Brihanmumbai Muncipal Corporation gives cricket enthusiasts a reason to smile. The BMC along with Sahara (An Indian conglomerate) have built in the city of Mumbai a gallery dedicated to the sport of Cricket. The move, although innovative is not surprising in a country where cricket is a religion in itself and many swear by the sport.
Located in the largest suburb of Mumbai – Andheri, Sahara Cricket Gaurav Point was launched in January 2012 at the hands of legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar.
The museum houses memorabilia of prominent cricketers and cricketing events including the historic Indian World cup wins in 1983, 2007 (T20) and 2011. Autographed bats, balls, gloves, stumps, cricketing kits, caps and exclusive photographs are on display at the museum, which is steadily growing into an attraction for Mumbaikars. The location of the gallery especially, comes as a relief for Suburbanites who otherwise always needed to head towards South Mumbai for Galleries, Museums or sightseeing all together.
The Sahara Cricket Gaurav Point surpasses expectations in the way it has been designed. Everything from ambience to interiors, conceptualization and its grandeur as a whole is sure to impress the visitor. The entrance to the museum grabs attention with a massive frame on its wall displaying the 2011 Indian cricket team and their world cup winning moment.
The gallery has been built on an audio video format where visitors can see highlights of crucial Indian matches on LCD screens. The format works well and helps to effectively absorb information about the journey of Indian cricket. The collection at the gallery maintains exclusivity as some of the objects on display are rare. In fact, many of the objects are autographed by not just Indian cricketers but also International players. A section of the wall showcases photos of Indian cricket team members who were part of the historic world cup wins on their respective 3 occasions. Other corners of the gallery flaunt candid pictures of players on the field and during practice sessions in a slideshow layout.
The best feature of the gallery are the statues of some prominent Indian cricketers like Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Rahul Dravid and Mahindra Singh Dhoni.
The gallery creates a life size wax statue of Sachin Tendulkar which in all its glory manages to grab maximum eye balls inside the museum. (Note: I have visited the Madame Tussauds in London and I shall say, this wax replica of Sachin Tendulkar is a tad better than the one in London 🙂 )
The museum also makes space for a 30 seater auditorium. Here, match highlights of the World cup finals are replayed continuously and viewers can refresh their memories of those extraordinary moments.
The entry and exit points at the museum have painted caricatures of cricketers which further add to the museum’s striking look.
I am not being picky but on the negative side, the museum gives a very limited tribute to the Indian women’s cricket team. Also, the museum has weird visitor timings (see bottom of the post).
Entry to Sahara Cricket Gaurav Point is free of cost. Bring your camera’s along, as photography is permissible and without a charge.
In a nutshell…
Sahara Cricket Gaurav Point is a one of kind museum that has been built exclusively keeping an average Indian’s love for cricket in mind. It does not seem like the craze for this sport will die down anytime soon and hence, the gallery should garner many patrons for its well thought concept. Its location should over time attract intriguing suburbanites and South Bombayites as well as Tourists visiting the city.
Andheri sports complex (Shahji Raje Sports Complex)
Opposite Swadesh Hotel and Garden Court Hotel,
Veera Desai Road,
Mumbai – 400053
Tuesday to Sunday: Between 5pm and 8pm
Closed on Mondays and public holidays