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Stunning. Breathtaking. Awesome. The adjectives roll out as one enters the most beautiful ground in India. The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association [HPCA] Stadium in Dharamsala, with a capacity of 23,000, is as picturesque as the Adelaide Oval and Newlands, if not more. A small and glittering green plate, the ground has a snow-capped background in the form of the Dauladhar hill-range. The mountains add to the serenity of the venue, which lies at an altitude of 1317 metres above sea level. Another impressive feature is its openness and small-sized stands, which allow for winds to sweep across, giving fast bowlers assistance in the air. The venue is the first in India to use winter rye grass scattered around the outfield, which prevents the grass from dying when temperatures fall below 10 degrees.
Getting to Dharamsala, however, is difficult. The terrain is hilly and the nearest airport is in Chandigarh, 250 kilometres away by road. The harsh winters, during which it rains and snows, are also deterrents to organizing international matches here but it hosted its first ODI in January 2013, between India and England, despite snow falling at the ground in the preceding weeks. The 2010 expansion of the IPL brought Dharamsala wider attention and it has the potential to become one of India's most popular venues.
The cricket world reacts to the passing away of Phillip Hughes
Likeable, hard-working and skilful, it was a matter of time before Phillip Hughes cemented his spot in the Australian Test team. Then, improbably and inconsolably, his time ran out
It is impossible to imagine how Sean Abbott must feel after sending down that bouncer to Phillip Hughes. While the cricket world hopes for Hughes' recovery, it should also ensure Abbott is supported
An early start to the international season, coupled with costly tickets, have kept the Australian public away from the cricket
People across the world paid tribute to Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes, who died on November 27, by putting out their bats
The sickening blow that struck Phillip Hughes is a reminder of the ever-present dangers associated with facing fast bowlers, even while wearing a helmet
Why the Indian opener would be well advised to shelve the hook and pull in Australia
Going out to play cricket today would have been near enough to impossible. Even doing so next week in the nets and at the Gabba for the first Test will be difficult