The world’s largest cricket stadium was renamed after India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise move on Wednesday, an hour before its inaugural international match between India and England.
The 110,000-seater stadium was the pet project of Modi, who was the chief minister in the state of Gujarat, where Ahmedabad is the main city before taking over as head of government in 2014.
The new name was announced by President Ramnath Kovind during a ceremony before the third Test between India and England.
Home Minister Amit Shah said, “This stadium was the Prime Minister’s dream and he proposed the idea of constructing the world’s largest stadium here during his tenure as Chief Minister.”
The $ 100 million, fully rounded venue, with Indian team blue and saffron seats, promises unobstructed views at every angle.
It eclipses the 100,000-seat Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia, dating back to 1853.
The former Motera Stadium was inaugurated by Modi as the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Cricket Stadium in February 2020, when he hosted a mega-rally with the then US President Donald Trump.
Patel, a freedom leader, immortalized by the world’s tallest statue, double the size of the Statue of Liberty – a giant statue of unity measuring 182 meters (597 ft) in 2018 – which is struggling to attract visitors.
President Kovind said that the stadium would be just one part of a huge Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave, which would have facilities for 33 Olympic Games.
Although cricket enjoys massive popularity in a country of 1.3 billion, India already has more than a dozen stadiums capable of holding international matches.