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Motera stadium back in top form


Sanjeeb Mukherjea,CNN-IBN
Oct 10, 2006 at 08:52pm IST

Ahmedabad: Sunil Gavaskar reached 10,000 Test runs on this ground. Kapil Dev broke Richard Hadlee's record of most Test wickets here, and Sachin Tendulkar got his first double hundred on this ground.

We are talking about the Sardar Patel Stadium at Motera. Despite such rich history, the ground has never been one of India's postcard venues.

If you've been to Motera earlier, you will be in for a pleasant shock. A spanking new look has replaced the crumbling structure this ground used to be.

Three new pitches, a green outfield, state of the art floodlights, increased capacity, covered stands and even a car-park for 10,000 vehicles. Welcome to Motera, a stadium that seems is competing with the best in the country now.

Narhari Amin, President of the Gujarat Cricket Association, says: "We have laid a new outfield. There are going to be five day/night matches played here during the Champions Trophy. This is why we have also laid three new pitches, so that every match is played on a different pitch via rotation. And a good environment along with it so that people are entertained under the flood lights."

Nearly 6,000 seats have been added taking the total capacity close to 54,000. The media is also well taken care of, with an air-conditioned press box, a far cry from the days gone by.

Brian Murgatroyd, Media Manager for the ICC, says: "Media facilities are absolutely first-class. There's air-conditioning, there's wi-fi internet, there's a new purpose-built media conference room for all the people at home, who can see pictures of players talking in comfortable surroundings. We are standing here on the outfield which is like a carpet really, it's absolutely beautiful.

It may not have got a semi-final this time around but looking at the Motera, it will make a strong contender for a big match when the 2011 World Cup comes to India.

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