The inventors of cricket indeed would be proud that cricket in India makes it debut in truly English settings, when an IPL match would be played in the picturesque town of Dharamshala, in Himachal Pradesh. Dharamshala otherwise is known to the world as a city famous for Dalai Lama but now world would also remember it as one of the most picturesque grounds in the cricketing world all over.
It would not have been possible had Anurag Thakur the member of Parliament from Himachal Pradesh and the president of Cricket of HP had not taken personal interest. As a matter of fact after he became the president of Cricket in HP, things have improved quite a lot.
While there are scores of cricketing ground in the world where the ocean is an immediate neighbor, no where in the world is a cricket ground where the snow clad mountains of Dhauladhar hills beckon the viewers? As a matter of fact this is the USP of the ground, and may be to capitalize on it; the sitting capacity of the ground has been increased to 20000 people. In this scorching heat, when whole of the plains is sizzling, the fans would indeed like to rush back to the cool terrains of Dharamshala and enjoy the IPL match. Besides, one can also extend the journey further and go up to Mcleodganj to try and meet Dalai Lama.
It indeed is one of the most picturesque grounds in the world, situated at a height of 400 ft above the sea level and would host two IPL matches. With the addition of floodlights, an electronic score board and corporate boxes, Dharamshala ground beckons the viewers to the land of gods, or Dev bhumi as Himachal is known.
After all, where else can one have a view of snow falling in the distance, a rainbow appearing in the cloud but Dharamshala, and once the IPL matches are telecast around the world, there would indeed be clamor among the viewers to visit the ground, as there is a yearn among the fans to go and see Lords cricket ground.
Who knows, with Dharamshala emerging as an international centre, cricket that is not played in summers in most parts of the India, could become a round the year affair, when matches could be hosted in summers in Dharamshala. It could also become a money spinner for Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association.
By: Suman Rai