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99 Nagpur

Australian Cricket Tours - The Old Vidharba Cricket Association Stadium, Nagpur, With The Belfry Of All Saints Cathedral In The Background | Nagpur | India

Tour: 99 Nagpur
When: Feb - Mar 2023 | 8 Nights
Hotel: Le Meridien - TBC
Venue: 4.6km From Hotel
Per Person: Twin A$1800 | Single A$2200
Deposit: £5 (A$10)
Book: NOW
Visit: Nagpur Tourism

Australian Cricket In Nagpur

NAGPUR, the Adelaide of India!

The late Australian Cricketer Dean Jones when commentating on the Australian Test Cricket Tour To India 2004 at the Old Vidharbha Cricket Assoc. Stadium (VCA), said "It's like watching cricket in Adelaide" as he looked at the belfry of All Saints Cathedral in the distance (above), much in the way St Peter's Cathedral is seen behind the figs and scoreboard of the Adelaide Oval. Similarities between Adelaide and India's 13th largest city, at the geographic dead centre of India, end there.

Thus Nagpur earned our moniker 'NAGelaide'. When Australia is scheduled to play in the 'Adelaide of India' we are pleased for little more than having that famous quote tickle our time in a city that does not have too much except a nice railway station (below), and 2.5million Maharastrans.

Australian Cricket Tours - Nagpur Railway Station | Nagpur | India

At the east-west/north-south crossroads of Indian Railways between Mumbai & Kolkata, and New Delhi & Bengaluru/Chennai, Nagpur's role as a transit hub between India's biggest cities was important in the city's growth, especially for the distribution of oranges nationwide. Nowadays, it is not so relied upon with direct rail passenger and freight services between all cities across the country no matter their size. Aside from oranges & cricket, you'd not come here for tourism (given a choice in India), though it is not without any attraction.

When we first toured Nagpur for Australia vs Zimbabwe during the Cricket World Cup 1996, there was very little to do but count oranges in India’s orange capital. Cricket touring Nagpur is perhaps a highlight for any, though we admit to having more to do now than count fruit.

Australian Cricket Tours - There Is Lots Of Fruit To Buy & Eat In Nagpur, India's Orange Capital, But Strangely, Not Too Many Oranges As Seen By This Fruit Cart Opposite Nagpur Railway Station | Nagpur | India

If you have any spare time in Nagpur, you can visit Raman Science Centre and Planetarium, though this is oriented to kids and students rather than cricket tourists. If you've no other temple oppo in India, visit Deekshabhoomi Temple Complex or stroll the paths around Ambazari Lake, Futala Lake, and Gorewada Lake, as three favourite places the locals visit to cool down of the evening.

Having watched the Australia Test Cricket Tour To India in Nagpur in 2008, I enjoy watching the game more at the old stadium in the city centre, than at the new VCA Stadium 18.4km away in Jamtha.

Australian Cricket Tours - Just Half Of The Lucky People That Joined Our Australian Cricket Tour To India In 2004 To See Australia Win The Border Gavaskar Trophy In India For The First Time Since 1969 | Nagpur | India

There was quirkiness watching the game here such as in-seat catering. It was a quirk that matched a city where rooftop imbibing was the only way. The highlight of that was the rooftop of the Heritage Hotel opposite the ground. Sadly, along with losing the pleasure of the Heritage, in-seat catering was also lost when the game moved to Jamtha.

When watching cricket at the old VCA Stadium you didn't have to leave your seat to 'fill up'. Restaurants & cafes of the city supplied waiters with menus & notepads to parade the stands taking & delivering orders for coffee, cakes, snacks, pizzas, burgers, and Indian dishes, served with a big Maharastran smile. What you lose on one hand, you gain on the other.

Australian Cricket Tours - Some Of The Lucky People That Joined Our Australian Cricket Tour To India In 2004 Celebrating On The Rooftop Of The Heritage Hotel, Australia Winning The Border Gavaskar Trophy In India For The First Time Since 1969 | Nagpur | India

During our first Test Cricket Tour to Nagpur 2004, the player's had the only hotel of repute, thus we stayed in simple 3-star hotels, walkable to the cricket. In 2008, with the game 18km away, we found a new hotel with a swimming pool and glorious rooftop bar next to the airport, halfway to the new stadium that sat alone in a field. Alone then, but now 'new Nagpur' has thousands of new homes and infrastructure that includes more hotels!

With plenty more hotels compared with those of 2008 when we last visited Nagpur, when you join our Australian Test Cricket Tour To India, our driver will meet you at Nagpur's Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport. You will be swiftly delivered to our cool new hotel for 8 luscious nights up the road from the game, to which you easily get to/from yourself. Along with breakfast, we include 2 dinners, awesome floral shirts, and match tickets to the low-key & relaxed VCA Stadium (Jamtha), cricket's 99th Test Venue.

Australian Cricket Tours - The Old Vidharba Cricket Association Stadium In Nagpur Appears Derelict And Abandoned | Nagpur | India

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