Blend within the gravity of royal things, culture of Jaipur not only carries art, shopping, food, and monuments but it also has sports within it. And, with that point of introduction, Sawai Mansingh Stadium is definitely a sight to explore.
Popularly known as SMS stadium, it is a cricket stadium in Pink City built during the reign of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II. Situated at the corner of Rambagh circle, the stadium has seating capacity of around 23,185.
Trek to the History
Sawai Mansingh Stadium was established in 1969. And, the first evert solitary match between India and Pakistan in February 1987 was hosted here, when President of Pakistan, General Zia-Ul-Haq crossed the border to watch second day’s play part of match.
The stadium’s ODI debut had kicked off with a contest between the same two sides on 2 October 1983. Fresh from their World Cup triumph, the Indians comfortably won by four wickets, sporting the same XI that won the World Cup final.
The ground has also hosted two World Cup matches in 1987 and 1996 respectively, the West Indians losing to England in the former and beating Australia in the latter. The last ODI played on the ground is between India and Australia on October 2013, which they won comfortably by just losing one wicket chasing 362 in just 43.3 overs although it was a disgustingly flat wicket that provided nothing for the bowlers in the slightest.
The highest individual score by any batsman on this ground in ODIs is 183 (not out) by Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
This is also the venue in which Virat Kohli made the fastest 100 for India in ODIs as India chase total of 359 against Australia, which was second highest successful chase in ODIs, after the Johannesburg epic between Australia and South Africa.
In 2006, the stadium encountered a major renovation at the cost of 400 Crore Rs. And, with the purpose of development, a world-class academy was built of Rs. 7 crores with 28 appointed rooms, a gym, a restaurant, two conference halls and a swimming pool. Now, here one can see new facilities including the Media chambers, galleries, two new blocks, and more capacity.
Series of Tournaments
In 1983, the first ODI was played between Indian and Pakistan, which was a kick off that India, won by 4 wickets. Then, in 1987, a test match between India and Pakistan for that came out as a peace of instrument under an initiative “Cricket for Peace.” In the journey of tournaments, Sawai Mansingh Stadium hosted IPL matches for Rajasthan Royals, who won the first season. And, ground records with highest ODI’s were also witnessed in SMS stadium. In memories, this is the same ground where a most famous opening pair of Indian Cricket Team, Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar, opened the innings for the first time. The other main tournaments that Sawai Mansingh Stadium hosted were 1987 & 1996 Cricket World Cup, 2006 Women’s Asia Cup, and 2006 ICC Champion’s Trophy.
Hence, we can say, this Sawai Mansingh Stadium is not just a niche of tournaments or match series; it’s a complete story in its own that has a lot more to experience.
Also Read: SMS Stadium – Winner’s Destination