The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) international cricket stadium at Dharamshala, which will be hosting 10 International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 World Cup matches, including the much anticipated India-Pakistan tie on March 19 next year, has got a thumbs up for the facilities from the ICC.
A joint team led by ICC head of events Chris Tetley and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) tournament director MV Sridhar, on Tuesday carried out an inspection of facilities at the stadium, situated in the lap of mighty Dhauladhar mountain range.
“We have carried out the inspection and are satisfied with the facilities here,” said Tetley during a press conference held here. The ICC official said Dharamshala had already hosted a number of international matches and was a fantastic venue and doubts about holding a big match here were clear.
“Given the India- Pakistan match, which will be held here on March 19, we have had detailed discussions on security arrangements with the host organisation,” said Tetley, adding that the ICC takes security aspect seriously and plan will remain same for all the matches to be held at the venue.
Meanwhile, BCCI official MV Sridhar said the Dharamshala stadium was best among the eight venues, which will host the event. “Hospitality here is unmatched,” said Sridhar.
“Practice facilities and an indoor practice area are of world-class level,” said Sridhar, adding that the biggest advantage at Dharamshala was the practice area for four teams.
He said the practice area here will be useful during the group stage when two matches will be played in a day. “We have asked cricket boards of other states to create more practice facilities for teams,” said Shridhar.
“The capacity of the stadium is being increased while special enclosures will be created for the differently-abled persons,” said Sridhar, adding that the focus would be on providing best of the facilities to spectators in the stands.
On the objection raised by kin of Kargil war martyrs against holding India-Pakistan match at Dharamshala, Sridhar said it was an ICC event and not a bilateral series.
PROTEST AGAINST INDO-PAK TIE
Deputy advocate general in the Himachal Pradesh Administrative Tribunal Vinay Sharma said he would sit on a hunger strike if Dharamshala plays hosts the India-Pakistan World T20 tie in March next year. “I request the HPCA not to hold the India-Pakistan match as it would hurt the sentiments of the families who lost their kin during the 1999 Kargil war,” said Sharma, who before appointment as additional advocate general, had filed write petitions against state cricket body alleging misuse of public money.
“I am speaking as a nationalist and not as a deputy advocate general. If it requires, I am ready to quit the job, but I will oppose the match,” he added.