|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Games||Mobile|
January 20, 2012
The picturesque Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium in Dharamsala has been approved by the ICC to host international one-dayers and Twenty20 matches. The venue was inspected by ICC match referee and former Australia batsman David Boon last month and the approval was conveyed to the association yesterday morning, according to Mohit Sood, the HPCA's press secretary.
"It is a very important decision [for us]," Sood told ESPNcricinfo. "We don't have any other ground in the state that can host ICC-approved international matches. This is the first ground in Himachal Pradesh."
At an altitude of 1317 metres above sea level and with the snow-capped Dauladhar hill-range rising in the background, the stadium is arguably India's most beautiful. It has hosted a number of IPL matches over the past couple of years, serving as the second home for the Kings XI Punjab franchise. It was the IPL experience that convinced the association that they were capable of hosting international games. "After that we approached the BCCI to take the case forward [with the ICC]," Sood said.
The process began two years ago and this was the second inspection of the stadium, which has a capacity of 23,000 and is located 250 km from the state capital, Shimla. The first time around, the HPCA were told that their security arrangements and the infrastructure for the players were not adequate. Since Dharamsala does not have hotels of the standard required by the ICC, Sood said that they built their own in the form of a residential academy to house the players and improved security to the point where their procedures passed muster.
He expects the opportunity to see live international games to motivate more people in the state to take up the game and, thereby, improve the overall quality of their cricket. "As it is, with the creation of infrastructure, our team is doing well at the domestic level. In the near future, we will have players from the state representing India."
|Comments have now been closed for this article
Even at the height of his success with the national side, Sreesanth was a lonely cricketer who felt hard done by
Mumbai Indians still have a better head-to-head record against Chennai Super Kings, but once again on the big occasion, they came second
Plays of the day from the IPL qualifier between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians in Delhi
Sunrisers began this tournament as one of the underdogs, but fought impressively to reach as far as the Eliminator
With some of their big names stumbling this season, Kings XI Punjab were rarely serious contenders for a playoff place
None of the other three England bowlers with 300 Test wickets - or many other of the game's finest swing merchants - could have bowled better than James Anderson at Lord's
Royal Challengers began the season in full steam, but failed to replicate their consistency away from home
Safe & simple online money transfer. Apply Now!
Available now at Cricshop