By SM .24 Feb, 2021
AHMEDABAD: President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the newly revamped Motera cricket stadium in Ahmedabad, which has been renamed the Narendra Modi Stadium, on Wednesday. Home Minister Amit Shah and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, along with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah, were also present at the event. The Narendra Modi Stadium -- the largest cricket ground in the world with a capacity of 1,10,000 -- will host its first international match on Wednesday when India will take on England in the Day-Night Test.
Spread over 63 acres, the stadium has been built at an estimated cost of Rs 800 crore, and with a seating capacity of 1,32,000 spectators, it has surpassed the hallowed Melbourne Cricket Ground which can accommodate 90,000. The stadium will be a part of the planned Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave in the city.
“The total area is equivalent to 32 Olympic size soccer fields put together,” stated a note from the Press Information Bureau giving specifics of the enormous structure.
"Coupled with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave and 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," Home Minister Amit Shah said at the event.
"Ahmedabad will be known as the "sports city" of India," he added.
"Olympic Games can also be held here," Amit Shah said about the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave.
"Not just for cricket but it"s a proud moment for India. Besides being the largest cricket stadium, it"s also one of the most modern stadiums in the world," Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said earlier.
"As children, we used to dream about the world"s largest stadium in India. And now as sports minister, my happiness knows no bounds that this has finally happened," he had said.
"This stadium was conceptualized 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.
The stadium, which was recently re-opened after extensive renovation work, is hosting its 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.
The stadium held the knockout stages of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy earlier this year.
The stadium is now set to host seven international matches in quick succession.
The Narendra Modi Stadium will host the third and fourth Tests between India and England as well as the entirety of the five-match T20I series between the two sides.
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.
Australian architect firm Populous, which designed the Melbourne Cricket Stadium among others, is the architect of the new stadium.