World record cricket crowd fails to materialise at India’s Narendra Modi Stadium
A widely anticipated world record at a Test cricket match predicted for the Narendra Modi Stadium in the Indian city of Ahmedabad between the hosts and Australia over recent days has fallen short.
In advance of the final Test of the series, estimates had tipped that the crowd might reach as much as 110,000 in the 132,000 capacity stadium - exceeding the record attendance for a single day of Test cricket held by the MCG which accommodated 91,112 fans at the start of the 2013/14 Ashes Boxing Day Test at the MCG.
However, while an official crowd figure was not confirmed for day one of the fourth Test on Thursday, the Gujarat Cricket Association estimated it to be between 50,000 and 60,000.
The Test was preceded by a ceremony at which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, the pair celebrating ‘75 years of friendship through cricket’ for a range of events before the match.
The Prime Ministers were taken through the India-Australia Platinum Hall of Fame within the stadium before meeting the players.
Making the first visit by an Australian Prime Minister to India in six years, Prime Minister Albanese stayed at the venue for about an hour before moving on to other commitments in Mumbai and Delhi.
A number of influential Australian business leaders, including Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce, Fortescue Metals Chairman Andrew Forrest and Commonwealth Bank Chief Executive Matt Comyn, were part of Prime Minister Albanese’s entourage.
Australia Deputy Prime Minister, Richard Marles commented “cricket is perhaps the best symbol of what we have in common as two countries … foreign relations is not very different to human relations. As two countries, we are the very best of friends.”
Welcoming the visit and its potential to improve trading ties, Tourism and Transport Forum Australia Chief Executive, Margy Osmond stated “we’ll hopefully see more tourists from India gracing our shores in coming months.
“India is one of our fastest growing source markets for tourism, with one million Indian travellers expected to visit Australia each year by 2030.”
The attendance record for the Narendra Modi Stadium is 101,566 when Gujarat Titans defeated the Rajasthan Royals in last year’s Indian Premier League final.
Images: Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the start of the Test (top) and Prime Minister Albanese with the Australian team (below).
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