India's pride: Motera Cricket Ground, world's largest, renamed Narendra Modi Stadium
New Delhi, Feb 24: President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the newly revamped Motera cricket Stadium in Ahmedabad, which has been renamed Narendra Modi Stadium.
The Motera Stadium, spread over 63 acres can accommodate an awe-inspiring 1.32 lakh spectators. It has it has surpassed the hallowed Melbourne Cricket Ground which can accommodate 90,000. The total area is equivalent to 32 Olympic size soccer fields put together.
The facility, which was closed for renovation in 2015, was witness to some major milestones in Indian cricket in its previous avatar.
These included Sunil Gavaskar reaching the 10,000 runs mark in Test cricket against Pakistan in 1987 and Kapil Dev claiming his 432nd Test wicket to become the highest wicket-taker in the world in 1994, surpassing Sir Richard Hadlee.
Australian architect firm Populous, which designed the Melbourne Cricket Stadium among others, is the architect of the new stadium.
It has 11 pitches made of both red and black soil and is the only stadium in the world to have same soil surfaces for the main and practice pitches.
The ground claims to have a drainage system which will take just 30 minutes from the time it stops raining to drain out the water.
Facilities for players, spectators
Instead of high mast floodlights, the field of play has LED lights fixed along the perimeter of the roof providing shadow-less light -- a first of its kind arrangement in India.
This is the only cricket stadium in the world to have four dressing rooms for the players so that back-to-back games can be played on the same day.
It also has a cricket academy, indoor practice pitches, and two separate practice grounds with small pavilion area.
Hall of Fame
The autographed bat collection of players from the teams of IPL and World Cup matches played so far in the Autograph Gallery at the stadium is the centre of attraction. The "Hall of Fame", featuring photographs of world-renowned cricketers, catches the eyeballs of the spectators.