England v India: Motera becomes the world's largest cricket stadium

·3 min read
Motera stadium
The stadium can hold 110,000 spectators

Players from India and England have been admiring the refurbished Motera - the world's largest cricket stadium.

The teams are playing the third Test match in the ongoing series at the stadium in Ahmedabad, the biggest city in India's western state of Gujarat.

Both teams have won a Test each in the four-match series.

Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and Home Minister Amit Shah inaugurated the stadium, which has been named after Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Players from both teams trained at the newly-built stadium, which can seat 110,000 spectators. But only 55,000 fans will be allowed in the two Tests to be played at the venue due to Covid restrictions.

This day-night pink ball Test, which started on Wednesday, is the first international match hosted at the stadium since November 2015 when it was demolished for reconstruction work.

Cricketers from India and England have been sharing pictures on social media, praising the new facilities at the stadium.

The massive venue is spread across 63 acres and has four entry points. It has multiple dressing rooms, indoor practice pitches, outdoor pitches and even a dormitory that can house 40 athletes. There are individual spaces for coaches, physiotherapists and trainers.

Built at a cost of 8bn rupees ($110m; £78m), the project has been constructed by the same firm which also built the Statue of Unity, a 182m (600ft) bronze-clad tribute to independence leader Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

The stadium had a capacity of 54,000 spectators when it was demolished in 2016.

Motera stadium
Preparations for the remaining two matches in the Test series at the Motera stadium

The layout of the cricket stadium is designed in such a way that there is an unobstructed view of the pitch. Officials say that a state-of-the-art drainage system will help the ground dry up quickly in case of rain, reducing the chances of matches being cancelled.

Motera stadium
Motera stadium

The stadium boasts of 11 clay pitches. Special LED lights have been installed all along the entire circular roof to eliminate shadows. Traditional stadiums usually have mast lights.

The 360-degree podium concourse is built at a height of nine metres which means that spectators throughout the stadium have a uniform view of the pitch from any stand.

Motera stadium
Preparations for the third test match between the sides are on

The stadium hosted former US President Donald Trump on his first official trip to India in February 2020. He addressed more than 100,000 people at the stadium, alongside Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Mr Trump waving at crowds
Mr Trump visited India as president in February 2020.