New Delhi: India President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the newly revamped Motera Cricket Stadium in Ahmedabad of Gujarat which has been renamed Narendra Modi Stadium on Wednesday.
The ground, which was earlier named 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.Sardar Patel was the first Home Minister of India after independence. 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 hosted its first international match on Wednesday when India took on England in a 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 the Chief Minister of Gujarat. He was also the President of the Gujarat Cricket Association at that time,” President Kovind said during his speech after the inauguration.
“This stadium is an example of eco-friendly development,” he added.
“1,32,000 people can sit and watch cricket here at the Narendra Modi Stadium which has been inaugurated by the President. This will be the world's biggest sports stadium,” Home Minister Amit Shah said at the event.
“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.“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 added.
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.