From former cricketers to current players, a host of cricketers have hailed the newly built Sardar Patel Stadium, now rechristened as the new Motera Stadium, ahead of the pink-ball Test match between India and England.
The Motera Stadium at Ahmedabad in Gujarat is now the largest cricket stadium in the world. It was firstly constructed way back in 1982. Initially, it had a seating capacity of 49,000.
On the positive note, the seating capacity has now been augmented to over 1,10,000 followed by the MCG in Australia that can accommodate 90,000 spectators.
The reconstruction of the stadium started in October 2015 and culminated in February 2020.
Motera Stadium will be formally inaugurated on February 24, 2021, by President Ram Nath Kovind. Union Home Minister Amit Shah will also be present to witness the third Test between India and England. The stadium is built at an estimated cost of Rs 800 crore,
The Motera Stadium will now host the final two Test matches of the ongoing four-match series between India and England. The Test series is currently drawn at 1-1.
The Motera is the only stadium in the world to have 11 central pitches on the main ground. Gujarat Cricket Association's joint secretary Anil Patel had asserted that the Sardar Patel Stadium is also the only stadium in the world with four dressing rooms for the players.
Impressed with the massive stadium, Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya said that it took the cricketers almost an hour to get used to the massive size of the new Motera, the world's largest cricket arena.
Hardik Pandya also added that a state-of-the-art gym is attached to the dressing room at the Motera - something that he has never seen before. “All the boys loved it, I think, for us, it took almost one hour to get used to the size of the ground, the kind of facilities it is providing us. I feel proud that we have this in India,” he said.
Former English captain Kevin Pietersen described the new Motera as the Theatre Of Dreams. Originally, Manchester United’s home ground Old Trafford is referred to as the Theatre Of Dreams. However, Kevin has opined that the game of cricket has its Theatre Of Dreams in the form of the new Sardar Patel Stadium. “My goodness! How spectacular does this stadium look for the next Test match in Ahmedabad! 110K capacity,” he said.
Hailing the newly built Motera Stadium ahead of the pink-ball Test match, English bowler Stuart Broad said that the world's largest stadium has the potential to outdo the iconic MCG in terms of crowd noise. "The loudest I’ve ever heard a crowd was at the MCG in the 2017-18 Ashes when I caught David Warner on 99 — only for us to discover Tom Curran had bowled a no-ball. When he got to his hundred next balls, the noise was incredible, but I think this ground has the potential to outdo it.”
Mr Dependable of the Indian team, Cheteshwar Pujara, said that players are enjoying the facilities available at the new arena in Ahmedabad. "The gym is next to the dressing room, so you know it's beneficial for guys who want to train in between the game or whenever there is time. The gym is excellent, it's quite spacious, and we did our first gym session here today, and we had a good time.”
The Motera Stadium, last year, hosted the grand Namaste Trump event when ex-President of the US Donald Trump visited India along with his family.