Cricket Grounds in Baroda

The Motibaug Cricket Ground

With a history which dates back to more than a century (datable to 1898), the Motibaug ground withholds many untold stories.

The ground was specially made for the royal family and their siblings to play, practice and chisel their skills to perfection.   The Gaekwads provided many grounds to the public and, of the few surviving till today, is the Motibaug Ground.

A sports day was organized on the ground to commemorate the birthday of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad and Maharaja Pratapsingh Rao Gaekwad.

The practice sessions of ‘Prince Team’ were held on the matting pitch of the ground.   Dutiful maintenance of the ground’s grandeur was first done by grounds-man Kalyan for a number of years and then by Yakub Sheikh.

In the year 1957, for the first time ever, not only in Baroda but also in Gujarat, the first ‘Turf Pitch’ was laid on the ground.   GULABRAO THORAT, the grounds-man then, played a fundamental role in laying the pitch.  He also helped almost all the cricketing organizations in Gujarat to lay Turf Wicket.

His service spanning three decades, has won him many praises. Many a cricketing greats have paid tribute to the uncanny knowledge he possessed about the ground.

The first match held on this ground was between the Baroda Team Vs the Services Team, Ranji Trophy 1957-58 won by Baroda.  In the last match India Vs New Zealand, 1988-89 Mohammed Azharuddin smashed the fastest century in just 62 balls.

Ground Realities – Motibaug

Many Ranji, Deodhar, Duleep and Wills Trophy matches have been played on this ground.

Year Visiting Team Captain
1948-49 West Indies JDC Goddard
1958-59 West Indies F C Alexander
1960-61 Pakistan Fazal Mohammed
1964-65 Ceylon Micheal Tissera
1966-67 Veteran Australian Cricketers
1978-79 West Indies A.I. Kallicharran
1979-80 Pakistan Asif Iqbal
1981-82 England K.W.R.Fletcher
1983-84 West Indies Clive Lloyd
1986-87 Australia Alan Border
1986-87 Srilanka Dilip Mendes
1988-89 New Zealand John Wright