How often does one come across localities within major cities being famous nationally and even perhaps, internationally, for a specific reason? Chepauk in Chennai (formerly Madras) is one of them.
While some of its well-known attractions include the University of Madras and the Chepauk Palace, there is perhaps no landmark as famous as the M A Chidambaram International Cricket Stadium.
Millions of lovers and followers of Indian cricket will agree that this is a mascot for Indian cricket. If the first ever Indian cricket win was achieved here in 1952 against England, it was also where the highest run chase on Indian soil, the 387 England set for India to score, was achieved.
For the first time in his nearly two decades of Test cricket, Sachin Tendulkar scored a winning fourth innings undefeated century to steer India home.
Chepauk has played host to the only tie in the sub-continent, and the second ever, when India and Australia met in 1986.
Most importantly perhaps, the M A Chidambaram Stadium will go down with the ultimate honour of being the stadium in which its three greatest Indian batsmen of all time (we can always come to blows over who among these was the best –but there is no dispute that these have been the three best Indian batsmen ever!) –Sunil Gavaskar, Gundappa Vishwanath and Sachin Tendulkar have scored their highest Test match scores here!
May we add that another prominent figure among India’s destructive batsmen –Virendar Sehwag has also got his highest Test score here?
Incidentally, his 319 is the highest individual score ever made by an Indian batsman in a Test match. Look at this irony –this slaughterer from Najafgarh is perhaps the greatest antithesis of a Test purist, but has overtaken these three maestros at their own game!
Another irony is that in this batsman-dominated world of Test records, a gawky-looking teenager called Narendra Hirwani got the highest wickets on debut, against the (then) mighty West Indies here in 1988.
That is the enduring charm that Chepauk holds. It holds a cricket stadium that is the pride of every true Indian cricket fan!