The iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai is all set to host its first match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 between England and South Africa on Saturday, October 21. Ahead of the fixture, images of the refurbished stadium have surfaced on the internet, and fans are loving the new look. One of the most notable additions to the stadium is the creation of two special seats in the stands where the winning six of the 2011 World Cup from MS Dhoni landed.
The special seats have two replica trophies of the World Cup around them, with a photograph of Team India posing with the 2011 trophy in the background. Ahead of the World Cup, Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) President Amol Kale announced that the two special seats would be permanently named after MS Dhoni and would be known as ‘MS Dhoni seats’.
The seats will also have hospitality service and will be sold at a premium price. The MCA has also informed that the two seats will be auctioned, and the funds collected from it will be used to provide scholarships to emerging players. Notably, India ended their 28-year-long wait for the ODI World Cup trophy on April 2, 2011, at the Wankhede Stadium after beating Sri Lanka by six wickets.
The two seats where MS Dhoni’s 2011 ODI World Cup winning six landed at the Wankhede Stadium will forever be symbolic to every cricket fan ✨🏆#MCA #MumbaiCricket #IndianCricket #Wankhede #BCCI pic.twitter.com/HM2uFhLz1F
— Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) (@MumbaiCricAssoc) October 20, 2023
However, the victory wasn’t easy, as the hosts were left reeling at 31/2 after 6.1 overs while chasing a target of 275. Star openers Virender Sehwag (0 off 2) and Sachin Tendulkar (18 off 14) were back in the pavilion as Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga got his team off to a perfect start.
India’s condition further worsened when Virat Kohli (35 off 49) was dismissed by Tillakaratne Dilshan to leave India on 114/3 after 21.4 overs. Following his dismissal, captain MS Dhoni walked out to the middle ahead of in-form Yuvraj Singh and stitched a massive 109-run stand with Gautam Gambhir (97 off 122).
The funds collected from this auction will be utilised to provide scholarships to emerging players.
— Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) (@MumbaiCricAssoc) September 14, 2023
While Gambhir failed to complete his century and was dismissed in the 42nd over, Dhoni went on to finish the game for India with his incredible innings of 91* (79). The Indian captain smacked Nuwan Kulasekara on the second ball of the 49th over straight down the ground for a maximum to seal the World Cup win in emphatic fashion.
Dhoni was awarded Player of the Match for his captain’s knock, while Yuvraj Singh was adjudged Player of the Tournament for scoring 362 runs and picking 15 wickets. The Wankhede Stadium holds a special place in the hearts of Indian cricket fans, and the creation of the two special seats in Dhoni’s name is a fitting tribute to his contribution to Indian cricket.