India allrounder Hardik Pandya shared a selfie with the Motera stadium in the background, expressing his ‘surreal’ feeling being at the world’s largest stadium in Ahmedabad. The stadium is set to host the 3rd Test between India and England, starting February 24. “It feels surreal to be out here at the world’s largest cricket stadium, Motera. Absolutely magnificent,” wrote Pandya on Twitter.
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Fans have been waiting to watch the match from the historic venue, which will now finally happen. The GCA announced the opening of sale of tickets on Sunday.
A press release by the association read, “Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) is thrilled to welcome cricket fans for one of the most riveting series between India and England when it opens the gates of The World’s Largest Cricket Stadium at Motera in Ahmedabad after a break of six years! The booking for the 3rd test match against England will open at 11.00 AM on February 14, 2021. The authorities have decided to allow 50% spectators of the stadium’s capacity during the test matches at GCA’s cricket stadium at Motera. It should be noted that England will play two test matches including a day-night test match starting from February 24 and Five T-20 Internationals.
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The world’s largest cricket stadium will also have 11 centre strips, which is also unique, along with never-before heard four dressing rooms with in-built gymnasium, said Gujarat Cricket Association’s joint secretary Anil Patel.
It feels surreal to be out here at the world’s largest cricket stadium, Motera.
— hardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) February 19, 2021
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The Motera stadium had undergone extensive renovation which started when current BCCI secretary Jay Shah was in charge of state cricket unit.
With a seating capacity of 1,10,000, which is more than Melbourne Cricket Ground, the GCA will put up around 55,000 tickets on sale for the next two Test matches at the venue.
Recently, the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy’s knock-outs were held at the Motera.
“This is the only stadium in the world with 11 centre pitches on the main ground. Also we are the only stadium in the world with same soil being used for practice as well as centre strips,” GCA joint secretary Patel said.
“Instead of mast lights, we have installed LED lights on the entire circular roof for better visibility and to eliminate shadows,” he said.
Patel also said that state-of-the-art drainage system will help the ground dry up in quick time in case of a heavy downpour.
“Sand has been used underneath the grass. This along with a state-of-the-art drainage system will remove the rain water very quickly in comparison to other regular grounds.
“Even in case of 8 cm of rainfall during a match, the water would drain out very fast. This will reduce the chances of matches being cancelled due to rain,” said Patel.
He added that equipment worth Rs 2 crore were purchased just for the upkeep of the ground.
The stadium, spread in an area of 63 acres, also has 6 indoor pitches with bowling machines. This is in addition to the outdoor practice pitches and two practice grounds with a small pavilion area, said Patel.
“This is the only stadium in the world with four dressing rooms for the players. Each dressing room has a state-of-the-art gymnasium among other amenities. The stadium also has a clubhouse with 50 deluxe rooms and five suites,” Patel said during the media tour of the stadium.
(With PTI inputs)