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Stadiums in India named after politicians, officials, musicians … everyone but cricketers

Nearly all great venues in the world honour eminent sportspersons in way one or another. In India, though, cricket stadiums are named after everyone except cricketers and a handful are named after heroes from other sports.

Written by Mihir Vasavda | Updated: December 26, 2020 6:36:04 am
DDCA, Kotla stadiumThe Feroz Shah Kotla cricket stadium in the national capital has been renamed as Arun Jaitley Stadium. (Express Archive)

While renouncing his membership with the Delhi and District Cricket Association and asking for the removal of his name from a stand at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi lamented that India does not honour its sportspersons the same way as rest of the world.

Nearly all great venues in the world honour eminent sportspersons in way one or another. In India, though, cricket stadiums are named after everyone except cricketers and a handful are named after heroes from other sports.

Politicians

9-number of stadiums named after former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Of them, 8 – New Delhi, Chennai, Kochi, Indore, Guwahati, Margao, Pune and Ghaziabad – have hosted domestic and international cricket matches.

3– number of arenas named after Indira Gandhi (Guwahati, New Delhi and Vijayawada) and Rajiv Gandhi (Hyderabad, Dehradun and Kochi).

-When India hosted the 2017 under-17 football World Cup, four out of the six venues used were named after the Nehru-Gandhi family – the Nehru stadiums in Kochi, Delhi and Margao, along with the Indira Gandhi Stadium in Guwahati, which is one of the three stadia named after the former Prime Minister.

-A life-size portrait of Rajiv Gandhi in his cricket gear hangs at the entrance of the stadium named after the former Prime Minister in Hyderabad.

2-number of grounds named after Atal Bihari Vajpayee (Nadaun and Lucknow) and Sardar Patel (Valsad and Ahmedabad) each.

-The Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi was renamed Arun Jaitley Stadium last year.

-Kozhikode’s EMS Stadium, which has hosted 1987 Nehru Cup and is home to I-League side Gokulam Kerala, is named after communist leader and first chief minister of Kerala, EMS Namboodiripad.

JLN stadium On October 3, 2010, the 19th Commonwealth Games got off to a colourful start at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the National Capital. (Express File)

Administrators

4– number of stadiums that get their names from cricket administrators; Chennai’s MA Chidambaram, Bengaluru’s Chinnaswamy, Mohali’s IS Bindra and Mumbai’s Wankhede stadiums get their names from the eponymous former presidents of the cricket board.

Other personalities

-There are stadiums which have links with the British Raj. The iconic Eden Gardens derives its name from the sisters of the former Governor-General of India Lord Auckland, Emily and Fanny Eden. Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium, meanwhile, named after the then Bombay Governor, Lord Brabourne.

2– number of venues named after music maestros: Guwahati’s Dr Bhupen Hazarika Cricket Stadium and Delhi’s multi-purpose Thyagaraj Stadium, which is dedicated to Carnatic composer Tyagaraja.

1-number of stadium that gets its name from an executive: Jamshedpur’s Keenan Stadium, which is named after the former general manager of Tata Steel, John Lawrence Keenan.

Sportspersons

0-number of cricket stadiums that are named after a cricketer.

-There are, however, two cricket grounds that honour hockey legends – Lucknow’s KD Singh ‘Babu’ Stadium and Captain Roop Singh Stadium in Gwalior, the venue where Sachin Tendulkar became the first cricketer to score a double century in ODIs.

2-number of hockey stadiums named after Major Dhyan Chand, in New Delhi and Lucknow.

1-number of football stadium named after a footballer, the Bhaichung Stadium in Namchi, Sikkim.

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