The world’s biggest cricket stadium, with space for 110,000 spectators, is taking shape in India and is likely to host its first international match early next year. The new stadium in Ahmedabad, built at a cost of around $100 million, will seat more fans than Australia’s Melbourne Cricket Ground which can accommodate around 100,000 spectators. According to reports, the Sardar Patel stadium is expected to host its first match in March with an exhibition game between an Asia XI and a World XI as the inaugural game.
The stadium will have more than 70 corporate boxes, four dressing rooms, a clubhouse and an Olympic-size swimming pool. Its construction began in January 2017.
It will overtake Kolkata’s Eden Gardens, currently India’s biggest stadium with a capacity of 66,000 — down from 100,000 after a major rebuilding project.
Recently, the Eden Gardens hosted the first-ever day-night Test in India.
The iconic stadium was packed to the rafters for the second Test between India and Bangladesh and a number of famous personalities ranging from former cricketers, athletes from other sports and politicians were present on the occasion.
Among those present on the dias with Ganguly were his former India teammate Sachin Tendulkar, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and several dignitaries from the BCCI and the CAB.
Athletes from sports other than cricket present on the occasion included tennis star Sania Mirza, reigning badminton world champion P.V. Sindhu, boxing great MC Mary Kom
India, the world’s top-ranked Test team, has more than a dozen stadiums capable of holding international cricket matches. Test matches, however, often attract sparse crowds.