Chennai's MA Chidambaram Cricket Stadium: Capcity and Pitch Report

IPL is one of the biggest cricket tournaments in the world and the fans support that this tournament receives is massive. The seats are jam-packed in every match and ticket prices skyrocket with some even overpaying for them. But, if there’s one team and one ground that receives the most amount of love, support, and cheers from the fans, it is the Chennai Super Kings at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk. The ground turns a sea of yellow on every IPL home game of the CSK. Not just this, this venue is one of India’s oldest cricket grounds too, and in true terms can be considered as old as India’s modern cricket history. So many victories and special moments have come for India and Chennai at this special ground.

The MA Chidambaram Cricket Stadium's Top View

Credit: Sports Digest

So, in this article by ZAP, let’s dive deep and learn more about Chennai’s MA Chidambaram Cricket Stadium, the capacity, the pitch report, and the iconic moments and records here.

History of Chennai’s MA Chidambaram Cricket Ground:

The Chennai stadium, located at Chepauk is just a few hundred meters away from the second longest beach in the world, Marina beach. This Chepauk Ground is the second oldest cricket stadium in India, second oldest only to the Eden Gardens in Kolkata

With roots tracing back to the mid-19th century, this ground was once part of the illustrious Chepauk Palace which was acquired by the Madras Presidency in 1859. In 1865, the Madras Cricket Club erected a pavilion on the ground, and the cricket venue initially started being known as the Madras Cricket Club Ground. This name remained for some time but was later named after a former BCCI President, M. A. Chidambaram Cricket Stadium, its current name. India's first Test Match played here was in 1934, and the ground hosted the first-ever Ranji Trophy match, too, in 1934. This venue also witnessed India's first-ever triumph in a Test match, which was against the England Team in 1952. The Chidambaram stadium does not just represent the Madras Cricket Club’s history but is a peak back at the history of cricket in India too.

MA Chidambaram Chennai Cricket Stadium Size, Capacity and Boundary Length:

Chennai's MA Chidambaram stadium's ground size and seating capacity

Credit: ESPN Cricinfo

The Chennai Cricket Ground is a middle sized stadium with not so long boundaries. The contradictions of a slow and bowling friendly pitch with small boundaries make up for an interesting matchup between the bat and the ball. The ground is oval shaped and the boundaries towards the leg side and off side are a slight bit more than down the ground and behind the keeper. 

  • Offside: 68.58 meters 
  • Onside: 68.58 meters 
  • Straight (down the ground): 65.83 meters 
  • Straight (behind the keeper): 65.83 meters 

The official stadium capacity of the MA Chidambaram ground has been changing since the past decade. In 2010, a major facelift of the venue began, costing ₹175 crore ($22 million). The renovation, completed in 2011 transformed the stadium into a modern marvel with three new stands (I, J, K) and a capacity of 50,000. However, in 2015, the Supreme Court ruled part of the renovation violated safety regulations. Stands I, J, and K were sealed until March 2020, when they were finally opened. Recent changes in December 2021 saw the demolition of the old Anna pavilion and MCC clubhouse to make way for a new pavilion, reducing the capacity of the ground to 31,140. The latest renovation of the stadium which was completed before the 2023 edition of the IPL includes a new stand named after former Tamil Nadu CM M. Karunanidhi, along with an indoor training facility. The current capacity of the stadium stands at around 38,000 spectators

MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai – Pitch Report and Ground Conditions:

MA Chidambaram Cricket Ground Pitch

Credit: The Times of India

The MA Chidambaram ground is very famous for its spin bowling friendly cricket pitch. The pitch at the Chennai Stadium remains dry and dusty and slows down even more as the game progresses, making it very effective to bat first. Also, the curation of the pitches in recent times has been questionable when bowlers have completely dominated the outplayed the batters. Batsmen have to hone their batting techniques to bat masterfully against the challenging spin bowling here. A not so recent but recent example of this is the 2019 IPL opening game, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). RCB was put to bat first against the heavy spin bowling lineup of CSK and things went completely in the favour of CSK. Both the leg spinner Imran Tahir and finger spinner Harbhajan Singh ripped through RCB’s batting and bundled them up at only 70 runs, picking up 3-3 wickets each. The match went on to show heavily the pitch favours spinners.

The Chepauk Cricket Ground is also known for being too hot and humid. The stadium being in the South of India, experiences intense heat and due to its proximity to the sea, a lot of humidity too. Staying out there under the sun in test matches is very daunting as one would imagine.  

