Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi
The Nehru Stadium in Kochi was originally built in 1966-67 as a football stadium. The first international cricket match played on this ground was the contest between India and Australia in 1998 which was won by the hosts. India have registered victory four out of seven times that ODIs have been played at the venue – the last game (against Australia) was abandoned due to rain in 2010.
Apart from being one of the very few multi-sport cricket venues in India, Kochi’s Nehru Stadium also stands out when it comes to its architecture. The two lighting towers of 2KW floodlights, when fully switched on, emit energy capable of HDTV telecast. The multi-storey stands, with a capacity of seating a crowd of 60,000, make it the fourth-largest sporting stadium and third biggest cricket venue in India.
In four of the six ODIs played on this ground, teams have registered 300-plus totals, earning it the reputation of a batsman’s paradise. However, one bowler who has relished bowling on this track is Sachin Tendulkar. The Little Master has registered both his ODI five-wicket hauls here – five for 32 against Australia in 1998 and five for 50 against Pakistan in 2005. India won both the games.
Having hosted national and international football and cricket matches, the Nehru Stadium will make its debut in the Indian Premier League in 2011 as one of the two homes of the new franchise Kochi Tuskers Kerala.