Nayudu's home

The new stadium has world-class facilities. If only it was closer to the city

MS Dhoni scored the first century at the new VCA Stadium  •  Associated Press

MS Dhoni scored the first century at the new VCA Stadium  •  Associated Press

Nagpur was the traditional winter capital of the state of Maharashtra, and is famous for its oranges. Once a bustling commercial city, it has fallen behind Mumbai and Pune in the state's economic pecking order. Cricket took hold here around the turn of the 20th century, and by the 1920s, Nagpur was hosting a regular tournament called the Central Provinces Quadrangular, according to Ramachandra Guha in A Corner of a Foreign Field.
The city has the honour of producing India's first Test captain, CK Nayudu, whose first-class career spanned a WG Grace-like 47 years. The Nayudu family had been patrons of the sport for generations, and CK Nayudu's grandfather reportedly celebrated the birth of his grandson by organising a cricket match. Unfortunately for the Nayudus, their efforts were in vain, as Nagpur has failed to unearth a cricketer of note since CK.
The venue
The new Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, which will host four World Cup games, was opened in 2008. Spread across 33 acres, in stark contrast to the old ground's seven acres, it claims world-class practice facilities and modern infrastructure. The stadium seats 45,000, which includes 41 corporate boxes that can house up to 15 people each, and cost a reported Rs 750 million to build. It is, however, somewhat inconveniently located, being 16km from the city on the Nagpur-Hyderabad highway.
The pitch has something to offer both bowlers and batsmen in the longer form of the game. While the ball comes on to the bat, there is bounce for the seamers and spinners. It is a different story in ODIs, though, where the surface turns into a featherbed. The two games played at the venue have seen three scores over 300.
Great matches
India v Australia, 2009-10
A captain's innings from MS Dhoni set-up India's highest ever one-day score against Australia, a mammoth 354 for 7. Once Australia slipped to 45 for 3, the writing was on the wall.
Top performers in ODIs
Most runs MS Dhoni, 231 runs at 115.50 | Top score MS Dhoni, 124
Most wickets Ravindra Jadeja, 3 wickets at 25.66 | Best bowling Ravindra Jadeja, 3 for 35
Major players
CK Nayudu | CS Nayudu
Home team
The Maharashtra state team suffers from being unable to call on players from Mumbai, its capital. The state won back-to-back Ranji Trophies in 1940 and 1941, but has had no success since then.