More than 100,000 people are expected to pack into the world’s biggest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad later this month when it will be formally opened during a visit to India by US President Donald Trump, officials said.
Workers in Ahmedabad are rushing to finish the 110,000-capacity Sardar Patel Stadium, which will overtake the 100,000-seater Melbourne Cricket Ground as the world’s biggest cricket venue.
Trump will travel to India from February 24 to 25, the White House announced on Tuesday. This will be Trump’s first visit to India as the American president. First Lady Melania Trump will accompany him. The Trumps will travel to New Delhi and Ahmedabad, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said, according to PTI.
The spectacle has been dubbed ‘Kem Chho Trump’, (How Are You Trump?), according to officials.
Last year Trump was guest of honour at Houston’s NRG Stadium in Texas at a rally for the Indian premier called “Howdy Modi”, attended by 50,000 people from the sub-continent’s vast diaspora.
Trump had joked that he may not feel so good amid such a huge number of people. “When we have 50,000 people, I’m not going to feel so good,” he said. “We’ll have five to seven million people just from the airport to the new stadium. And you know it is the largest stadium in the world. [They are] building it now. It’s almost complete and it’s the largest in the world.”
Formerly called the Motera stadium, the new venue will house a main cricket ground along with two smaller cricket grounds, four locker rooms, 75 air-conditioned corporate boxes and a club house for Gujarat Cricket Association members, according to a report in Business Standard.
Modi has a long tradition of hosting world leaders in his home state. China’s President Xi Jinping went there in 2014, and visits followed by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu and then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
(With AFP inputs)