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A matter of pride that Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium is world’s largest: Kovind
Ahmedabad, February 24, 2021
President Ram Nath Kovind today said It was a matter of pride for India that the Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium here has become the world’s largest stadium with a capacity of 1.32 lakh spectators.
Inaugurating the stadium, which was renamed after the Prime Minister today, Kovind noted that the stadium offered world-class facilities for various sporting activities.
Known so far as the Motera Stadium because of its location at Motera on the outskirts of the city, the stadium, first built in the early 1980s, has undergone a major renovation which, among other things, has more than doubled its seating capacity.
Kovind also laid the foundation stone of the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave.
He congratulated all the officials, agencies and partners of the Gujarat Cricket Association, who were instrumental in giving the present shape to the stadium. With a gold rating of green-building certification, it was also a good example of eco-friendly development, he said.
“The stadium showcases the aspirations and capabilities of the New India that has made a strong mark on the world stage,” he added.
The dominance that India has achieved in cricket reinforces the belief that the country has the potential to achieve a higher position in the world not only in other sports but also in all areas of development, he said.
“India is called the 'powerhouse of cricket' or 'hub of cricket'. Therefore, it was quite appropriate that the world's largest cricket stadium is also now in our country," he said.
He appreciated the efforts put in building the stadium which was started under the guidance of the then Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi and then efficiently followed up by Amit Shah as the Chairman of Gujarat Cricket Association.
He noted that many of the young cricketers, coming from small villages and towns in the hinterland, were gradually emerging as significant sporting talents on the strength of their hard work.
“Our youth also have the capability to perform well in other sports on international levels. For this to materialize, we should provide world-class infrastructure to them just as the way we give for cricket. With this objective, it is significant that the Gujarat Government has taken the initiative to build an international level sports enclave within the premises of the Narendra Modi Stadium," he said.
This sports enclave would work as a multi-sports venue and provide facilities for hosting national and international events. He expressed confidence that this sports enclave would bring a new identity to the city of Ahmedabad in terms of infrastructure.
While the development of sports facilities was significant, it was also imperative that talented players in greater number take advantage of these facilities. Facility and access to facility both are necessary for the wholesome development of sports talent. Many promising players, living in remote areas, do not get the opportunity to show their talent due to financial constraint or due to other obstacles. Efforts were being made to provide facilities to young players. Taking such efforts forward on a more comprehensive level would provide an opportunity to nurture the hidden sporting talents in the country, he said.
Such endeavours were important for not just nurturing talent but also for the overall development of the youth. Besides being an index for the development of a country, it develops team spirit, healthy competition and identification of national goals as personal goals. These were helpful in the character development of the young generation, in turn promoting social and national development, he added.
Kovind said Modi gave a lot of encouragement to sports in Gujarat during his tenure as Chief Minister. A new culture of sports was being developed by the Central Government throughout the country. Campaigns like "Khelo India" and "Fit India" were creating a trend towards encouraging good health and sports among the people.
Efforts were being made to register India's impressive presence in the sporting world with programs like the "Target Olympic Podium Scheme", he said.
He extended his wishes to the Indian and English teams playing cricket today at the newly inaugurated stadium.