One of the city’s most elite clubs, the 140-year-old Bombay Gymkhana, has been instrumental in shaping many an Indian cricketer’s future.
Formed in 1875 exclusively for the elite Europeans, it remained that way well into the 20th century – even Ranji was refused admission. The only Indians allowed into the club were servants, although this rule had to be suspended for India’s first home Test in 1933 to allow the players to use the facilities.
It was created as an unashamedly private club and the pavilion is classically colonial, with no fixed seating anywhere else on the ground – marquees were erected to accommodate the vast crowds who turned up.
By the time cricket returned to the city after the war, the Brabourne had taken over as the main cricket venue. However, the Gymkhana still continues to be home to a variety of sports.
The ground does not have any floodlights and it has a capacity of 15,000 people though this figure has reached upto 50,000.
The ground also hosts a national rugby competition, and has also hosted matches against Sri Lanka and a few other South Asian teams. It has also hosted national and international squash tournaments. It also has swimming facilities at the southern end.
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