Why Kolkata's Eden Gardens is as iconic as the Lord's Cricket Ground

Here's why the stadium is touted to be India's "Home of Cricket"

India’s recent win against New Zealand in the second Test at Eden Gardens wasn’t the only instance when the iconic stadium proved lucky for the Indian team.

Eden Gardens has been home to many records and controversies. The stadium gets its name from one of the oldest parks in Kolkata. The park was designed in 1841 and was named after the Eden sisters of Lord Auckland, the then Governor-General of India.

The stadium was initially named, Auckland Circus Gardens but it was changed to Eden Gardens as its makers were inspired by the Garden of Eden in the Bible.

Established in 1864, the stadium currently has a capacity of 66,000 plus. Edens was renovated before the 2011 World Cup and its capacity to host 1 lakh people was reduced.

Despite the renovation, Eden is the largest cricket stadium in India and the second largest in the world. Australia’s Melbourne Cricket Ground being the largest.

The first Test match played at Eden Gardens was between India and England in 1934. The pre-Independence Indian team was led by CK Nayudu while the England team was captained by Douglas Jardine. The match ended in a draw.

India has played most of its Tests on home soil at this venue. The last Test between India and New Zealand was the 250th Test on home soil and the 40th Test at Eden Gardens. In the same match, India defeated New Zealand and became number one in ICC Test rankings.

The first ODI at this venue was played in 1987 against Pakistan. Imran Khan led Pakistan got the better of Kapil Dev and his men in the last over of the game. In the same year, Eden Gardens became the second stadium to host a World Cup final. Australia defeated England by seven runs in that match. London’s Lord’s had hosted the first three.

In 1991, Kapil Dev took an ODI hat-trick at this venue against the Sri Lankans.

The 1996 World Cup semi-final between India and Sri Lanka, was called off due to crowd disturbances. The crowd lost its cool after the Indian batting collapsed and were about to be defeated. The match was later awarded to Sri Lanka.

WATCH: India-Sri Lanka 1996 World Cup match called off

(Video Courtesy: YouTube.com/robelinda2)

Another instance when the crowd became violent was when Sachin Tendulkar was run out after colliding with Shoaib Akhtar in 1999. The remainder of the game was played in front of an empty stadium as police had evicted the spectators.

In 2001, Harbhajan Singh became the first Indian to take an hat-trick in Test cricket. He choked the Australians and helped India win the Test.

WATCH: Harbhajan Singh’s famous hat-trick against the Aussies

(Video Courtesy: YouTube.com/General Zod)

VVS Laxman scored a mammoth 281 runs in the same match. Laxman’s innings is still the highest score by any batsman on this venue.

WATCH: VVS Laxman’s 281 against Australia

(Video Courtesy: YouTube.com/logicalasad)

Sachin Tendulkar played his penultimate Test at Eden Gardens. India defeated West Indies by an innings and 51 runs in Sachin’s 199th Test.

In 2014, the special occasion of the ground’s 150th anniversary was made even more memorable by Rohit Sharma. Sharma scored 264 in 173 balls against Sri Lanka. It is the highest score by any batsman in ODIs.

Eden Gardens hosted the finals of the Men’s and Women’s 2016 T20 World Cup. The West Indies team won both the events. The stadium also has a new jewel in its crown. Just like Lord’s bell that signifies the start of play, Eden has one of its own.