Motera Cricket Stadium in Ahmedabad, formerly known as Sardar Patel Stadium, has been renamed Narendra Modi Stadium. The stadium was inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind ahead of the 3rd India-England test on Wednesday.

The Ahmedabad Hall in Gujarat has a capacity of 1,10,000 people, making it the largest in the world. However, for this test match, only 55,000 spectators will be allowed to enter due to Covid-19 protocols. Exactly one year ago, the venue hosted the joint town hall show of Prime Minister Modi and US President Donald Trump.

Union Youth and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said the newly built Motera stadium is one of the best and the largest stadiums in the world. Rijiju and BCCI Secretary Jay Shah visited the stadium one day before the test match to take in the world-class facilities.

Spread over 63 acres, the stadium was built at an estimated cost of Rs 800 crore and with a capacity of 1.32,000 spectators, it has passed the sacred Melbourne Cricket Stadium which can seat 90,000 people.

“The total area is equivalent to 32 Olympic football pitches put together,” said a press briefing office note giving details of the huge structure.

The facility, which in 2015 was closed for renovation, has witnessed some major milestones in Indian cricket in its previous avatar. These included Sunil Gavaskar hitting the 10,000-point cricket test mark against Pakistan in 1987 and Kapil Dev claiming his 432nd test wicket to become the world’s highest wicket-taker in 1994, surpassing Sir Richard Hadlee.

The Australian firm Populous, which notably designed the Melbourne Cricket Stadium, is also at the origin of this new stadium.

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