Unseen Mumbai, one frame at a time: Brabourne Stadium
From its glory days as Mumbai’s premier cricket ground, this hallowed green turf is soaked in history and nostalgia, and having witnessed the greats of the gentleman’s game in their finest form
A general view of play with Brett Lee of Australia bowling during Day Two of the tour match against Mumbai at Brabourne Stadium on October 1, 2004. Pics/Getty Images/ CCI & Brabourne Stadium by Vasant Raiji, Anandji Dossa
Circa 1930s. A cricket-loving Governor in a cricket-mad city. Keen to imbibe a sporting legacy in Bombay, Lord Brabourne was responsible for the city’s first world-class cricket stadium. It was built on a piece of reclaimed land measuring around 90,000 square yards was allotted at a price of Rs 13.50 per square yard. This was handed over by the Governor handed to the Cricket Club of India. Architects Gregson, Batley and King drew up the designs for this historic cricket stadium. The foundation stone was laid on May 22, 1936 and the stadium was officially opened on December 7, 1937.
Lord Brabourne (centre) laying the foundation stone of the stadium
Interestingly, by the time Lord Brabourne had left Bombay and become the Governor of Bengal, and Sir Roger Lumley inaugurated it along with The Maharaja of Patiala, who was then the President of the Club. The stadium boasted a seating capacity of nearly 40,000 and came equipped with a state-of-the-art clubhouse, billiards room, tennis and badminton courts and swimming pool. All Test matches awarded to Bombay between 1948 and 1973 were played on
Later, due to differences between the CCI and the BCA (Bombay Cricket Association) it lost out to Wankhede Stadium to be the main venue to host national cricketing events after the latter was completed in 1974.
(Information courtesy: CCI & Brabourne Stadium)
Where: Dinshaw Wacha Road, Churchgate
Did you know?
The stadium was not actually named till a little before the laying of the foundation stone by Lord Brabourne on May 22, 1936, when the Maharaja of Patiala, the President of the Club and the Committee, unanimously resolved to call it Brabourne Stadium as a tribute to his close association with the scheme. Interestingly, during his tenure he even had a cricket team and played in every match!
The year in which the first Test match was played here against the West Indies
A walk through Mohammed Ali Road's Khau Galli