Varanasi, September 23
P rime Minister Narendra Modi met and interacted with former Indian cricketers Sachin Tendulkar, World Cup 1983 winning skipper Kapil Dev, legendary batter Sunil Gavaskar and former all-rounder and India head coach Ravi Shastri on Saturday.
rime Minister Narendra Modi met and interacted with former Indian cricketers Sachin Tendulkar, World Cup 1983 winning skipper Kapil Dev, legendary batter Sunil Gavaskar and former all-rounder and India head coach Ravi Shastri on Saturday.
PM Modi laid the foundation stone for a new international cricket stadium in Varanasi, his Lok Sabha constituency on Saturday.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, BCCI president Roger Binny and vice-president Rajeev Shukla also attended the event along with these aforementioned cricketers.
Shah and Binny also presented a specially signed bat to PM Modi.
"I feel happy and privileged to welcome PM Narendra Modi to the laying of the foundation stone for the new cricket stadium in Varanasi. This is the first time that he is visiting the state to lay the foundation stone for a cricket stadium. I welcome him on behalf of every cricket enthusiast in the state," CM Yogi Adityanath said at the ceremony.
Tendulkar and the Board of Control for Cricket in India secretary Jay Shah on Saturday presented Prime Minister Narendra Modi with an Indian cricket team jersey with "NAMO" inscribed on it.
Addressing a sizeable gathering after laying the foundation stone for a new international cricket stadium at Varanasi, PM Modi said the sheer scale of success of Indian athletes at global events was an affirmation of the changing national outlook when it comes to sports.
He added that India created history in the World University Games this year, winning more medals this edition than they did in all previous editions taken together.
"The continuing success stories that we are scripting in the world of sports today is a testament to the changing outlook towards it. Our government is helping sportspersons at every level, TOPS is one such scheme of the government," PM Modi said.
He said the new cricket stadium would be a boon not only for the youth of Varanasi but also for Purvanchal.
"This stadium in the city of 'Mahadev' will be dedicated to the Lord himself. I am hopeful that sportspersons here will benefit from this stadium, which will be equipped with all modern-day amenities and sporting infrastructure. This stadium will emerge as the star of the Purvanchal region," PM Modi added.
He said the country's first multi-leveled sports complex, equipped to cater to the needs of disabled athletes, was also on the anvil.
Also conveying his best wishes to the Indian contingent for the Hangzhou Asian Games, which were declared open officially later on Saturday, PM Modi said, "The Asian Games are starting today and I wish to extend my good wishes to all our athletes participating in the tournament," PM Modi said.
Noting further that the world was connecting with India through cricket, he added, "New countries are emerging as cricketing nations. It goes without saying that the volume of cricket matches will increase even further in the coming days. With so many matches, there is a need for more international stadiums to host them. I am hopeful that this new international stadium in Varanasi will go some way to fulfilling the changing needs of the sport."
Once opened, this stadium will have a seating capacity of more than 30,000, he added.
The Uttar Pradesh government has spent Rs 121 crore on land acquisition for the stadium while the BCCI will spend a further Rs 330 crore on its construction.
The thematic architecture of this stadium draws inspiration from Lord Shiva, with crescent-shaped roof covers, trident-shaped floodlights, a seating arrangement resembling the flights of stairs at ghats, and Bilvipatra-shaped metallic sheets on the facade.
This will be Uttar Pradesh's third international cricket stadium after Kanpur and Lucknow.
PM Modi interacts with legendary cricketers following foundation stone laying of new international stadium in Varanasi
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