Dharamsala is all set to host its 1st ODI in January 2013

Dec 05, 2012 19:54 | Education&Sports

After One Day, to Host a Test match in Dharmshala is my dream: Anuraag

Dharamsala(Arvind Sharma)

The venue, properly known as the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, has already earned a solid reputation after hosting three most successful  seasons of  Indian Premier League (IPL) games here, will host an ODI for the first time during India's home series against England on 27January 2013. The game in Dharamshala was originally scheduled as a day-night fixture, but has been changed to start at 9:00am to avoid a bone-chilling evening under floodlights. A Day game now shall also  give glimpses of the beauty of the area, with a backdrop of soaring mountains and a culture based around Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, the fixture will be a unique experience for the most seasoned supporter or player in the peak of winter .

.Located 1,162 meters (3,800 feet) above sea level, the pitch is lower than several South African international grounds, but the beauty is that it was covered in snow in  January 2012. The chilly conditions are even expected in coming January too.

“I think we will have blue skies and sunny weather, we have been waiting for this moment since we started building the ground in 2002, and we can promise a warm welcome for our visitors. It will be cold for the Indians, but OK for the England team,” Anurag Thakur, the 37-year-old President HPCA said about the conditions for the ODI. When asked about the facilities in Dharamsala, Thakur said, "The stadium got the ICC sanction only after former Australian batsman David Boon gave his go-ahead to the venue after inspecting it last year,. I don't want to take names but there are many cricket centers in India that don't have any of the facilities available, such as a hotel and even an airport. [But] all the facilities are available here and we are ready to host international teams."

This year an England’s parliamentarian’s team played a ODI against their Indian counterparts. After the match Matthew Hancock Captain of touring side said about this ground “It is an extraordinary ground and probably one of the most beautiful locations of any cricket pitch in the world.”

“We lost our game, but I hope that England can secure a better result in ODI in 2013.” he added


And for Anuraag Thakur (BJP MP and son of Himachal CM ) , the England fixture is just the start of his ambitions.


“What I really want is to host a five-day international Test match, That shall be the ultimate game for cricketers, and to see it here in such surroundings is my dream,” said Anuraag.

When asked about the pitch and ground the Curator Sunil Chauhan said,” the tradition is a pace wicket here which also help the batsmen who play with the straight bat. The bowlers with style and power can exploit. the outfield is re-laid and shall give the value of their money to the fans with good score.” he said that at present the playing area has being restricted so that it gives a fresh look. The new grass carpet has also been laid.


Around 20,000 spectators can be accommodated at the HPCA stadium.

 England ODI squad for this match :-  Alastair Cook , Jonny Bairstow , Ian Bell , Tim Bresnan , Danny Briggs , Jade Dernbach , Steven Finn , Craig Kieswetter  Stuart Meaker , Eoin Morgan , Samit Patel , Kevin Pietersen  James Tredwell  Jonathan Trott , James Anderson , Stuart Broad .