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MCG record under threat as PMs join 100,000 for Test cricket’s biggest day

MCG record under threat as PMs join 100,000 for Test cricket’s biggest day

  • Record crowd expected at Narendra Modi Stadium on Thursday
  • Prime Minister Albanese flying to Ahmedabad for fourth Test

The MCG’s record for largest crowd to attend a single day of Test cricket is under threat from the Indian stadium named after the country’s current prime minister, and Australia’s prime minister Anthony Albanese will be there to see it if the record falls.

An estimated 100,000 people could pack into Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Thursday for the first day of the fourth Test between India and Australia.

The final crowd figure will be a source of fascination with up to 85,000 of the day one tickets in the 132,000-capacity stadium set aside for local families and students.

Initial fears that travelling Australian spectators could be locked out of having access to watch the start of the match have been eased. Fans can now access tickets online after previously only being able to purchase tickets for days two to five.

The record attendance for a day of Test cricket stands at 91,112 from the start of the 2013-14 Ashes battle at the MCG.

The opening to the final match of the Border-Gavaskar series is set to be an extravaganza with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to attend.

Albanese and India’s prime minister Modi will take part in a series of events before the Test, including handing hats to players and being involved in an opening ceremony.

A number of influential Australian business leaders, including Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce, Fortescue Metals boss Andrew Forrest and Commonwealth Bank chief executive Matt Comyn, will join Albanese on his first trip to India as prime minister.

Albanese is expected to stay at the Ahmedabad colosseum for about an hour before moving on to other commitments in Mumbai and Delhi.

After a near five-year rebuild, the stadium in the capital of the Indian state of Gujarat, reopened in February 2020.

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The first event in the stadium was a political event when Donald Trump arrived in India, with the former president of the United States infamously mispronouncing the names of cricket icons Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli during a speech.

The ground, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium, was renamed after Modi ahead of the 2021 Test between India and England.

Australia’s squad leaves Indore on Monday for Ahmedabad ahead of Thursday’s fourth Test. With their remarkable nine-wicket win last week the series stands at 2-1, with Australia pressing hard to square the ledger, despite the Border-Gavaskar Trophy already being decided in the home side’s favour.

The Australia team will again be captained by Steve Smith, after Australia’s regular captain Pat Cummins announced he will remain in Sydney to be with his seriously ill mother, Maria, who has been placed into palliative care.

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