UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — US President Donald Trump will open the largest cricket stadium in the world next week in India, but critics are wondering if this stadium is just another project by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to show off in his hometown.
Trump, who is not considered a cricket fan during his first visit to India, will open the “Sardar Battle” stadium that will accommodate 110,000 people in Ahmedabad on Monday, an event that attracted more attention to the western state of Gujarat.
This $ 100 million place was built roundly to ensure unobstructed viewing for all of those present, and its blue and saffron seats symbolize the Indian team, and includes the most prominent facilities, four dressing rooms, a chapter on the Olympic swimming pool.
This new stadium is larger than the “Melbourne Cricket Ground”, with a seating capacity of 100,000. It is the historical place dating back to the year 1853 and has hosted the greats of this sport across generations from Donald Bradman to Ian Botham and Sachin Tendulkar.
However, this stadium is not the first monument to independence hero Sardar Patel to be unearthed in Gujarat, Moody’s hometown where he was prime minister until 2014.
The former immortalization of Battle through the world’s largest statue, the colossal “statue of unity” that was completed in 2018 with a length of 182 meters, is twice the height of the Statue of Liberty.
– “Moody’s Dream” –
The renovation of the former Motera Stadium was an ancient modi project dating back to his time when he was president of the Gujarat Cricket Association which is currently chaired by Interior Minister Amit Shah.
“It was the dream of Amit Shah and Modi to build the largest cricket stadium,” an association official, who asked not to be named, told AFP.
Although cricket is hugely popular in the country of 1.3 billion people, skeptics note that India has more than 10 stadiums with the ability to host international matches.
The major matches do not attract huge crowds in India.
Veteran sports writer Ayaz Maimon told AFP that “with this, the infrastructures I built will become of no value if the stadium is not used properly.”
“Maybe they did some research to find out the optimal number of people who would come there. But a stadium with a capacity for more than 100,000 spectators is fairly large,” he said.
The Gujarat Cricket Association official expressed concerns about not using the stadium frequently, saying that Modi was keen to provide capabilities to organize other sports in it, such as football and hockey, as well as cultural and political events during seasons devoid of sporting events.
But observers expressed doubts about the need for another major stadium in India, and Sanjay Ja, a spokesman for the opposition Congress, said, “It appears that a clumsy project has been funded using taxpayer money.”
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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