India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of Varanasi's international cricket stadium in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday. Legendary Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar presented a special team India jersey named 'Namo', numbered 1, to PM Modi on the special occasion in the presence of former captains Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri.
Varanasi is PM Modi's parliamentary constituency and the stadium lies in the Ganjari area of Rajatalab. It will spread over more than 30 acres of land and will be unique in terms of architecture and overall design. The stadium is a step towards PM Modi's vision to pave the way to ultra-advanced sports infrastructure in the country which could help in nurturing the budding athletes to bring laurels to the nation by virtue of their performances.
Architectural design of the stadium
The estimated cost of building the stadium is about INR 450 crore. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is going to spend close to INR 331 crore on the construction of the stadium whereas the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government spent INR 121 crore in acquiring the land for the same.
PM Modi has announced that the stadium will be dedicated to Lord Shiva and hence the architectural layout of the stadium is going to be inspired by the Hindu deity. The flood lights are likely to be trident-shaped, and the roof cover will most likely resemble the shape of a crescent, Aegle Marmelos commonly known as Wood Apple (Bel Patra in Hindi)- shaped metallic sheets on the facade.
"This stadium in the city of 'Mahadev' will be dedicated to 'Mahadev' himself. The sportspersons here will benefit from the construction of an international stadium in Kashi. This stadium will become the star of Purvanchal region," said PM Modi.
The stadium will have a seating capacity of 30000 and based on reports the spectators' gallery will likely resemble the pious and religiously significant ghats of Varanasi. Although still a conjecture, the stadium is expected to be up and running by December 2025. Once ready it will be the third international stadium in the state alongside the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow and the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur.