The Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium in Ahmedabad, also known as Motera Stadium, has notched up quite a few claims to fame since it arrived on the cricket map in 1983. It was here, in 1987, that cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar scored his 10,000th Test run, becoming the first batsman to reach the milestone. Around seven years later, Kapil Dev broke Richard Hadlee's world record of 431 Test wickets.
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That's not all. In 1999, the legendary Sachin Tendulkar scored his first double century on this very ground. And now the Motera stadium is being redeveloped to emerge AS the sport's largest arena. Here are 5 interesting facts about the project:
- The new stadium will accommodate 1.1 lakh cricketing fans inside the stadium. Currently, the Melbourne Cricket Ground is the world's largest cricket stadium in the world with a total capacity of 100,024 while Kolkata's Eden Gardens is reportedly No. 2 with a capacity of 66,000.
"World's Largest Cricket Stadium, larger than #Melbourne, is under construction at #Motera in #Ahmedabad,#Gujarat. Once completed the dream project of #GujaratCricketAssociation will become pride of entire India," Parimal Nathwani, Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) vice-president, tweeted on Saturday.According to News18, the foundation stone of the new stadium was laid in January 2018. GCA handed the stadium project to Larson & Toubro (L&T) - the other bidders in the race were Shapoorji Pallonji and Nagarjun Construction Company - while renowned architecture firm M/s Populous was given the charge of designing the stadium. It is, incidentally, the same firm that had designed the Melbourne stadium.
- The project's estimated cost is pegged at Rs 700 crore. The new cricket stadium will be spread over approximately 63 acres of land and will reportedly boast a club house with over 50 rooms, 76 corporate boxes, four dressing rooms, three practice grounds for cricketers, an indoor cricket training academy, an Olympic size swimming pool, a parking area that can accommodate about 3,000 four-wheeler cars and up to 10,000 two-wheelers, and more.
- According to GCA, the project is Prime Minister Narendra Modi's dream. Not many cricket fans in the region were able to see their stars live in action inside the stadium since it previously accommodated 54,000 people, so Modi as the GCA president had reportedly expressed his desire to build a new stadium of maximum capacity in 2013. When he was sworn in as the PM, BJP President Amit Shah took over command of GCA and decided to make the dream come true.
- The GCA management has also taken traffic issues into consideration while designing the layout of the new cricket ground. "In the past, the whole traffic load was borne by one main road from Motera to Sabarmati. According to the new layout, the traffic will be segregated in three directions. Apart from using the Motera-Sabarmati Road, the management plans to integrate Metro Rail and Sabarmati Riverfront Road. The discussion will be held with competent authorities in the state government in this regard," the website quoted Shah as saying. The association has also taken utmost care to keep the new stadium environment-friendly.
When the new stadium comes up, Gujarat will boast two world-record holding attractions - last October the state unveiled the world's largest statue, the 182-metre Statue of Unity, which now attracts about 30,000 people every day.
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