The Oval Maidan
is a large Grade I
recreational ground situated in South Mumbai
. It is named because of its oval shape and is situated just south of Churchgate
. It is a popular recreation ground and most popular sports being played there are cricket
. The ground measures 22 acres (0.089 km²) in area. The government does not allow rallies in the maidan.Till 1997, the ground was owned and run by the state government and was very poorly maintained. It was frequented by beggars, prostitutes and drug peddlers. Finally in 1997 a public charitable trust set up by the residents of the area, namely the OCRA (Oval-Cooperage Residents Association) was formed which petitioned the Maharashtra government to maintain the Oval maidan. The Maharashtra government did not respond to the petition, leading the group to take it to the Bombay High Court
. The Court ruled in their favour, forcing the government to either maintain the maidan or hand it over to ORCA. The ground was subsequently handed over to the ORCA.
The ORCA then went about fencing the ground and building a jogging course around the periphery. A lane which cut through the diameter of the ground was metalled to facilitate a smoother thoroughfare.
To the north of the ground, a cricket academy, the Elf cricket academy, run by former Indian cricketer Dilip Vengsarkar
operated for a few years.