Eden Gardens Picture Courtesy: Abhishek Saigal
Eden Gardens Picture Courtesy: Abhishek Saigal

 

What better way to list the highest attendances at cricket grounds on World Population Day? Abhishek Mukherjee runs a scan.

 

It was January 6, 1977 when a near-capacity Eden Gardens (we are talking huge numbers here) had turned up to watch India take on England. India needed 21 to save the innings-defeat with three wickets in hand; they did add 36 and were defeated by ten wickets by Tony Greig’s Englishmen. Later that year the same ground was full to watch amidst heavy showers to watch Pele play.

 

On World Population Day, then, let us have a quick run through the highest attendances on Test grounds. The source for most of these is, of course, the Wisden Almanac.

 

[Note: Official data is not always reliable. Eden Gardens, even as late as in the 21st century, had at least 10% more people than its actual capacity of 90,000. In the 1996 World Cup semifinal between India and Sri Lanka, for example, people sat on the concrete staircases as the seats were full to capacity (this columnist had been fortunate enough to acquire a seat). I have used estimated counts.]

 

Highest attendances in ODIs

 

Grounds Attendance Date Series / Tournament Brief Score
Eden Gardens

1,00,000

Nov 24, 1993(D/N) Hero Cup Semifinal Ind 195 SA 193/9
Eden Gardens

1,00,000

Nov 27, 1993(D/N) Hero Cup Final Ind 225/7 WI 123
Eden Gardens

1,00,000

Mar 13, 1996(D/N) World Cup Semifinal SL 251/8 Ind 120/8
Eden Gardens

1,00,000

Nov 18, 2003(D/N) TVS Cup Final Aus 235/5 Ind 198
Eden Gardens

90,000

Feb 18, 1987 Bilateral Match 2 Ind 238/6 Pak 241/8
Eden Gardens

90,000

Nov 10, 1991 Bilateral Match 1 SA 177/8 Ind 178/7

 

Though facilities at Eden Gardens have improved considerably before World Cup 2011, it has reduced the capacity to 66,349. Let us consider the other grounds separately.

 

Highest attendances in ODIs outside Eden Gardens

 

Grounds Attendance Date Series / Tournament Brief Score
MCG

87,812

Mar 25, 1992(D/N) World Cup Final Pak 249/6Eng 227
MCG

86,122

Jan 22, 1984 Benson & Hedges World Series Cup
Match 9
WI 252/6Aus 226

 

The first match does not come as a surprise, but the second, a group match, certainly does — given that the attendances for the three finals of the tournaments between the same opponents were 28,190 (SCG), 42,430 (MCG), and 19,210 (MCG).

 

Highest attendances on Test days

 

Grounds Attendance Date Test Day Start Close
Eden Gardens

1,00,000

Feb 16, 1999 Asian Test Championship Match 1 One Pak 185Ind 26/1
Eden Gardens

1,00,000

Feb 17, 1999 Asian Test Championship Match 1 Two Pak 185, Ind 26/1 Ind 223Pak 26/1
Eden Gardens

1,00,000

Feb 18, 1999 Asian Test Championship Match 1 Three Ind 223, Pak 26/1 Pak 316Ind 4/0
Eden Gardens

1,00,000

Feb 19, 1999 Asian Test Championship Match 1 Four Pak 316, Ind 4/0 Ind 214/6
MCG

91,112

Dec 29, 2013 Ashes Test 4 One Eng 226/6
MCG

90,800

Feb 11, 1961 Frank Worrell Trophy (later)Test 5 Two WI 252/8 WI 292Aus 236/3
MCG

89,155

Dec 28, 2006 Ashes Test 4 One Eng 159Aus 48/2

 

Highest attendances during full Tests

 

Grounds Attendance Date Attendance / Day Test Brief Score
Eden Gardens

4,65,000

Feb 16 – 20, 1999

93,000

Asian Test Championship Match 1 Pak 185 & 316Ind 223 & 232
MCG

3,50,534

Jan 1-4, 5-7, 1937

58,422

Ashes Test 3 Aus 200/9 d & 564Eng 76/9 d & 323

 

Highest attendances during Test series

 

Grounds Attendance Date Attendance / Day Test Brief Score
The Gabba

9,43,000

Dec 4,5, 7-9, 1936

37,720

AshesTest 1 Eng 358 &256Aus 234 &58
SCG Dec 18, 19, 21, 22, 1936 AshesTest 2 Eng 426/6 dAus 80 & 324
MCG Jan 1-4, 5-7, 1937 AshesTest 3 Aus 200/9 d & 564Eng 76/9 d & 323
Adelaide Oval Jan 29,30, Feb 1-4, 1937 AshesTest 4 Aus 288 & 433Eng 330 & 243
MCG Feb 26, 27, Mar 1-3, 1937 AshesTest 5 Aus 604Eng 239 & 165

 

(Abhishek Mukherjee is the Deputy Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs here and can be followed on Twitter here.)