The Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad has been one of India’s prime cricket venues for nearly 40 years. While it carries a rich legacy, it has been revamped and stands tall as the world’s largest cricket stadium.
With its new capacity of 132,000, the state of the art Narendra Modi Stadium is one of the most modern stadiums of the world.
The stadium is also referred to as Motera Stadium as it is based in the locality of the same name.
Who built the Narendra Modi Stadium?
The Sardar Patel Stadium, as it was originally called, was built on the banks of the Sabarmati river on 100 acres of land granted by the Gujarat government in 1982. The stadium construction was completed within eight months and 13 days in 1983. It accommodated 49,000 cricket fans.
It underwent its first renovation in 2006 ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy and was completely demolished in 2015 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi voiced his intention for Gujarat to have a cricket stadium on par with the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
The foundation stone for the new stadium was laid in 2017, with Larsen & Toubro (L&T) taking four years to complete the project at a cost of INR 800 crores.
The revamped Narendra Modi Stadium was opened to the public in 2020 and hosted the Namaste Trump event to welcome the then US President Donald Trump.
Which was the first match played at the Narendra Modi Stadium?
The Narendra Modi Stadium hosted the third Test of West Indies’ 1983/84 tour of India as its first cricket match.
The tie saw Kapil Dev register a career-best spell of 9/83 in the second innings, but that wasn’t enough to save the Indian cricket team from a 138-run loss.
The redesigned stadium hosted the knockout matches of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2020/21 season.
The first international cricket match at the remodelled Narendra Modi Stadium was the pink ball Test between India and England, followed by the fourth Test and five T20Is. It is set to host the final of the upcoming T20 World Cup in India.
Indian T20 League 2021 matches at Narendra Modi Stadium
The Narendra Modi Stadium is one of the six venues to host matches in the 2021 Indian T20 League.
Four teams - Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata and Punjab - will play eight league-stage matches at the Narendra Modi Stadium. It will also host all the playoff matches, including the Indian T20 League final on May 30.
What is the capacity of the Narendra Modi Stadium?
The Narendra Modi Stadium has a seating capacity of 132,000. The old venue accommodated only 53,000 before its demolition in 2015.
In its initial run from 1983 to 2006, the stadium operated with a capacity of 49,000. As hosts of the ICC Champions Trophy in 2006, the Gujarat Cricket Association would add three new pitches and a new outfield to the existing structure, which meant the seating capacity would increase to 54,000.
However, the newly-renovated Narendra Modi Stadium is the world’s largest cricket stadium with 76 corporate boxes -- all air-conditioned -- with a seating capacity of 25 each, an Olympic-size swimming pool, and four dressing rooms. It also has six indoor practice pitches, three outdoor practice grounds, and LED lights installed on the roof instead of traditional floodlights at various cricket stadiums.
Dimensions and pitch conditions
The Narendra Modi Stadium spreads over 63 acres, with the field size estimated at 180 yards x 150 yards. There are 11 clay pitches - six made of red soil and five with black soil - at the venue, while there is 6mm of grass cover. Thus, bowlers are favoured to have the biggest say in all the matches to be played on this ground.
Important landmarks and records
The Narendra Modi Stadium, in all its guises, has hosted 14 Tests, 24 ODIs, and six T20Is, including the recent T20I series between Indian and England.
The ground first gained prominence in 1987, when Sunil Gavaskar became the first cricketer to amass 10,000 runs in Test match cricket in the match against Pakistan. The year 1994 saw a breakthrough for Indian bowlers, as Kapil Dev went past Sir Richard Hadlee’s then-record of 431 Test wickets when he scalped the wicket of Hashan Tillakaratne in the third Test against Sri Lanka. At this point, the allrounder became the leading wicket-taker in Tests, and fans celebrated this feat by releasing 432 balloons at the venue.
#MilestonesofMotera: Kapil Dev’s new record in Test wicket-taking. It was in our own #Motera stadium in 1994 that @therealkapildev took his 432nd wicket to surpass Richard Hadlee & become the then world’s highest wicket-taker. What a legend! @BCCI @GujCricketAsso @BCCIdomestic pic.twitter.com/DcCRA5LFBf— Dhanraj Nathwani (@DhanrajNathwani) March 14, 2020
Sachin Tendulkar, one of the greatest batsmen to ever play in the game, has a special relationship with the Motera Stadium. In 1999, the Master Blaster hit his maiden double-century in the third Test against New Zealand and became the first player to amass 30,000 runs in international cricket in the 2009 Test against Sri Lanka. This fixture also marked the legendary player’s 20th year in international cricket.
Later, Tendulkar etched his name in the record books again as he crossed the 18,000-run mark in ODI cricket during the quarter-finals of the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup against Australia.
The largest cricket stadiums in the world
The Narendra Modi Stadium is now the world’s largest cricket stadium, taking over from the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground.
While the Indian stadium can accommodate 132,000 spectators, the MCG has a seating capacity of 100,024. The next biggest cricketing ground is the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, with a capacity to host 80,000 fans.
|Largest cricket stadiums in the world|
|Melbourne Cricket Ground||Melbourne||100,024|
|Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh Cricket Stadium||Raipur||65,400|
|Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium||Kochi||65,000|
|Greenfield International Stadium||Kerala||55,000|
|Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium||Hyderabad||55,000|
|DY Patil Stadium||Navi Mumbai||55,000|
|Arun Jaitley Stadium||Delhi||55,000|
|Ekana Cricket Stadium||Lucknow||50,000|
Feature image courtesy: AFP /