New venue of international Cricket DHARAMSALA (A side story)

Apr 03, 2012 16:45 | Education&Sports

Dharamsala/Arvind Sharma

“Dharamsala Getting an ODI”. It is really a moment of pride for The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Which in the short span of 10 years not only created a world class stadium in the hills, but generated all required infrastructures. And HPCA got 1 st ODI in the coming Englang tour(2012-13) at Dharmsala. The association under the dynamic leadership of Anuraag Thakur  have created each and every thing , required by a modern cricketer in Dharamsala.

Looking into this journey one has to go back to 2002 when Government of Himachal Pradesh allotted a tract of land measuring about 16 acres to the association The land nestles in the laps of mighty and majestic Dhauladhar Mountain ranges at a height of about 4000 feet in Dharamshala, the abode of his holiness Dalai Lama. HPCA cricket Stadium has been erected at a cost of about 60 crore provides all the modern day facilities prevalent in other International venues across the world. It has a seating capacity of about 25000 spectators and shall boast of the state of art, separate indoor and outdoor practice areas, spacious dressing rooms with requisite facilities, latest irrigation facilities, well equipped gymnasium, separate press gallery, TV & Radio Commentators Boxes, club house, recreational centre, post match conference hall, and indeed one of the most picturesque views in the world.

The first International side that visited and played in Dharamshala Stadium was Pakistan. The Pakistani national side, lead by the legendary Inzamam Ul Haq, played a three day game against Board President XI (BCCI) from 3rd to 5th of March 2005. The Inaugural Prestigious Mohd. Nissar Trophy was also hosted here in Sept 2006. The Australian Youth (U-19s) side that toured India in Sept 2005 played two one day matches against India (U-19s) at Dharamshala. It was one of the venues for Inaugural Corporate Cup, started by BCCI from the year 2009. In the year 2007-08 South Africa A Played a three day game against India

It became the second home ground of Kings XI Punjab from 2009 onwards to fetch love and appreciation of countless international players. The stadium is regularly hosting matches of the cash-rich IPL Twenty20 tournament.

HPCA President Anurag Thakur, who played a key role in bringing the ODI to the hill state, said the up gradation of the stadium is done as per international standereds. Last year ICC passed this venue for international cricket matches to bring it officially in the world cricket arena

The HPCA President said “the stadium in Dharamshala boasts of all the necessary world-class facilities required to host ODI’s. It has separate boxes for corporates and media. The stadium in Dharamshala, which is situated 4000 feet above the sea level and has the beautiful Dhauldahar mountains in the back drop.” Thakur also viewed,” Dharamshala will be an added attraction for the international cricket lovers and tourists after the ODI.”

"The valley will attracts maximum foreign tourists during this period and it will further add to the promotion of tourism in the state," he said.