Cricket has its unique emotional connect when it comes to stadiums. The 2001 victory against Australia in Eden Gardens, Dhoni’s last ball six at the Wankhede, ever cheering English crowd of the Lords or those boring one sided games against Bangladesh in Dhaka forms different perceptions for the fans.
Situated at the capital city of India is one such interesting venue- Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in Delhi. Located in the vicinity of the Feroz Shah fortress, the venue saw the rise of players like destructive Virender Sehwag, an immortal Ashish Nehra and the unstoppable player of the current generation- Virat Kohli.
This stadium too is known for some goosebumps moments. The 10 wicket haul from Anil Kumble against Pakistan, Gavaskar equaling Don Bradman’s record of most centuries in test cricket and AB de Villiers unusual innings of 43 runs from 297 balls are some of the key moments that cricketing fans cherish.
Now these huge moments doesn’t come into the picture when someone says “Kotla”, thanks to the controversies surrounding the stadium. India might be having a good record at this venue, but it’s the pollution that steals a huge piece of cake. The infamous one day call off against Sri Lanka in 2009 and the recently concluded test match against the same opposition has questioned the viability of Feroz Shah Kotla as a cricketing venue. Also too much of Nepotism and increase in prices have taken a toll among the general audience.
With the conclusion of the final test against Sri Lanka, there is too much of apprehension to conduct an international match in Delhi. Also, considering the rotation policy, the next match in this venue is likely to be held only in 2020. For now, the Feroz Shah Kotla stands as a collection of good memories overshadowed by controversies. With the stadium getting banned after 2009, it was considered as one of the venues for 2011 Cricket World Cup. Let’s hope for a similar comeback.