The refurbished Motera Stadium at Ahmedabad in Gujarat was publicly opened through the ‘Namaste Trump’ event. The newly-built stadium, which now has a seating capacity of 1,10,000 spectators, has overthrown Melbourne Cricket Ground as the largest Cricket stadium in the world.
As US President Donald Trump specially mentioned the names of Indian cricket legends Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli while speaking at the Motera stadium, the entire stadium erupted in joy. It was a packed stadium with almost 1,00,000 people witnessing the Namste Trump, a political event rather than a cricketing one to announce the opening of the world’s largest Cricket stadium.
The newly-built Motera Stadium has a seating capacity of 1,10,000 spectators, four world-standard dressing rooms, a club house with 55 rooms, 76 corporate boxes, an indoor cricket academy, a gymnasium, an Olympic-size swimming pool and special facilities for the disabled.
The idea to renovate the original Motera Cricket Stadium was proposed by Narendra Modi when he was the President of Gujarat Cricket Association and Chef Minister of Gujarat. As his dream project, he wanted it to be the best in the world.
In October 2015, the stadium was demolished to allow construction, though it was cited as renovation. But actually it can be regarded as a whole new structure built on the relics of many watershed Cricket moments.
Motera Stadium was originally built in 1983
In 1982, the then Gujarat Government donated a 100-acre land on the banks of River Sabarmati to built a new Cricket stadium. The stadium, with a capacity of 54,000, had its first international match when India played Test match against West Indies from 12th to 16th November, 1983.
Later in the 1984–85 Australia-India series, the stadium hosted its first One Day International Match on 5th October 1984. The only T20 match was held between India and Pakistan on 28th December 2012. The first Women’s One Day International took place on 12th March 2012 between Indian and Australia.
Watershed Cricket Moments at Motera Stadium
India’s cricketing greats did not return empty hands from Motera Cricket Ground.
- While playing against Pakistan in 1987, Sunil Gavaskar became the first cricketer to score 10,000 Test runs on this ground.
- Kapil Dev claimed his 432nd Test wicket here in 1994, overcoming Sir Richard Hadlee’s record.
- In October 1999, Sachin Tendulkar scored his first Test double-hundred in a match against New Zealand.
- On this ground Tendulkar achieved the record of becoming the first-ever cricketer to score 30000 international runs.
- It was here only that the little genius completed his 20 years of international cricket when he played against Sri Lanka in 2009.