Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday laid the foundation for a new international cricket stadium in his parliamentary constituency Varanasi. Legendary Indian cricketers Sachin Tendulkar, Ravi Shastri, Sunil Gavaskar and Dilip Vengsarkar attended the foundation stone laying ceremony. Several office bearers of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), including President Roger Binny, Vice President Rajiv Shukla and Secretary Jay Shah, were also part of the ceremony.
Here are five facts about the stadium:
1. The stadium will have a seating capacity of 30,000, with a spectator gallery similar to the steps of the Ghats. The stadium will have seven fields and will probably be ready in December 2025.
2. The Uttar Pradesh government, led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, has spent Rs 120 crore on acquiring the land in Ganjari. The BCCI, on the other hand, will bear the construction cost (Rs 330 crore) of the stadium.
3. The ‘essence of Kashi’ will be visible in the design of the stadium, with crescent-shaped roofing, floodlights in the shape of a ‘trisool’ (trident), patterns resembling bell leaves, and one of the structures in the shape of a ‘damru’, a musical instrument associated with Lord Shiva.
4. Located near the Ring Road in the Rajatalab area, this will be the third international stadium in Uttar Pradesh after Kanpur’s Green Park and Lucknow’s BRSABV Ekana Cricket Stadium.
5. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the stadium will lead to income generation for thousands of workers in Varanasi, which already has a large tourist base. Drivers and skippers are among those who will benefit from the crowds coming to the stadium.
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