President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the newly revamped Motera cricket stadium in Ahmedabad, which has been renamed the Narendra Modi Stadium, on Wednesday. The ground, which was earlier named the Sardar Patel Stadium, and more popularly known as the Motera stadium, has been renamed after the Prime Minister, who was also formerly a president of the Gujarat Cricket Association. Home Minister Amit Shah and Sports Minister Kiren Rijju, 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 -- will host its first international match on Wednesday, when India will take on England in the Day-Night Test. The stadium will be a part of the planned Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave in the city.
"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," President Kovind said in his address after the inauguration. This is now the world's largest cricket stadium having a seating capacity of 1.32 lakh, higher than the hallowed Melbourne Cricket Ground which can accommodate 90,000 people. The Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium is spread over 63 acres and has been built at an estimated cost of Rs 800 crore. The stadium 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. 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. 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.