Perhaps as big a spectacle as the World Cup, is the grounds across the Indian subcontinent where the matches will be played. A total of thirteen stadiums will come into play, sharing the tournament's itinerary of 49 matches. The cumulative capacity of all the venues is in excess of half a million. Indeed, more than 500,000 people will be lucky enough to watch the matches live at the stadiums. Following is an account of the various grounds that will feature in the World Cup 2011.
Sardar Patel Stadium, Motera - This venue also known as the Gujarat Stadium, has a seating capacity of 54,000 with flood-lights and state-of-the-art facilities. It is the home ground of the Gujarat Ranji Trophy team and the Rajasthan Royals. It will host the fourth World Cup 2011 match, that is the Group A day-night encounter between Australia and Zimbabwe on Feb 20 and then the quarter final between the third team of Group B versus the second team in Group A. The stadium was built on a 50-acre plot and established in 1982. It has witnessed some memorable milestones by Indian players including Sunil Gavaskat reaching 10,000 runs in Test cricket and Kapil Dev's record 432nd wicket. The ground was renovated in 2006 with three new pitches and a brand new outfield laid.
M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore - Formerly known as the Karnataka State Cricket Association Stadium and then renamed after a former board president, the stadium has a seating capacity of close to 50,000 along with floodlights and several modern amenities. It is the home ground of the Karnataka Ranji Trophy team as well as the Royal Challengers Bangalore. The venue will host the 15th World Cup day-night match between Group B teams England and Ireland on Mar 2, as well as 22nd WC match between India and Ireland on March 6, before becoming the venue to 35th match, between Australia and Canada from Group A on March 16. The stadium was established in 1969 when construction officially began. The debuts of West Indian legends Viv Richards and Gordon Greenidge in 1974, South Africa's historic series win in 2000 and Anil Kumble's 400th Test wicket are some of the highlights of thsi ground.
M A Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai - Also known as Chepauk and the Madras Cricket Club, the stadium can hold a maximum of 50,000 spectators with floodlights being installed since the 1996 World Cup. The stadium is the home ground to the Tamil Nadu Ranji team and the Chennai Superkings. It will be the venue of three World Cup 2011 matches - the 2nd match, between Kenya and New Zealand from Group A on Feb 20; the 21st match, between England and South Africa from Group B on Mar 6; and the 36th match, between England and the West Indies from Group B on Mar 17. Only the last encounter of the three will be a day-nighter. M A Chidambaram Stadium hosted its first Test match between England and India in 1933. Among the other achievements to be witnessed here are Sunil Gavaskatr's record-breaking 30th century, Narendra Hirwani's 16 for 136 against the West Indies and Pakistan batsman Saeed Anwar's 194 against India in 1997.
Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali - More popular known by its alias Mohali, this ground has an official capacity of 30,000. It is the home ground to the Punjab Ranji team and teh Kings XI Punjab. It will host two World Cup 2011 fixtures - the 16th match, between the Netherlands and South Africa from Group B on Mar 3; and the 27th match, between Ireland and the West Indies also from Group B on Mar 11. Mohali was transformed from a swamp with deep ravines into one of India's best stadiums in 1992 with some breath-taking one-day matches taking place here including the tight Australia Vs West Indies 1996 semi-final which the former just managed to ensnare.
R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo - Formerly known as Khettarama Stadium, but changed to the name of a former Sri Lankan president, this venue holds as many as 35,000 spectators within its walls. It is well-equipped by international standards and possesses floodlights as well. The ground will hosts five World Cup 2011 match in all, starting with the 10th match of the tournament, between hosts Sri Lanka and Pakistan from Group A on Feb 26. It's next encounter will be the 14th match, between Sri Lanka and Kenya on Mar 1. Then Canada plays Pakistan (Group A) here in the 17th match, on Mar 3 followed by the tournament's 40th fixture, between Australia and Pakistan (Group A) on Mar 19 and finally, the quarterfinal between the fourth team of Group A and the first team of Group B. The stadium has witness Sri Lanka make the highest Test total of 952/6 declared, against India in 1997-98.
Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong - The stadium known by the two aliases of the Chittagong Divisional Stadium and the Bir Shrestha Shahid Ruhul Amin Stadium,bears a capacity of just 14,000. It will host two World Cup 2011 matches - the 28th match, between Bangladesh and England from Group B on Mar 12 and the 32nd match, between Bangladesh and the Netherlands also from Group B, on Mar 14. The stadium was established in the run-up to 2004 Under-19 World Cup and received international status on Jan 2006.
Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi - The stadium which is run by the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) has a spectator capacity of 48,000. It is the home ground of the Delhi Ranji team and the IPL's Delhi Daredevils. The ground will be venue to three World Cup 2011 matches. It's itinerary starts with the tournament's 7th match, between South Africa and the West Indies from Group B, on Feb 24. That fixture will be followed by the 13th match, between the Netherlands and the West Indies, also from Group B, on Feb 28 and the scheduling at the Kotla wraps up with the 23rd match, between Canada and Kenya from Group A on Mar 7. All three encounters will be day-night affairs. The stadium has been venue to some memorable moments in Indian cricket with S Venkatraghavan in 1965 notching up bowling figures of 8/72 and 4/80 against New Zealand and most notably, Anil Kumble's innings haul of 10 for 74 against Pakistan in 2000.
Shere Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka - Named after freedom fighter A K Fazlul Haq, the stadium is located just outside the Dhaka city centre and has capacity of 25,000 - the largest for a Bangladeshi stadium. The drainage facility at the ground is perhaps the best in the subcontinent. The venue will play host to a total of five World Cup 2011 matches beginning with the tournaments very first match between joint-hosts India and Bangladesh from Group B on Feb 19. It will next feature for the 8th match, between Bangladesh and Ireland also from Group B, on Feb 25, followed by the tournament's 19th match, between Bangladesh and the West Indies on Mar 4. The final group stage match to be played here will be the 39th match, between Bangladesh and South Africa on Mar 19, before it hosts one of the four quarter-finals with the first Group team taking on the fourth Group B team. The stadium is perhaps the newest in the world, having been constructed as recently as 2007.
Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium - Known simply as Hambantota, this stadium seats an official number of 35,000 spectators with floodlights installed this year itself. The stadium will host two World Cup 2011 fixtures - the 3rd match, between Australia and Zimbabwe, from Group A on Feb 20 and 6th match between Kenya and Pakistan also from Group A, on Feb 23. The stadium established in 2009, making it the youngest venue of cricket matches.
Eden Gardens Stadium, Kolkata - Also known as the Dr B C Roy Club House, Eden Gardens is one of the largest stadium in the world with a capacity in the vicinity of 100,000, earning it the tag of a "coliseum". It possess state-of-the-art facilities including floodlights and is the home ground of the Bengal Ranji team and the IPL's Kolkata Knightriders. The ground will be venue to two World Cup 2011 matches. The itinerary kicks off with the cup's 34th fixture, between Ireland and South Africa, also from Group B, on Mar 15, while the final clash at this stadium will occur when Ireland takes on the Netherlands on Mar 18. Eden Gardens has seen some dramatic cricket matches from India's horrific collapse to Sri Lanka in the 1996 World Cup to a Test match turn-around between India and Australia in 2001, which India won.
Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Nagpur - This ground is relatively new and doesn't have tremendously modern facilities. However, it does possess floodlights and will host three day-night matches of the World Cup 2011. First on its list of matches is the Cup's 5th fixture, between England and the Netherlands from Group B on Feb 22. That will be followed by the tournament's 12th match between Canada and Zimbabwe from Group A on Feb 28, while the last match that it will play venue to is the 29th match, between India and South Africa from Group B on Mar 12. This stadium is relative new with as it only started hosting international matches from 2008 onwards.
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai - The official capital of cricket in India, Wankhede stadium holds a maximum of 45,000 spectators. It has the latest amenities and has been marked to host three World Cup 2011 matches. It's itinerary for the Cup begins with the 30th match, between Canada an New Zealand from Group A on Mar 13, followed by the Cup's 37th match, between New Zealand and Sri Lanka on Mar 18 and will host the final of the tournament on April 2. Established in 1974, Wankhede has witnessed some of the most breath-taking performances in cricket history including the West Indies captain Clive Lloyd's 242 against India in the 1974-75 season, England's Ian Botham century and 13 wickets in the Jubilee Test and Vinod Kambli's 224 against England in 1992-93.
Pallekele International Cricket Stadium - The Sri Lankan ground has a spectator capacity of 35,000 with floodlights installed this year itself. It will play venue to only two World Cup 2011 fixtures, the first being the 24th match of the tournament, between New Zealand and Pakistan on Mar 8, followed by the 33rd match, between Pakistan and Zimbabwe on Mar 14. It has hosted only one Test match so far and no one-dayers.