The biggest cricket stadium in the world will hold its first international match this week, with the newly renovated Sardar Patel Stadium (photo from 2020 shown above) to host the third Test between India and England.
Also known as Motera Stadium, the venue in Ahmedabad was first opened in the early 1980s but has recently been rebuilt and now has a seating capacity of 110,000.
The capacity for this week’s Test, starting on Wednesday, has reportedly been reduced to 50 per cent due to concerns over COVID-19, but fans have been quick to buy tickets for what will be the first men’s international in the city since 2014.
“Ahmedabad is totally sold out, the day-night Test match, because it’s the first game there after a long period of time,” BCCI president Sourav Ganguly told Star Sports.
“So, happy to see normalcy back. It’ll be fantastic, it’s sold out.
” … We want to see every seat and stand full. And that’s what it is, the tickets have gone, as well as for the T20s (that follow the Tests).”
Players from both sides have trained at the venue this week ahead of the day-night Test, just the second ever played in India.
The third Test will start 12 months to the day since the venue’s first official event post its reconstruction, when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted then United States President Donald Trump in front of a crowd that was said to be in excess of 100,000 people.
Records for the biggest crowd attendances in cricket history are sketchy, with many not officially recorded at the time.
Eden Gardens in Kolkata was said to have hosted more than 100,000 people on several occasions in the 1990s, while the MCG in Melbourne has hosted cricket crowds in excess of 90,000.
Meanwhile, having previously resisted the hosting of day-night Tests, India have embraced the concept and Ganguly says he plans to hold at least one in every home series.
“Absolutely,” he said. “One Test a series is ideal.
“Every generation goes through changes, pink ball is one of the main changes for Test match cricket, and to keep Test match cricket alive.
“I think with Ahmedabad packed stadium … (it) will be another great sight for everyone.”