Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid the foundation stone of a new 30,000-capacity international cricket stadium in the city of Varanasi.
Varanasi is the parliamentary constituency of Modi. The city is located in the state of Uttar Pradesh, which has two other international stadiums in the form of Kanpur’s Green Park and Lucknow’s Ekana Stadium, but the new facility will be the first in the Purvanchal region.
The foundation laying ceremony was also attended by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Roger Binny, vice-president Rajiv Shukla and secretary Jay Shah. The stadium will cost Rs 450 crore (£44m/€51m/$54m) to build.
Last month, L&T Construction was awarded the contract to build the stadium after securing an order from the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association. The contract includes the construction of a pitch that meets International Cricket Council (ICC) standards, a display scoreboard, floodlights, corporate boxes and VIP lounges.
Plans for the stadium developed in March as the proposed site was approved by the BCCI, which is providing financial backing for the project.
It came after the State of Uttar Pradesh initially paved the way for the project in May 2022 by making budgetary provision to purchase a parcel of land around 15 kilometres from the city at Gunjari village in Raja Talab Tehsil. It is hoped the stadium could open by 2025.