How often do you come across news that a certain player is a non-starter as he is injured, or a certain player is flying abroad for rehabilitation? Despite being a cricketing powerhouse India does not lay much focus on a player’s rehabilitation.
Soon, that maybe a thing of the past, for the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association has plans to come up with a state-of-the-art rehabilitation centre and practice area.
“We have plans for building the rehabilitation centre soon. In fact, the practice area is already under construction. It will be an indoor practice area, which will also be used during matches,” said HPCA president Anurag Thakur.
“For the rehab centre we plan to hire the best physio and the trainer in the business.”
Speaking about the investment involved, he said, “It will cost the HPCA Rs 8 crore and we expect it to be complete by January 2010.”
Apart from the rehab and practice centre, the HPCA has plans to construct a stadium in each of the 12 twelve districts of the state. “We are keeping a four-year deadline for that,” Thakur, who is also the standing MP from Hamirpur constituency, said. “The stadia won’t be of international standards, but they will be able to host domestic matches.”
However, the Dharamsala stadium, which has a seating capacity of 20,000, needs to shed certain shortcomings before it can get a clearance as an ODI centre.
The ICC needs to inspect the facilities here as well. “ICC match referee Allen Hurst had inspected the stadium in 2007. He was satisfied with the playing conditions but had raised some issues.
These pertained to a separate room for the match referee, accessibility of the stadium, larger approach roads and also the presence of good hotels nearby. “All those have been sorted out and we have submitted the report to the BCCI. A second inspection is due soon,” said Thakur. “It may happen in February or March next year. Besides, there are five hotels of three to four-star ranking, so I don’t think that should be a problem.” Incidentally, floodlights were installed here after the stadium was allotted four IPL matches that later shifted to South Africa.
Next season, though, the stadium will certainly host IPL matches.