Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad
Also known as the Motera, after the place where it is located, the venue hosted its first Test in November 1983.india Updated: Oct 09, 2006 14:43 IST
Three of India's greatest cricketers - Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev and Sachin Tendulkar - will have special memories of this venue. It was here that Gavaskar became the first batsman to score 10,000 Test runs in 1986-87.
Seven years later, Kapil Dev became the greatest wicket-taker in Test cricket, surpassing Sir Richard Hadlee's tally of 431. Kapil was coach of the Indian team when Tendulkar scored his first double hundred in Test cricket against the touring New Zealanders in 1999-00.
The Sardar Patel Stadium, also known as the Gujarat Stadium, is on the outskirts of the state's premier city. It has hosted eight Tests and twelve ODIs since 1983-84. The first game to be staged here made news for all the wrong reasons.
The West Indies beat India in the third Test of the 1983-84 series on a diabolical wicket. The quality of the strip improved subsequently. South Africa failed to score only 170 to win their first Test on Indian soil, thanks to a dodgy strip and a superlative bowling spell by Javagal Srinath, who took 6-21.
It was only in recent times that the wicket has earned the right to be called a batting paradise. The last three ODIs have witnessed four scores in excess of 300. The West Indies amassed 324-4 in an ODI in 2002-03, only for India to post a thrilling victory, thanks to a splendid 109 by Rahul Dravid.
Two years later, India scored 315-6 in another one-dayer, but still finished on the losing side. Ahmedabad will play host to five Champions Trophy games; two from the preliminary round and three from the main event.
Sri Lanka are to play Zimbabwe here in the preliminary round, and that can only please the islanders, for it was at this venue that they notched up the lone win of their disastrous tour of India in 2005-06.