Refurbished Sardar Patel Stadium renamed after PM as Narendra Modi Stadium

President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday 24th February inaugurated the world’s largest cricket stadium, the refurbished Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, Gujarat. The stadium was earlier named after India’s first deputy Prime Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, it has now been renamed after current Prime Minister Narendra Modi and will now be called the Narendra Modi Stadium.

However the Patel has not been removed. The stadium is situated within the ‘Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave’.

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Along with the President, Home Minister Amit Shah and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju were also present. Various other dignitaries such as BCCI Secretary Jay Shah and Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvratin were also in attendance.

The stadium opens with the third Test between India and England, a day-night game from Wednesday, and will also host the fourth and final game of the series from 4th March.

The stadium extends over 63 acres and has been built at an approximate cost of 800 crore and with a seating capacity for 1,32,000 audience, it has hit a record high by crossing the consecrated Melbourne Cricket Ground which can accommodate 90,000.

It has 11 pitches made of both red and black soil and is the only stadium in the world to include same soil veneer for the main and practice pitches.

“The total area is equivalent to 32 Olympic size soccer fields put together,” quoted a note from the Press Information Bureau giving details about the modern refurbished arena.

Australian architect firm Populous, which also designed the Melbourne Cricket Stadium, is the architect of the now — Narendra Modi stadium.

The center closed down in 2015 for renovation. It witnessed to some major milestones in Indian cricket in its previous form such as Sunil Gavaskar achieving the 10,000 runs mark in Test cricket against Pakistan in 1987 and Kapil Dev making his 432nd Test wicket to become the highest wicket-taker in the world in 1994, excelling ahead of Sir Richard Hadlee.

Rijiju at the inaguration, expressing his joy, said “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,”

“It is one of the most modern sports facilities in the world,” he continued to say.

Cricket players from the Indian and England teams, who have been training in the newly renovated stadium for the past few days, have communicated praises for their experience at the arena.

It is reported that the ground has a drainage system which takes just 30 minutes from the time it stops raining to drain out the water.

Instead of high pole floodlights, the cricket field has LED lights fixated along the perimeter of the roof providing shadow-less light which a first of its kind arrangement in India.

In addition to this, cricket stadium is the only in the world to have four dressing rooms for the players. The athletes will be able  to play back-to-back games on the same day.

It includes a cricket academy, indoor practice pitches, and two separate practice grounds with a small pavilion area.

Amit Shah, as reported by news agency ANI, said “These three will be equipped to host any international sports event. Ahmedabad to be known as the ‘sports city’ of India.”

The Sports Enclave and the Stadium are just the beginning initiatives that the government has in mind for the state of Gujarat. According to comments made by Amit Shah at the inaugural event, there are also intentions to construct a sports complex in Naranpura.