World's biggest stadium in Ahmedabad renamed as Narendra Modi Stadium ahead of India-England 3rd Test match
New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: The Motera Cricket Stadium in Ahmedabad has beein renamed as Narendra Modi Stadium ahead of the third Test match between India and England on Wednesday. The new stadium, touted as the world's largest stadium with a seating capacity of 1,32,000, was inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind in the presence of Home Minister Amit Shah and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju among a host of other dignitaries.
The stadium opens with the third Test between India and England, a day-night game from Wednesday, and will also host the fourth and final game of the series from March 4.
The stadium was constructed in 1982 and initially had a seating capacity of 49,000. The stadium is spread across 63 acres and also has an indoor cricket academy along with a dormitory for 40 athletes.
Built at an estimated cost of Rs 800 crore and with a seating capacity for 1,32,000 spectators, The Narendra Modi stadium has surpassed the hallowed Melbourne Cricket Ground which can accommodate 90,000.
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.
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.
It has 11 pitches made of both red and black soil and is the only stadium in the world to have same soil surfaces for the main and practice pitches.
"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," said Rijiju at the inaguration.
"It is one of the most modern sports facilities in the world," he added.
Players from both the India and England teams, who have been training here for the past few days, have expressed their admiration for what they have experienced at the arena.
The ground claims to have a drainage system which will take just 30 minutes from the time it stops raining to drain out the water.
Instead of high mast floodlights, the field of play has LED lights fixed along the perimeter of the roof providing shadow-less light -- a first of its kind arrangement in India.
This is the only cricket stadium in the world to have four dressing rooms for the players so that back-to-back games can be played on the same day.
It also has a cricket academy, indoor practice pitches, and two separate practice grounds with small pavilion area.
The President performed the ground-breaking ceremony for a sports complex in the stadium for disciplines like football, hockey, basketball, kabbadi, boxing, and lawn tennis among others.
Posted By: Abhinav Gupta