Sport in Chennai

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Cricket match between India Blue and India Red at the M. A. Chidambaram Cricket Stadium, Chennai, India.

Cricket is the most popular sport in Chennai. The M.A. Chidambaram Stadium is one of the oldest cricket stadiums in India and has been the venue for many notable milestones in the history of Indian cricket. Tennis, hockey, football and racing, squash are other popular sports. The city hosts an ATP tennis event, the Chennai Open. Chennai has a rich legacy in chess and has produced many well-known chess players, the most notable of them being Viswanathan Anand, the current World Chess Champion.[1]


An IPL match in progress at M.A. Chidambaram Cricket Stadium

Cricket is the most popular sport in Chennai. The M. A. Chidambaram Stadium (formerly known as Madras Cricket Club ground or Chepauk Stadium) in Chepauk and popularly called the MAC, is one of the oldest cricket stadiums in India built in 1916. It seats more than 50,000 and is home to the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association and the Chennai Super Kings IPL franchise. The stadium is famous for its list of records, including the first ever test match victory that India recorded in 1951–52 when they defeated England, the second of only two tied tests between India and Australia in 1986 and Saeed Anwar's 194 in 1999 which is the third highest ODI score by a batsman."MA Chidambaram stadium". Retrieved 2007-09-13. The Chemplast Cricket Ground in the IIT Madras campus is another important cricket venue, which hosts first class matches.[2] Prominent cricketers from Chennai include former Test-captains S. Venkataraghavan and Kris Srikkanth. The internationally renowned cricket bowling academy, the MRF Pace Foundation under the directorship of famous fast bowler Dennis Lillee is based in Chennai.


ATP Chennai Open - Centre Court at the SDAT Tennis Stadium complex in Nungambakkam

Tennis is another popular game in Chennai. The city hosts an ATP event, the Chennai Open, at the SDAT Tennis Stadium in Nungambakkam. The stadium seats about 6,000 spectators and has five synthetic surface courts. The tournament was awarded the title of the best new event in its second year by the Association of Tennis Professionals. Indian tennis stars such as Ramanathan Krishnan, Vijay Amritraj, Ramesh Krishnan and Mahesh Bhupathi hail from Chennai.[3] Leander Paes did his schooling and was trained in Chennai. One of India's top tennis training academies, the Britannia Amritraj Tennis Academy is based in Chennai.


Chennai is home to a Premiere Hockey League team, the Chennai Veerans. The Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium, with a seating capacity of 4000, is the venue for hockey matches in the city. The stadium has twice hosted the Champions Trophy, featuring the top six teams in the world, in 1996 and 2005.[4]


The Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) was formed to oversee the promotion and development of the sport in India. Needless to mention results did not rush in with a gush as a lack of systematic structure was posing unending problems. Non-existence of public facilities, lack of qualified manpower and public awareness of the game was pathetic. As time went on we saw minor improvement in the situation. 5 years ago the SRFI forged ahead with some dynamic plans. Squash promotion, development and performance at all levels in India have escalated more in the last 10 years than in the last 50.

The SRFI headquarters is currently in Chennai. It has more than 20 State Associations and affiliated units. All these units are actively involved in the promotion and development of the game

Dipika pallikal current world no 14 India's no 1 squash player hails from chennai, current world no 40, former national champion joshna chinnapa, British junior open 2012 champion anaka alankamony, aparajitha balamurugan, anwesha reddy and all hails from chennai,chennai has been residence for many squash stars who were from different state like saurav ghosal who shifted his base to chennai when he was 15


Chennai has a long-standing and thriving motorsports culture. Motor racing events are held at the Sriperumbudur track for cars and the Sholavaram track for motorcycles. A racing track has been developed at Irungattukottai opposite the Hyundai factory, where races of the FISSME class, 1300 CC class and 1600 CC class are held. The Guindy Race Course for horse racing was set up in 1777.[5]

The city also has a pigeon-racing culture that started in the 1970s and now has 11 clubs and 400 racing enthusiasts.[6]

Athletics and Swimming[edit]

Football (soccer) and athletic competitions are held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, which seats 40,000. The complex also houses a multi-purpose indoor stadium with a seating capacity of 8,000 which hosts various competitions including volleyball, basketball, table tennis. The Velachery Aquatic Complex seats 4,000 and hosts various water sports. Chennai was the venue of the SAF Games in 1995.


Viswanathan Anand, the current World Chess Champion, hails from Chennai. Manuel Aaron, Krishnan Sasikiran and S. Vijayalakshmi are other chess players of repute from the city.

Table tennis[edit]

Chennai is home to popular Table tennis players Sharath Kamal and Subramanian Raman, both gold medalists at the Commonwealth Games and winners of the Arjuna award. Sharath is the current national champion (2010) and has a record of winning the national championship 5 times in a row between 2006 and 2010, and Raman is a former national champion.

Sepak Takraw[edit]

The Chennai Sepak Takraw League is a major attraction in Chennai for the sport of Sepak Takraw, players from Tamil Nadu participate in four teams in this league. The Tamil Nadu Men's team is one of the leading teams in India and many players from Tamil Nadu have represented India.


Chennai is home to a rugby union team called the Chennai Cheetahs. The team was founded in 1997 by four software professionals. It was All India Champion in 2004 and 2006 and also won the All India sevens in 2005 and the South India ten in 2007.

India's only Arjuna awardee for Carrom and two-time world champion, Maria Irudayam and the present women's world champion Ilavazhagi are natives of Chennai.[7]

There is also a growing enthusiasm in Parkour which is fuelled by the Chennai Parkour group.

The Madras Boat Club, founded in 1867, hosts rowing competitions.

The city has two 18-hole golf courses: the Cosmopolitan Club and the Gymkhana Club golf course, both of which were established in the late 19th century. Private golf courses include the proposed one at Hirco Palace Gardens at Oragadam, a western suburb of Chennai, which features an architectural canopy to protect the golfers from sun and rain and a combination of Par 3,4 and 5 holes each with its unique combination of bunker, water and vegetation hazards. The 50-acre course stretches out to over 2,500 meters (an 18-hole equivalent of 5000 meters/5500 yards).[8]

Chennai was the venue for the first Commonwealth Junior Fencing Championships held in 2006.


  1. ^ "Chennai Sports". Retrieved 2009-07-27. 
  2. ^ "IIT-Chemplast stadium". Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  3. ^ "About the venue". International Management Group. Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  4. ^ "Radhakrishnan stadium to have new turf". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2004-10-20. Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  5. ^ "Racing in India". International Racehorse Owners Association. Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  6. ^ Frederick, Prince (14 October 2012). "The new pigeon-racing capital". The Hindu (Chennai: The Hindu). Retrieved 14 Oct 2012. 
  7. ^ Ilavazhagi, a Chennai girl is World carrom champion
  8. ^ "Take a swing at Hirco Palace Gardens golf range". The Business Line (Chennai: The Hindu). 12 October 2012. Retrieved 12 Oct 2012. 

External links[edit]