For the discerning sports fan heading to India, they will no doubt already be aware of the obsession the game of cricket plays on the nation.
To highlight this, at the Cricket World Cup earlier in the year, the group stage game between India and great rivals Pakistan was expected to be witnessed by an audience close to ten times the size of the Super Bowl.
And that group game was played in England!
So, imagine the furore when a tournament that rivals soccer’s Champions League comes to nation?
Well, that is exactly what happens every year with the Indian Premier League (IPL as it is known).
Usually played around March/April and into May each year, the 2019 tournament was the 12th year of its existence and it is without doubt one of the highlights on the sporting calendar – not just in India either, but for all cricket fans across the world.
This season, the Mumbai Indians claimed a thrilling one-run win over the Chennai Super Kings to make it title number four. Already the defending champions are 4/1 with Betway as of the 5th September to make it back-to-back IPL titles (something which has only ever been done once before).
So, if you are travelling to India, are already there, or thinking of going and catching some Indian Premier League action, here are the eight (main) stadiums that host the intense IPL action.
Team: Chennai Super Kings
IPL Titles: 3
Stadium: M. A. Chidambaram Stadium
Chennai is the capital of the Indian State of Tamil Nadu on the Coromandel Coast just off the Bay of Bengal.
First established in 1916, the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium is said to be one of the oldest still used stadiums in the world (although it has seen a few refurbs in its time).
With a capacity of 50,000, it is no surprise to learn that the stadium has twice hosted the final of the IPL and in 2011 the stadium witnessed its home team lift the IPL trophy.
Team: Delhi Capitals
IPL Titles: 0
Stadium: Arun Jaitely Stadium
No prizes for guessing where Delhi get their name from although cricket fans may know the Capitals as the Delhi Daredevils before changing their name in 2018.
Their Arun Jaitely Stadium boasts a capacity of 41,820 but much like the name of the team, the stadium recently underwent a name change from the Feroz Shah Kotla Ground to its current official name.
Unfortunately, name changes are yet to bring Delhi any luck as they remain the only active IPL side never to have reached the final.
Team: Kings XI Punjab
IPL Titles: 0
Stadium: PCA Stadium, Mohali and Holkar Stadium, Indore
Yes, you read that right, King XI Punjab actually play in two stadiums during the tournament although the PCA Stadium, in the Mohali (northern India) is classed as the home stadium despite it boasting four thousand fewer spectators than the side’s secondary Holkar Stadium in Indore with a 30,000 capacity.
Team: Kolkata Knight Riders
IPL Titles: 2
Stadium: Eden Gardens
No, the Knight Riders do not play in New Zealand but rather the oldest stadium in India which just happens to boast the same name as that famous Kiwi location.
Built in 1864, Eden Gardens in West Bengal boasts a capacity of 68,000 and is India’s premier cricketing venue.
Team: Mumbai Indians
IPL Titles: 4
Stadium: Wankhede Stadium
The IPL’s most successful team, the Mumbai Indians are fresh off the back of their fourth IPL title to the delight of their fans who cram into the Wankhede Stadium.
Initially, the stadium boasted a capacity of 45,000 but that was reduced to 33,108 from 2011 onward.
Team: Rajasthan Royals
IPL Titles: 1
Stadium: Sawai Mansingh Stadium
The Royals claimed the first ever IPL title in 2008. Located in Jaipur, their Sawai Mansingh Stadium is one of the less-celebrated in India having hosted just one test match since it was established in 1969.
However, with a capacity of 30,000, it can certainly hold its own.
Team: Royal Challengers Bangalore
IPL Titles: 0
Stadium: M. Chinnaswamy Stadium
The Royal Challengers may have never won the IPL, but their M. Chinnaswamy Stadium located in Bangalore has hosted the final twice (making it arguably more successful than its home team).
It is not hard to see why either, boasting a capacity of 40,000 spectators, the bowl-like design creates an intense atmosphere for any visiting team.
Team: Sunrisers Hyderabad
IPL Titles: 1
Stadium: Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium
Unsurprisingly, the Sunrisers’ home stadium – Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium – is located in Hyderabad in the state of Telangana.
Twice the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium has hosted the final – including in 2019 – and twice when it has the Mumbai Indians have claimed the title.
A capacity of 55,000 also makes it the second-largest on our list and well worth a visit.