This post was written by Ralph Starks, a blogger and traveler who enjoys exploring the world in the best ways possible.
Cricket is wildly popular out in Asia. And why not? Pakistan and India, for instance, have both produced formidable cricket teams that make their people proud: and which, at the same time, strike fear into the hearts of their opponents out on the cricket pitch.
Of course, Asian countries are also fond of betting and the continent offers gaming operators a huge market to explore. Punters are partial to a wager on cricket. If you happen to be out in Asia, you can bet on games online via some of the more international sportsbook operators.
When a continent has such a fierce passion for a sport, it’s only natural that it will have some impressive stadiums to host contests too. Below is a look at some of the biggest and best cricket stadiums in Asia.
Eden Gardens, in Calcutta, India, is a household name not just in the country itself, but in the whole of Asia when it comes to cricket stadiums. No player who plays cricket for their national team wants to hang up their bat or retire their bowling skills without having competed at this stadium.
The stadium has room for 66,000 fans to cheer their team on in the flesh and the venue itself was establish in 1864. It has played a major part in India’s cricketing history, being the ground to host its first Test, versus England, in 1934. If you’re a cricket fan and happen to be in India, you simply can’t miss this stadium. You’ll kick yourself if you do.
National Stadium of Karachi
The National Stadium of Karachi, in Pakistan, is home to the country’s national cricket squad and to the Karachi Kings. The ground holds more than 34,000 spectators, although in the past there has been talk of increasing the capacity to a whopping 90,000. That would really be something because the nation’s cricket fans truly get behind their side, creating an amazing atmosphere at games.
However, political unrest has dissuaded some national sides from playing at the ground. Those sides that have braved playing in the country have contributed to some most magical moments at the stadium, though. One of the most memorable is Sir Viv Richards’s 181 for the West Indies against Sri Lanka at the ground during the 1987 World Cup match.
Years later, Sri Lanka would be on the wrong end of another outstanding performance, this time from the Pakistani national team in 2009. Pakistan chalked up a gigantic score of 765 against the side during a Test.
Kamran Akmal’s century for Pakistan against India, in the third Test, in 2006, will also go down in National Stadium history. Not many a citizen will forget how his performance helped Pakistan fight back from 39 for 6.
Narendra Modi Stadium
If you’re travelling around India and are checking out its cricket stadiums, the Narendra Modi Stadium, in Motera, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, is one not to miss. This is one of the premier stadiums in India and holds up to 130,000. When viewing a game live at the ground, you can follow the action from the Adani Pavilion End or the GMDC End.
The venue was established in 1982 but hosted its first Test in 1983 and has been the scene of some memorable feats. It was at this stadium that Sunil Gavaskar got his 10,000 Test runs, which he did against Pakistan in 1986- 1987. Seven years later, Kapil Dev would overtake Richard Hadlee as Test cricket’s leading wicket-taker, after dismissing his 432nd victim. This is on a pitch that used to favour bowlers, but, as years have gone by, has produced more competitive matches that offer even contests between bat and ball.
Rajiv Gandhi Stadium
The Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, in Uppal, Hyderabad, India, is a further cricket stadium to visit if you’re a fan of the sport. Be aware that some people still refer to it by its previous name of the Visaka International Cricket Stadium, a name based on the stadium’s contractors, Visaka Industries. There was a great deal of controversy around the name change. The Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) had to pay the contractor before the state government could change the name and honour a former prime minister.
At the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, you’ll catch both international matches and matches in the Indian Premier League (IPL), the latter being a popular option especially if you enjoy betting on cricket. If you wish to catch a game live, you can be one of a potential 55,000, which is the stadium’s capacity and do so from either the Pavilion End or the VVS Laxman End.
Asia has some impressive cricket stadiums to visit. Whether you’re fan of the sport or otherwise, the sheer size of them will never fail to make an impact on you.