The newly refurbished Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad has hogged the limelight during the ongoing pink-ball Test between India and England. Ahead of the third Test, President of India Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the venue and rechristened it as Narendra Modi Stadium.
Notably, the largest cricket stadium in the world has bowling ends named after the Adani and Reliance groups. As such, controversy has erupted with respect to the decision to name the ends after the two private business entities.
Facts behind controversial names at either ends
In the wake of the controversy, certain facts have surfaced to aid the decision to honour the Adani and Reliance groups. According to sources, both the groups have made significantly huge contributions for the construction of the state-of-the-art stadium. Additionally, they also bought a corporate box each, estimated to be worth INR 250 crores + GST for 25 years.
Due to the agreement in place, the ends have been named in demand of the donors, the Adani and Reliance groups in this case. While the Adani end was in place years before, Reliance bought their end from a government body called GDMC.
The sources also maintained that talks are progressing to sell the east and west stands at the Narendra Modi Stadium. In addition to the third and fourth Tests, the venue will also host five T20Is, starting March 16.
Pink-ball Test evenly poised on Day 2
Irrespective of the controversy, Test cricket has lived up to the expectations of everyone at the venue. England have wrestled their way back into the game after being bundled out for just 112 in the first innings.
India then underwent a dramatic collapse on Day 2 before being bowled out at 145. England captain Joe Root (5/8) proved to be the wrecker-in-chief with his maiden five-wicket haul in Tests. Jack Leach (4/54) also provided healthy support as England trail by just 33 runs in their second innings.