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World's largest stadium with over 132,000 seats opens in India

NEW DELHI, February 24, 2021

India has officially declared open the world's largest cricket stadium, Narendra Modi Stadium built at a cost of $800 million in the western state of Gujarat. 
 
A state-of-the-art facility, the stadium can accommodate an awe-inspiring 132,000 spectators, thus dislodging the 90,000-seat Melbourne Cricket Ground, reported PTI.
 
Earlier on Wednesday, President Ram Nath Kovind performed ‘bhumi pujan’ and inaugurated the newly revamped Motera Stadium ahead of the start of the Day-Night Test between India and England.
 
Recalling his November 2018 visit to Australia''s Melbourne, Kovind said in his address that the cricket stadium there with a seating capacity of 90,000 was the world''s largest such facility then.
 
"It is a matter of pride for all of us that the Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium has become the world''s largest cricket stadium," he said.
 
"The stadium showcases the aspirations and capabilities of new India that has made a strong mark on the world stage. The dominance that India has achieved in cricket reinforces the belief that our country has the potential to achieve a higher position not just in other sports, but also in other areas of development," the president said.
 
India is called the ''power house of cricket'' or ''hub of cricket'', he said. 
 
Home Minister Amit Shah, BCCI secretary Jay Shah and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju were also present at the inauguration ceremony of the world’s largest cricket stadium.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Shah said it was the Prime Minister’s vision to build the world's largest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad. 
 
"As CM, he (Modi) used to say Gujaratis must also progress in two fields—sports and armed forces. He took charge of the Gujarat Cricket Association on my request and promoted sports here. His vision was that the world's largest cricket stadium be built here,” he stated. 
 
Narendra Modi Stadium is the only stadium in the world with 11 centre pitches on the main ground. It also has 6 indoor pitches with bowling machines and 4 dressing rooms and is also the largest cricket stadium in the world with four world-class dressing rooms. 
 
"The total area is equivalent to 32 Olympic size soccer fields put together," stated the report citing Press Information Bureau report giving specifics of the enormous structure.
 
A key highlight of the ground is its drainage system which will take just 30 minutes from the time it stops raining to drain out the water.
 
It is the first time that the field of an Indian cricket stadium has been fitted with LED lights. No other stadium has this feature. There are three entry points to the stadium which has been spread across 63 acres of land in total.
 
Eleven clay pitches of six red and five black soils have been prepared in the stadium, which is spread over 63 acres, according to the ministry of youth affairs and sports.
 
It is the first stadium to use clays of two colours for the main and practice pitches. If it rains, the pitch can be dried in just 30 minutes, it added.

As many as 55,000 fans (fifty per cent capacity) are expected to be present at the stadium for the much-anticipated Pink Ball Test match- India’s 2nd at home.

"We're proud to have the biggest cricket stadium in the world. The infrastructure is very good and we're all really excited to play here,” Indian skipper Virat Kohli said ahead of the game.
 
Crowd presence does make a big difference. We feel the pressure too when we play abroad. Hoping for good support in the coming Tests,” Kohli added.
 
A built-in clubhouse with 55 rooms further adds to the stadium's glory. The clubhouse features both indoor & outdoor games, restaurants, an Olympic size swimming pool, gym as well as a 3D projector theatre.
 
BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, who underwent two sets of angioplasty last month, was not able to be a part of the inauguration ceremony and had rued missing the Pink Ball Test.
 
“Will miss being at the stadium today ..what an effort it must have been to create this ..pink test was our dream and it's going be the 2nd one in india”: Sourav Ganguly wrote on Twitter.



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