World’s Biggest Cricket Ground Renamed Narendra Modi Stadium
The stadium has a seating capacity of 1,10,000 making it the biggest cricket stadium in the world.
Ahmedabad’s Motera Cricket Stadium has been renamed as the Narendra Modi Stadium, announced India’s President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday, 24 February, who was present at the venue to inaugurate the renovated arena.
The Sardar Patel Cricket Stadium was reconstructed over the last few years and now the new arena, that includes training facilities for other sports, is called the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave while the cricket stadium has been named Narendra Modi Stadium.
The stadium, which was recently re-opened after extensive renovation work, is hosting it’s first international match in the new arena with India taking on England in the third Test of the four-match series, starting Wednesday.
The new stadium can seat 1.32 lakh spectators making it the biggest cricket stadium in the world.
"This stadium was conceptualised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was Chief Minister of Gujarat. He was president of the Gujarat Cricket Association at that time," Kovind said in his address after the inauguration.
"This stadium is an example of eco-friendly development," he added.
The President also performed the ground-breaking ceremony for a sports complex in the stadium, to be named Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel sports enclave, for disciplines like football, hockey, basketball, kabbadi, boxing, and lawn tennis among others.
"I am confident that this enclave will give a new global identity to Ahmedabad in terms of world-class sports infrastructure," Kovind said.
"I am confident that the facilities here will help players to perform better," the President said.
"Lot of our players come from small towns and face hardships. Players encouraged by GCA include popular names of today like Jasprit bumrah and Axar Patel," he added.
The facility, which was closed for renovation in 2015, was witness to some major milestones in Indian cricket in its previous avatar.
These included Sunil Gavaskar reaching the 10,000 runs mark in Test cricket against Pakistan in 1987 and Kapil Dev claiming his 432nd Test wicket to become the highest wicket-taker in the world in 1994, surpassing Sir Richard Hadlee.
Present during the inauguration ceremony were Home Minister Amit Shah, BCCI Secretary Jay Shah and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju.
"Coupled with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave & Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera, a sports complex will also be built in Naranpura. These three will be equipped to host any international sports event. Ahmedabad to be known as the 'sports city' of India," said Amit Shah at the inauguration ceremony.
BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, who underwent two sets of angioplasty last month, was not able to be a part of the inauguration ceremony and had rued missing the Pink Ball Test.
The four-match Test series between India and England stands locked at 1-1.
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