India and Australia locked horns at the M.A Chidambaram stadium or Chepauk as we all call it. This iconic stadium has been around for a very long time and has played a major role in Indian and Tamil Nadu cricket. Established as early as 1916, it is the oldest continuously used cricket stadium in India. The stadium design allows the sea breeze to circumvent giving it a distinct swing. Here are a few facts of Chepauk that are bragging rights in any bar –

 

THE FIRST RANJI TEST MATCH TOOK PLACE IN CHEPAUK

The First MCC Pavilion

The first-ever Ranji Trophy match was played right here between Madras and Mysore on 4 November 1934. Legendary spinner AG Ram Singh took 11 wickets to bowl Madras to a win over Mysore within a day.

 

INDIA WON ITS FIRST TEST IN CHEPAUK

India recorded its first test win here, between 1951-52, when it defeated England by an innings and eight runs.Pankaj Roy and PR Umrigar scored fine centuries to set up an imposing total but the star was Vinoo Mankad with a sensational 12 wicket haul, 8 of which came in the first innings.

 

CHEPAUK IS SACHIN TENDULKAR’S FORTRESS

Sachin Tendulkar has scored more runs in Chepauk- 876 in nine tests at an average of 87.60- than in any other venue in India. The Mumbaikar has scored the most centuries at Chepauk hitting 5 centuries.Sachin also scored his first hundred at home here, compiling 165 runs against England in 1992. Four of the five centuries were in winning causes.

 

CHEPAUK BOASTS ITS VERY OWN IN-HOUSE COBBLER CUM REPAIRMAN

R Baskaran is a cobbler who sits under a tree at the Pattabhiram gate of Chepauk and goes about his routine just like any other cobbler. But come match time and he is tasked by TNCA to mend to the damaged gear of cricketers. Sitting by the players dressing rooms, he has fixed the equipment of many stars from Mohammed Azharuddin,Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, Dwayne Bravo and so on.

 

CHEPAUK WITNESSED WORLD’S SECOND TIED TEST

 

On 22 September 1986, Australia and India battled it out in a hot and humid Chepauk. With four runs to win in the last over and no wickets to spare, Ravi Shastri and Maninder Singh could only manage three and the latter was dismissed LBW in the penultimate ball. To this day,Maninder Singh claims he was not out but umpire Vikramraju holds ground. However, the Madras crowds were treated to a nail biting finish that will go down in Cricket history as an anomaly.

 

Chepauk has indeed played a major role in Indian cricket and has produced many heroes. Right from Virendar Sehwag blasting away 319 runs- the highest test score by an Indian- all the way to India posting a mammoth 759 against England in 2016 which is India’s highest test total in an innings, and everything else in between, the iconic ground has been etched in cricket history. And as years go by and generations of cricket frenzies sprout, Chepauk and all its legacies stand tall.

 

Ramkumar Nair

Cricaddict and Foodie

Senior Executive

22Yards

 

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