The controversies shrouding Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) has taken its toll on the Indian Premier League in Himachal, as no match has been allotted to the scenic cricket stadium at Dharamsala.
What is seen as a setback for cricket fans, Dharamsala cricket stadium did not figure in the schedule released by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for country’s leg of this year's IPL matches.
So far, state has hosted nine IPL matches in the last four editions after 2010.
The IPL will start on April 16 in the UAE, where 20 matches will be played and shift to India on May 2 with the final scheduled for June 1 in Mumbai.
HPCA is blaming the state government for non-assistance for hosting the matches. The BCCI secretary had earlier sought suggestions from the state police on hosting the matches in Dharamsala, but the police had showed its inability to provide security as it had already sent six companies for poll duties.
“Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) and state cricket body HPCA had approached the various government authorities to provide the security cover and administrative support for hosting IPL matches,” HPCA press secretary Mohit Sood said here on Friday.
HPCA blamed the HP government for scuttling. “It has been done on directions of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his ‘coterie’ of advisors and officials,” he blamed.
"Despite writing to the state government, including the police department twice and a HPCA representative meeting them in person for providing the requisite security cover for IPL matches, they just didn't respond," said Sood, adding “The state government do not want IPL matches to be played here.”
He blamed government for alleged ‘jealousy’, adding that the government was insecure by the success of the game and infrastructure created under the leadership of HPCA chief Anurag Thakur.
“The Government is resorting to vindictive tactics to curb the rise and popularity of the game in Himachal, which has put the state firmly on the world map of cricket,” he said.
Sood said that the loss of not hosting these matches can’t be quantified. “It would affect the local business including hotels, transport, restaurants which used to run to full capacity in the region due to the IPL.”