Cricket fans missing the stadium ‘feels’ during the lockdown will soon be able to take a tour of the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. By Amitha Ameen

 

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The year was 1974 and there was an ongoing dispute between the Cricket Club of India, which owned the Brabourne Stadium, and the Bombay Cricket Association (now Mumbai Cricket Association) over the allocation of tickets matches. Fast forward to six months later and the first test match was being played between India and West Indies at the brand new Wankhede Stadium situated near the Churchgate station.

Now, this iconic stadium that has witnessed one too many record-breaking matches and heard the roar of devoted fans for decades — is going to be offering stadium tours to fans and visitors, thanks to the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA). Stadium tours are already a big part of the sport’s experience abroad with some of the noteworthy ones being Old Trafford and the Wembley Stadium in the UK.

While we don’t really need any convincing to sign up for the stadium tour, it doesn’t hurt to know that we will be walking the same grounds where India under the leadership of the then team captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, won the ODI World Cup for the second time after 28 years, or Sunil Gavaskar, who scored a 205 against West Indies or Ravi Shastri’s unforgettable six sixes in the 1984-1985 Ranji Trophy match for Mumbai against Baroda, and of course, ‘God of Cricket’, Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement after his 200th test against the West Indies.

 

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The reasons to visit the Wankhede Stadium tour are aplenty, and what’s more, is that there may soon be an entire museum dedicated entirely to Indian cricket in Mumbai. We can’t wait to go on these guided tours, get a peek into the players’ dressing rooms, see all the trophies up close and, of course, bump into our favourite players during practice.

Related: Travelling Back In Time With MS Dhoni’s Top Cricketing Moments At These 5 Stadiums