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    India's Virat Kohli plays a shot during the World T20 cricket tournament semi-final match between India and West Indies at The Wankhede Cricket Stadium in Mumbai on March 31, 2016

    Modi's Home State to Host World's Largest Cricket Stadium

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    Many out of the Anglo-Saxon sphere of influence may not have heard of cricket. But it is India's biggest sport and its players enjoy cult status. India will now build the world's biggest stadium for cricket in Ahmedabad city.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state Gujarat is planning to host the world's biggest stadium for playing the sport of cricket.

    The Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium in capital Ahmedabad, which once completed, will house 110,000 spectators, overtaking Australia's sprawling Melbourne Cricket Ground, which has a capacity of 90,000.

    The Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium, often referred as the Motera stadium, has been razed to the ground to make way for the new edifice spread over 63 acres. The stadium had hosted 12 five-day international contests, 24 one-day internationals and numerous domestic matches since its inauguration in 1982.

    The stadium is reported to be Prime Minister Modi's dream project as also of his close aide Amit Shah who heads the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) as well as Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

    "The total cost of the project is estimated at $102.6 million. The stadium will have 76 corporate boxes, a club house and an Olympic-size swimming pool. The parking area will accommodate 3,000 cars and 10,000 two-wheelers," Parimal Nathwani, GCA Vice President, told reporters after the foundation stone laying ceremony on Monday. Nathwani is a Member of Parliament and close associate of industrialist Mukesh Ambani.

    India once was home to the largest cricket stadium in the world. The Eden Gardens in Kolkata could hold more than 100,000 fans. But its capacity has come down by almost 40 percent to 67,000 after its renovation ahead of the 2011 Cricket World Cup.

    The expansion plan has come at a time when India's cricket controlling authority is facing intense scrutiny and a face-off with the Supreme Court of India, which is pushing for wider reforms in the sports body.

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    cricket, Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium, Narendra Modi, Gujarat, India, Australia
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