The world’s largest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad, India, stadium hosted its first test match on Wednesday. The stadium is located in the largest city of the western Gujarat state. The stadium renamed Narendra Modi Stadium is spread over 63 acres (nearly 255,000 square meters) and can seat 110,000 spectators, well over the 90,000 capacity of Australia’s Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The stadium, named after India’s prime minister, was inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind ahead of the start of the day-night pink-ball Test. The venue was known as Motera Stadium and had a capacity of 54,000 when it was demolished in 2016.
It was originally constructed in 1982. The reconstruction work by Indian firm Larsen & Toubro started in January 2018 and cost some 8 billion rupees ($114 million) with the decision to upgrade the stadium announced in October 2015. The reconstruction plan was completed in February 2020.
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) February 24, 2021
PM Modi started the Khelo Gujarat campaign and started several other sports initiatives, showing his persistent keenness on sports.
Narendra Modi Stadium is the world’s largest sports stadium and not just cricket, with a seating capacity of 1.32 lakh.
— BJP (@BJP4India) February 24, 2021
The stadium has 11 clay pitches, special LED lights along the entire circular roof, and a state-of-the-art drainage system that can dry the ground in just 30 minutes in case of rain, according to an official statement.
The massive venue also hosted former US President Donald Trump on his visit to India last February. The stadium has been renamed to Narendra Modi Stadium.
Trump and Modi addressed over 100,000 people at the stadium during the ex-US leader’s first official trip to the South Asian country.
It also has a sleeping facility for 40 athletes. The stadium caters to six indoor practice pitches and three outdoor practice fields.
Renaming of Sardar Patel cricket stadium in Ahmedabad after PM Narendra Modi is an insult to every single Indian: Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) February 24, 2021
The stadium holds various records in Indian cricketing history. In 1987, Sunil Gavaskar surpassed 10,000 runs in Test cricket to become the high run-scorer in test matches. In 1994, Kapil Dev took his 43rd test wicked breaking the record of Sir Richard Hadlee’s to become the leading wicket-taker bowlers in the test format.
In 2013, Sachin Tendulkar become the first cricketer to score 30,000 runs in international cricket.