Marked by milestones
Ahmedabad is the biggest city in Gujarat, one of the fastest developing states in India. While the city has produced no international players of great repute, cricket is the most popular sport, and games dot the numerous public and neighbourhood grounds.
The Sardar Patel Stadium hosted matches during the 1996 World Cup and the city also has a second stadium that is the home of the Gujarat Ranji Trophy team - at the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation's Sports Club of Gujarat.
In the second round of the IPL team auctions earlier this year, Ahmedabad was one of the cities considered for a team, but it lost out to Pune and Kochi. The Ahmedabad Rockets of the banned, and now defunct, ICL used to call the city home. The Corporate Cricket League, a 12-team league featuring teams representing Citibank, HDFC Bank and the Birla group, among others, is played at the Parth Party Plot & Play ground. All matches are 16 overs, and the final is a 20-over affair.
Built on the banks of the Sabarmati River on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in just nine months, the Sardar Patel Stadium has been home to some of Indian cricket's finest moments since its first Test in 1983. It was here that Sunil Gavaskar got his 10,000th Test run. Seven years later it was Kapil Dev's turn, as he took his 432nd wicket to go past Sir Richard Hadlee as Test cricket's leading wicket-taker.
The stadium, commonly known as the Motera, was renovated ahead of the Champions Trophy in 2006. Three new pitches and a new outfield were laid; state-of-the-art floodlights and covered stands were added; and the number of seats grew from 48,000 to 54,000.
The old pitch used to aid bowlers - three of the first four Tests produced results - but the track eventually started playing slow and low and draws became the norm. The new pitches have shown plenty of life though. The South Africans knocked over India for 76 on the first morning of the 2008 Test and wrapped up the game in three days.
India v West Indies, Champions Trophy, 2006
With a semi-final spot up for grabs in the Champions Trophy, West Indies had India dead and buried with 12 needed off 13 balls and Brian Lara walking in at No. 6. Then three wickets fell in quick succession, including Lara's, and suddenly it was anyone's game. But with four to get, Marlon Samuels dispatched a short, wide one from Ajit Agarkar past third man to seal the win with two balls to spare.
India v West Indies, 2002-03
A brutal hundred from Chris Gayle powered West Indies to 324. Amazingly it wasn't enough against an Indian side missing Sachin Tendulkar. Rahul Dravid made a century and Sanjay Bangar morphed into Shahid Afridi, smashing 57 off 41 balls with five fours and two sixes to see India home with room to spare.
India v Pakistan, 2004-05
Tendulkar came through with the bat here, making a magnificent century, but fell just short with the ball. Three runs were needed off the final over, and Tendulkar produced four dot balls out of the first five. Then, with one needed off the last delivery, Inzamam pierced the five-man off-side cordon. It was the first time Pakistan had successfully chased a score in excess of 300.
Gujarat, somewhat surprisingly for a small state, is home to three Ranji Trophy teams: Gujarat, Baroda and Saurashtra. Baroda is the only one to have won the Ranji Trophy, having done so five times, mostly recently in 2000-01.