Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium
The Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium: Stadium Information
Cricket is the most popular sport in India, so it is not a surprise that there are so many match venues in this country. At the same time, they are being built and are being built. That is, the number of stadiums is only growing. One of the newest and most modern such sites is in Hyderabad, the capital of the Telangana state in India (namely, in the suburb of Uppal). This is the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium.
The structure is truly grand: the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium is on 16 acres of land (or, in other terms, its area is 65,000 square meters). Naturally, this building boasts a very classy capacity: up to 55,000 fans can watch a cricket match from the stands simultaneously.
The Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium serves as a home ground for the Hyderabad Cricket Association and the popular Indian Premier League cricket team, the Sunrisers Hyderabad. According to statistics, as of March 3, 2019, 5 tests, 6 ODIs and 2 T20Is have been carried out at this stadium. In addition, the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium hosted the opening and final of the Indian Cricket Premier League in 2017 and the final of the same tournament in 2019.
The Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium: Stadium History
The Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium is renowned for its state-of-the-art facilities. And this is not surprising. It was built quite recently. But first things first. The Hyderabad Cricket Association’s home stadium was originally the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium. It was part of the Fateh Maidan complex and belonged to the Telangana State Sports Authority. Accordingly, HCA could give it everything they’ve got. They had limited rights to this site.
But after a while, the Hyderabad Cricket Association still needed its modern home site. This prompted them to ask the Andhra Pradesh state government (until 2014 Telangana state was part of it) for funding for the construction of a new stadium in 2003. Then the head of state was Nara Chandrababu Naidu, and he easily approved the proposal. The government quickly allocated money from the budget and selected the ideal plot of land in Uppala for the construction of the stadium.
But, things were not so smooth with funding. The fact is that an open auction was created for the ownership of the stadium, and most of the money was supposed to be taken from there. After the auction, Visaka Industries Limited won the auction with an offer of ₹ 650,000,000. Having paid ₹ 430,000,000 at once, it was decided to name the site – Visakha International Cricket Stadium in 2004.
But time and the new government of Andhra Pradesh, represented by the new Chief Minister Yeduguri Sandinti Rajasekhara Reddy, made their adjustments. The stadium was being built at an accelerated pace. It is almost ready by 2005. He was even supposed to be able to host his first ODI match between India and South Africa. However, the politician mentioned above decided to correct the stadium’s name, giving it the name of Rajiv Gandhi, the former Prime Minister of India, who held office from October 31, 1984 to December 2, 1989.
This decision caused some financial reactions. The fact is that according to the rules if the stadium is renamed or the name Visakha is not assigned to it, the Hyderabad Cricket Association must pay Visaka Industries Limited an amount six times the contract price. Money, of course, is not small. But the government intervened, and as a result, HCA avoided obligations, paying an amount of ₹ 430 million. The figure was specified in the contract.
As a result, the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium was built and still bears this name. By the way, the famous Indian architect Shashi Prabhu was involved in his project. His company Shashi Prabhu & Associates has designed many other stadiums in India, including the Wankhede Stadium, the VCA Stadium, the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex and others. In addition to designing sports facilities, the company creates hospitals, clubhouses and many other buildings throughout India.
This was when the first matches of various formats in the history of the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium took place:
- First ODI match – November 16, 2005 (India – South Africa).
- First test – November 12, 2010 (India – New Zealand).
- First T20I – 13 October 2017 (India – Australia).
Also, the stadium’s stand was named on December 6, 2019 after the newly appointed President of the Hyderabad Cricket Association – Mohammad Azharuddin.
The Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, famous in India, continues to meet the highest standards to this day. Proof of this is the Hyderabad Cricket Association’s IPL 2019 award for the best ground and place.