The Lion’s Den – Chennai Super Kings’ Home Ground:

The Chennai Super Kings players at the MA Chidambaram Cricket Ground

Credit: India Today

Chennai’s Chidambaram Stadium is the heart of fan enthusiasm, especially for the home team, the Super Kings. The fan turnout for every match at the Chepauk ground is massive with the entire stadium turning a sea of yellow in IPL Home games. One of the main reasons is their Thala, Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Fans even fill out stands to watch his practice sessions at the ground. The support that fans show by being in the stands, and supporting their team is a definite boost to the home team. The ground conditions too have helped the CSK dominate the home league fixtures with the spin supporting pitch, supplementing CSK’s traditional spin bowling dependent bowling lineup. The Super Kings have more than a 70% win record at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, which is one of the best for any team at their home ground.

Best Moments at the Chepauk Cricket Ground:

The First Ever Ranji Trophy Match:

The First ever first class Ranji Trophy match was played at the MA Chidambaram Cricket Ground in Chennai between Madras and Mysore in 1934. The match ended on the first day itself, as Madras thumped over Mysore with a victory by an innings and 23 runs.

India’s First Ever Test Match Victory:

India recorded their maiden Test victory against England at Chepauk, a significant milestone in the Indian cricket Team’s history. We defeated England by an innings and 8 runs in this historic matchup. 

Sunil Gavaskar's Record-breaking Century (1983):

Sunil Gavaskar recorded his 30th Century to move past Sir Don Bradman’s record at the Chepauk Cricket Stadium.

MS Dhoni's Double Century (2013):

Dhoni's score of 224 against the Australia Team in 2013, making him the first Indian wicket-keeper batsman to score a double century in Test cricket.

Karun Nair's Triple Century and India’s Highest Total in Test Matches:

Nair's monumental score of 303* not out against England in 2016 guided India to a score of 759–7. He became only the second batsman after Virender Sehwag to score a triple century in test matches.

Also Read about more cricket records:

Most Runs | Most Centuries | Most Wickets 

Records at Chennai Cricket Stadium: 

Test Cricket Records:

Matches Played: 34

Highest Individual Score: 319 by V Sehwag (India) on 26/03/2008 vs. South Africa

Best Bowling (Innings): 8/55 by M H Mankad (India) on 06/02/1952 vs. England

Best Bowling (Match): 16/136 by N D Hirwani (India) on 11/01/1988 vs. West Indies

Highest Team Total: 759/7 dec by India on 16/12/2016 vs. England

Highest Run Scorer at the Ground: Sunil Gavaskar 1018 Runs at an average of 59.88 

Highest Wicket Taker at the Ground: Anil Kumble with 48 wickets. 

T20I Records at Chennai:

Matches Played: 2

Highest Individual Score: 92 by S Dhawan (India) on 11/11/2018 vs. West Indies

Best Bowling Figures: 3/31 by I K Pathan (India) on 11/09/2012 vs. New Zealand

Highest Team Total: 182/4 by India on 11/11/2018 vs. West Indies

ODI Records at MA Chidambaram:

ODI Matches Played: 28

Highest Team Total: 337/7 by ACC Asian XI on 09/06/2007 vs ACA Africa XI

Highest Individual Innings: 194 by Saeed Anwar (Pakistan) on 21/05/1997 vs India

Best Bowling: 5/51 by R Rampaul (West Indies) on 20/03/2011 vs India

Highest Run Scorer at the Ground: Virat Kohli (422 runs) at a batting average of 46.89.

Highest Wicket Taker at the Ground: Mohammad Rafique from Bangladesh with 8 Wickets.

IPL Records at Chepauk Cricket Stadium:

Highest Innings Totals:

Chennai Super Kings (CSK): 246 vs Rajasthan Royals (RR) in 2010

All-Time Leading Run Scorers:

Suresh Raina (CSK): 1506 runs

All-Time Leading Wicket-Taker:

Ravichandran Ashwin (CSK): 48 wickets

Highest Individual Scores:

Shane Watson: 101 vs CSK in 2013

Best Bowling Figures:

Andre Russell: 5 for 15 vs Mumbai Indians in 2021

FAQ:

What type of pitch is Chennai?

The pitch at the Chidambaram stadium in Chennai is a proper spin bowling friendly pitch, making batting traditionally difficult.

Who is the best wicket taker in Chidambaram Stadium?

The HIghest Wicket Taker at Chepauk in Test Matches is Anil Kumble with 48 wickets, in ODIs is Mohammad Rafique from Bangladesh with 8 wickets, and in IPL is Ravichandran Ashwin with 48 wickets.

Now that you have read about the MA Chidambaram Cricket Stadium in Chennai, here are some more grounds we recommend you read about:

 Lord's Cricket Ground | Chinnaswamy Stadium | Wankhede Stadium


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