Preparations are being fine-tuned for NAMASTE TRUMP event in Ahmedabad

Digital representative image of future Motera Stadium. (Image: GCA website)

US President Donald Trump along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad during his visit on February 24. Being built at an estimated cost of $100 million, the renovated Motera Stadium with a seating capacity of 1.1 lakh spectators will be the world’s largest cricket stadium overtaking the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia. Ahead of his long-awaited visit with US First Lady Melania Trump, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has tweeted a series of ‘’NAMASTE TRUMP posters rechristening the event to be held in the sprawling stadium expected to be attended by over 1 lakh people. After landing in the Ahmedabad from Washington DC, Trump is scheduled to visit the famed Sabarmati Ashram associated India’s freedom struggle and partake with PM Modi in a 22-km long road show . Trump will become the first US President to visit the Ashram. Thereafter, the two leaders will inaugurate the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera and address a gathering of one lakh people including India’s several iconic cricketers and sports administrators. The President and the first lady will also be given a tour of Hriday Kunj, Gandhiji’s house, where they will operate a spinning wheel and known as “charkha” in India. The two leaders will inaugurate the new Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium, the largest cricket stadium in the world. Riding on Howdy Modi’s success, both leaders will hold ‘Namaste President Trump’ with approximately 1.25 lakh people witnessing this event. President Trump will also meet the country’s top business leaders in New Delhi.Teams from the US embassy and the Ministry of External Affairs have both visited Ahmedabad to oversee the preparations. A special team of the US President’s security squad have reviewed the preparations. For Trump’s security personnel, 300 cars have been arranged with high safety features. Speaking to reporters at the Oval Office on Tuesday, President Trump said He (Narendra Modi) said we will have millions and millions of people. My only problem is that last night we probably had 40 or 50,000 people… I’m not going to feel so good… There will be five to seven million people just from the airport to the new stadium (in Ahmedabad).””And you know (it) is the largest stadium in the world. He’s (Modi) building it now. It’s almost complete,” he added. Incidentally, India will host England in a day-night Test at the newly reconstructed Motera stadium in January-February 2021, it was decided at BCCI’s apex council meeting in Delhi on Sunday (February 16). India also gave their official nod to a day-night Test on their tour of Australia later this year. ‘’Both developments were confirmed to Cricbuzz by a member of BCCI’s apex council. India, during their 2018-19 tour of Australia, had rejected Cricket Australia’s proposal to play a pink-ball Test. Virat Kohli also later admitted to being hesitant to play in one due to lack of exposure. However, later in 2019, under the tutelage of new BCCI president Sourav Ganguli, India played their maiden day-night Test against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Cricket Australia CA Earl Eddings held meetings with BCCI president Sourav Ganguli and secretary Jay Shah during Australia’s recent visit to India for three ODIs, but a day-night Test was always on the cards this time around. Kevin Roberts, the CA chief executive, had earlier argued how Ganguli’s progressive leadership combined with India’s stable top-position in the World Test Championship set things up nicely for the maiden pink-ball Test between the sides’’. (edited by PK Chakravarty with image courtesy to GCA)

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