn’t pick up all 10 wickets meaning the game ended in a draw.
  • India V West Indies in 2018: India batted first in this test match and scored a whopping 649 runs in their first innings. This was due to magnificent centuries from Prithvi Shaw (134), Virat Kohli (139), and Ravindra Jadeja (100*). Rishabh Pant (92) and Cheteshwar Pujara (86) also chipped in with some runs. In reply to this huge total, the West Indies were blown away for a mere 181 Ravichandran Ashwin was the pick of the bowlers as he collected 4 wickets for 37 runs. India enforced the follow on and bowled them out again for just 196 runs. This time, Kuldeep Yadav was the pick of the bowlers as he picked up 5 wickets for 57 runs. This capitulation meant that India won the game by an innings and 272 runs.
  • India v Australia in 2013: This night T20 match took place on the 10th of October. Australia batted first and scored 201 runs thanks mostly to Aaron Finch’s 89 runs from 52 Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Vinay Kumar picked up 3 wickets each. India managed to chase this total down with 2 balls to spare, thanks to Yuvraj Singh’s 77 runs from 35 balls. This meant that India won the match by 6 wickets.

Some Fun Statistics to Enjoy

  • Virat Kohli has the most test runs at this stadium. In the 2 matches (3 innings) that he has played here, he has scored 228 runs (1 century) at an average of 00.
  • Quinton de Kock’s 103 against India in 2015 puts him at the top of the list of leading ODI run scorers at this stadium.
  • Colin Munro (New Zealand) holds the record for most T20 sixes hit in a single innings at this stadium. When he scored a century (109 from 58 balls) against India in 2017, he smashed 7 balls out of the ground.
  • Ravichandran Ashwin has the honour of being the bowler to have picked up the most wickets at this stadium. In the 2 matches (4 innings) that he has played here, he has picked up 9 wickets at an average of 55.
  • Kuldeep Yadav has the best bowling figures in a single test innings at this ground against the West Indies in 2018, he picked up 5 wickets for 57 runs to help steer his team towards a huge victory.
  • Ishant Sharma has conceded the most runs in a single ODI innings at this ground. When India were playing England in 2013, he went for 86 runs from his 10 overs and didn’t get a wicket as some sort of compensation.
  • Devendra Bishoo has conceded the most test runs in a single innings at this stadium. When the West Indies played India in 2018, he bowled 54 overs that cost his 217 Unlike Sharma though, he did manage to pick up 4 consolatory wickets.

Should You Watch a Match at This Ground?

This is a state-of-the-art cricket ground that you would be foolish not to go to if you are in Rajkot and a match is being played. It is very well maintained and the atmosphere from 28,000 enthusiastic cricket fans cheering on their side to victory will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. You will have a great experience when you watch a cricket game here. Some cricket grounds in India will let the public visit even when a match is not being played, but the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium isn’t one of them. Therefore, if you are desperate to see the inside of this stadium but cannot because there is no match being played, we recommend that you try and be friendly with a member of staff. You never know, they might let you in for a quick look.

Is it Easy to Get to the Stadium?

The stadium itself is situated quite far away from the centre of the city, so it is not as easy to get to as some of the other stadiums in India are. However, there are regular buses that will drop you within walking distance of the stadium. In our opinion, it is always great when there is a short walk to the ground as it gives you the opportunity to take in some of the amazing atmosphere. Of course, if you don’t feel like walking, you can hire a taxi to drop you off right outside the stadium. So, once you have visited this great stadium and experienced a match that you will remember for a long time,

what else is there to do in the city of Rajkot? Well, no trip to this wonderful city is complete with a visit to the Khambhalida Buddhist Caves, the Rampara Wildlife Sanctuary, Lalpari Lake, the Science Museum, the Swaminarayan Temple, and Rashtriya Shala. When it comes to accommodation in this city, you are spoiled for choice. If you want a cheap three-star hotel because you will be out exploring most the time, you will have no trouble finding the perfect one for your stay. If, on the other hand, you want to be pampered and live in luxury, there are a number of great 5-star hotels that you can choose from.