Ahmedabad: The refurbished former Sardar Patel Stadium, now renamed as Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera, Ahmedabad on Wednesday is all set to host its first international Test match post-renovation, with India and England trying their luck to take an upper hand in the 4-test series.
This day-night pink-ball Test will be the first international match hosted at the stadium since November 2015 when it was demolished for reconstruction work. Recently, Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament matches were held at this venue.
On Wednesday, President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the stadium where the third and fourth tests will be held. Home minister Amit Shah also spoke on the occasion.
The series is currently levelled at 1-1. England won the first match, while the hosts avenged that loss in the following game. Given the COVID-19 concerns, only half of the seats are going to be filled.
Spread over 63 acres, the Motera stadium has a seating capacity of a whopping 1,10,000, billed to be the largest in the world. It houses 76 corporate boxes, an Olympic-level swimming pool, an indoor academy, four dressing rooms for athletes, and food courts. It was renovated at the estimated cost of Rs.800 crore.
In February 2020, the stadium hit the headlines when the ‘Namaste Trump’ event was held here and then US President Donald Trump was welcomed by the massive gathering.
Motera Stadium witnessed milestones
Before its renovation, Motera stadium witnessed several cricketing milestones that are worth remembering. Here, Sunil Gavaskar became the first player in cricket history to enter a unique club of 10,000 Test runs (against Pakistan in 1986-87).
Legendary Kapil Dev claimed his most-eagerly awaited 432nd wicket on this ground when he went past New Zealand’s Sir Richard Hadlee as Test cricket’s highest wicket-taker.
Sachin Tendulkar slammed his first Test double ton at the Motera stadium back in 1999, a decade after his debut for Team India in the longest format.
Motera also witnessed the MS Dhoni-led team stopping Australia from making it into their 5th ODI World cup semi-final in a row (which no team has) when it defeated the Aussies in the 2011 Cricket World Cup quarterfinal.
Mighty milestones kept Motera in memory and it came back with a bang and how, as the world’s largest cricketing venue!