IPL 2022 Guide: 7 Surprising Facts about Pune’s amazing MCA Stadium

India’s biggest sporting event has been back! This edition will feature 10 teams instead of the standard 8 teams. While the excitement and the competition are exhilarating, they say all good things come at a price. The price for Tata IPL 2022 is that it is limited to only 4 stadiums, namely the legendary Wankhede Stadium, which hasn’t forgotten the taste of a certain MSD’s 6, even after 11 years, the old glory of Mumbai and BCCI, the Brabourne Stadium, the multi-purpose DY Patil Stadium, and the iconic MCA Stadium. Other than MCA Stadium, which is located near Pune, other stadiums are in Mumbai. Today let us know 7 surprising facts about this beautiful stadium.

7. It is the home ground for Maharashtra Cricket Team.

Yes, it’s true. Maharashtra Cricket Team’s players practice and play their matches in MCA Stadium. With Wankhede Stadium and Brabourne Stadium busy hosting international matches, Maharashtra Cricket decided to use MCA Stadium as its home ground for the domestic circuit. It also serves as the headquarters for the Maharashtra Cricket Association.

6. It was constructed due to a dispute.

MCA Stadium wasn’t just constructed on a whim. It was due to a vicious dispute between the likes of the Maharashtra Cricket Association and Pune Municipal Corporation. The reason for the dispute was regarding the ticket allocations of Nehru Stadium. Due to this mess, MCA had to accept that they were in no position to host an international match between India and Sri Lanka. The match was later moved to Kolkata. This was considered to be a humiliation by MCA, who decided to build a new stadium. The end product is the MCA Stadium, named after the Maharashtra Cricket Association.

5. Marvelous Architecture.

It is designed in such a way that it offers an unobstructed view, no matter where you’re seated. It also employs a rainwater drainage system. Knowing that rain has destroyed several fun matches and is a mortal nemesis of Cricket, MCA took measures by opting for a sand-based outfield. This feature helps drain out water quickly, even after heavy showers making it ready for play in just a matter of minutes. It was constructed in a shape of a deep bowl, with floodlights to accommodate night matches.

4. Its construction is headed by the designer of Lord’s.

Sir Michael Hopkins is a renowned name in both architecture and cricket. He is the man behind the design of the ‘birthplace of cricket’, the Lord’s. He is also famous for designing the Ages Bowl of Southampton, England.

3. It was supposed to host the 2011 World Cup Semifinals.

The MCA Stadium was originally estimated to be completed by November 2010, making it ready for the 2011 World Cup. It was estimated at ₹1.5 billion. It was speculated to host the semi-finals of the 2011 WC and was among the backup stadium for the finals. However, the project ran a bit late and was completed in 2012.

2. It has hosted a bunch of IPL teams.

MCA Stadium initially served as the home ground for Pune Warriors India. After a year, the Pune franchisee went out of commission. In 2015, Punjab Kings, formerly known as Kings XI Punjab, used this stadium as their secondary home stadium after a lukewarm response in Mohali. For 2016 and 2017, Pune and Ahmedabad served as the cities replacing Jaipur and Chennai after the latter was banned for two years. Pune-based franchise, Rising Pune Supergiants played their home games in MCA Stadium. In 2018, due to political riots, Chennai Super Kings played their home games at MCA Stadium. To date, it has hosted 38 IPL games.

Image Credits: IPL.com

1. It has a unique relationship with Virat Kohli.

Wondering what binds ‘The King’ with this ground? Worry not. It’s not another controversy. Rather it is a moment of glory, for this is the venue where Virat Kohli scored his highest ever individual score of his career. On the 10th of October 2019, Virat Kohli led the Indian assault as South Africa was demolished by India. Virat scored his career-highest 254* off just 336 balls. A batting masterclass that was. It was also his penultimate century before going on a three-year-long century-less streak.

Hope that fills your appetite. MCA Stadium has been one of the jewels of Indian Cricket. Other than hosting a dozen of international matches, it is also hailed as a kind of a fortress as India hasn’t lost a match here yet. But guess what? Change is the law of nature, and there sure are things we would like to see change, for example, a certain someone’s non-century streak be broken. If you know, you know.  

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