President Ram Nath Kovind today inaugurated the newly revamped Motera cricket stadium in Ahmedabad, which has been renamed the Narendra Modi Stadium. The ground, which was earlier named the Sardar Patel Stadium, and more popularly known as the Motera, has been renamed after the prime minister, who was formerly a president of the Gujarat Cricket Association.
Home Minister Amit Shah and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah were present at the re-inauguration and renaming event. The Narendra Modi Stadium, the largest cricket ground in the world, will host its first international match on 24 February. 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 stadium is an example of eco-friendly development,” he said.
“Coupled with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave and Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera, a sports complex will be built in Naranpura. These three will be equipped to host any international sports event,” Home Minister Amit Shah said at the event.
“Ahmedabad will be known as the ‘sports city’ of India”. The stadium has a capacity of 1,32,000, Amit Shah said.
“Olympic Games can 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 one of the most modern stadiums in the world,” Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said earlier.
The stadium held the knockout stages of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy earlier this year.
The stadium is now set to host seven international matches in quick succession.
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.