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India vs West Indies: International cricket returns to Brabourne after 9 years as Tendulkar rings the bell

Almost 70 years later after they first met, the two teams, West Indies, now called the Windies, and India are locking horns at the hallowed turf again as international cricket returns to the Brabourne, in Mumbai, for the first time since December 2009.

cricket Updated: Oct 29, 2018 15:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Brabourne stadium,Mumbai ODI,4th ODI
Screengrab of a video posted by BCCI of Sachin Tendulkar ringing the bell to commence the 4th ODI between India and Windies at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.(Twitter/BCCI)

Nestled in the heart of South Mumbai, just off the boulevard of Marine Drive, is one of India’s oldest international cricket venue. The Brabourne Stadium, which is also home to the iconic Cricket Club of India, became the fifth Test venue in India, when West Indies came calling for the maiden tour of the sub-continent in the December of 1948.

Almost 70 years later after they first met, the two teams, West Indies, now called the Windies, and India are locking horns at the hallowed turf again as international cricket returns to the Brabourne for the first time since December 2009. India are playing their first one-day international at the venue after 23 years, their last match here was a 6-wicket win over New Zealand in November 1995. Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli were still playing together for India, Mohammed Azharuddin was India’s captain and the forgotten Manoj Prabhakar opened batting and bowling and yes ODI cricket was still played in white kits.

The sport in itself has undergone a sea change since then and so has a lot of things around it. But the charm and aura associated with the venue is still very much intact. The monumental and colosseum-esque Wankhede Stadium might have replaced the venue as Indian cricket’s nerve centre but Brabourne continues to remain an integral part of Indian cricket’s legacy and tradition.

Not only has Brabourne been a landmark in Indian cricket, it also has a pride of place in Mumbai cricket’s history. The team has won 14 Ranji Trophy titles on this ground. It was only fitting that one of Indian and Mumbai cricket’s biggest legends welcomed international cricket back at the venue as Sachin Tendulkar rang the bell to officially start proceedings on Monday.

For years India cricket’s biggest stars have graced this ground and it is now the turn of the modern day superstars, many of whom are playing their first ever international match at this venue, to come and conquer Brabourne.

First Published: Oct 29, 2018 15:03 IST