MA Chidambaram Stadium
It holds the record for the most number of Test wins for the nation.india Updated: Nov 20, 2005 16:41 IST
The spiritual home of cricket inTamil Nadusince the start of the Presidency matches in 1916, the MA Chidambaram Stadium, noted for its sporting pitches, not only holds the record for the most number of Test wins for the nation (9) but has produced the most number of decisive results among Indian grounds (15). Better known as Chepauk, taken from the area of its existence, the first Test played here was in 1933-34 between Douglas Jardine's England and CK Nayudu's India. For long, Test matches at Chepauk were synonymous with the Pongal (Harvest) festival. There have been records galore at this venue. History was made with the first ever Ranji Trophy match played at the venue when AG Ram Singh, with eleven wickets, bowled Madras to victory over Mysore within a day. India recorded its first ever Test win at the ground in 1951-52 when they defeated England by an innings and eight runs. Sunil Gavaskar notched up his record breaking 30th Test hundred on this ground in 1983-84. The India-Australia encounter in 1986-87 ended in a tie - only the second in the game's long history. The next season, leg spinner Narendra Hirwani claimed the best match analysis by a player on Test debut, finishing with 16 for 136.
But more than the records, what stands out at Chepauk is the atmosphere and the crowd, reputed to be the most knowledgeable and appreciative in the country. This was proved when those present gave a standing ovation to Saeed Anwar after his record breaking 194 against India in the Independence Cup match in 1997 and again when Pakistan won the Test match in 1999. A truly overwhelmed Pakistani team even made a lap of honour in appreciation of the spectators' sporting behaviour.