Bombay Gymkhana (Marathi: मुंबई जिमख़ाना),(Hindi: बम्बई जिमख़ाना), established in 1875, is one of the premiere gymkhanas (sports arena) in the city of Mumbai, India. It is located in the South Mumbai area and was originally built as a British-only club, designed by English architect, Claude Batley.
The Gymkhana Grounds lie in the southern end of the Azad Maidan. The ground itself is on leased property. It has a triangular area, with the southern end facing the VSNL building. MG Road and H Somal Marg are the two roads on either end that begin from the southern end. It is boxed in by a shortcut lane which connects Churchgate to Victoria Terminus.
A long building which serves as the lobby, table tennis area, badminton court, restaurant and lounge connects the two roads. The region between the building and the lane is a large ground. It is very difficult to get membership into this exclusive club.
Cricket is played here in the winter months, and rugby and football (soccer) in the monsoon months. This used to be major centre for the erstwhile Bombay Pentangular cricket matches. The ground had the distinction of hosting India's first Test cricket match on 15 December 1933, captained by CK Nayudu. Temporary stands were put up at the ground to accommodate a record crowd of 50,000 people, with tickets selling at five times their usual price. The match is remembered for Lala Amarnaths century, noted to be one of the best innings played in Indian cricket. It hasn't hosted any major cricket matches since theBrabourne Stadium took its place in 1937, replacing the ground as the venue for the Bombay Pentangular as well as international matches.
The Australian cricket team used the grounds to practice prior to their clash with India in the 1996 Cricket World Cup. In 2004, the Indian Women's team played a One Day International versus the Australian Women's team at Bombay Gymkhana. In March 2010, Mumbai Indians played a practice match at the ground ahead of the IPL Season. Later in the year, Canada played a match against a Bombay Gymkhana team to prepare of the World Cup in 2011.
The ground also hosts a national rugby competition, and has recently hosted matches against Sri Lanka and a few other South Asian teams. It has also hosted national and international squashtournaments.
It also has swimming facilities at the southern end.
Until a few years ago, only men could gain membership to the club. Women were able to join from the early 2000s.
The Bombay Gymkhana is one of the most exclusive clubs in the country: the waiting period for membership extends into years, and the fees are in the millions of rupees.