World’s largest cricket stadium spread over 63 acres, Sardar Patel Cricket Stadium In Motera has been renamed as the Narendra Modi Stadium. The newly renovated Motera stadium was inaugurated by the President of India, Mr Ramnath Kovind on Wednesday, in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju. Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah, who is the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary was also present at the inauguration.
Popularly known as the Motera stadium, the stadium has now been named after the current Prime Minister of India and Ex-Chief Minister of Gujarat, who also used to be the president of the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA). GCA currently owns and operates the Motera stadium. The renaming has been ahead of India vs England Test match to be held on March 4.
Formerly constructed as the Gujarat Stadium in 1982, it was renamed in accolade to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the nation’s first Deputy Prime minister who played an important role in the freedom struggle. Until 2006, it could accommodate about 49000 people but after renovation, it could hold 54000 people at a time. But the stadium was closed down and demolished in 2015 to be developed. The foundation was laid again on 24th Feb by the name Narendra Modi Stadium, now this appealing stadium can accommodate 1.32 lakh spectators at a time according to the GCA and has been built on an investment of ₹800 crores (US$110 million). It has taken over the Melbourne Cricket Ground that can accommodate 90,000 spectators at a time.
President Kovind has called this stadium a dream conceptualised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself when he was the chief minister of Gujarat. Narendra Modi, before moving to Delhi to become the Prime Minister of India, had proposed the idea of rebuilding the stadium with larger accommodation instead of minor upgrades because he had heard of the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The rehabilitate stadium is part of a larger complex, named ‘Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Complex’. The proposed Enclave, spread over 220 acres on the banks of the Sabarmati river, will include the world’s largest cricket stadium, an indoor swimming pool, a hockey ground, boxing enclave, running tracks, a football stadium, velodrome/ skating area, and outdoor fields for kabaddi, lawn tennis etc.
The world-class stadium has four magnificent dressing rooms and a built-in clubhouse with 55 rooms. The clubhouse features indoor and outdoor play facilities, restaurants, an Olympic swimming pool, a fitness centre and a 3D projection theatre. It is also going to be the first Indian stadium that has been fitted with LED lights. This Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave is equipped to host any international sports event in the future.
The Home Minister, Amit Shah wants Ahmedabad to be known as the ‘Sports City’ of India. According to him, the stadium is capable of hosting any Olympic games as well. Further agreeing to Shah, the Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju added that this stadium is not only a proud moment for cricket but also for the country. He said, that Narendra Modi Stadium is not only the biggest cricket stadium in the world but is also one of the most modern cricket stadiums there are in the world.”
The renaming has though attained backlash from both opposition and the public, specifically netizens, of India. The topic is burning on social media and has yet divided the country on opinions again. While many have openly called out Narendra Modi narcissistic and others have called this an inappropriate step as he is actively involved in the Indian political circle. While some of the NaMo fans have come out to support him stating that he deserves at least a stadium in his for his submissive services for the nation. Not to forget that it has been the BJP who has always called out the Congress on diminishing the contributions of all the other legendary Indian leaders but the Gandhis. Even NaMo, when was in opposition in the year 2017 accused the opposition of forgetting the contributions of leaders like Sardar Patel and has now himself re-named the stadium after his own name.
What do you think about the renaming of the Motera Stadium? FYI there’s no cricket stadium in India that’s been named after a cricketer.