Hill station to play host to maiden match

This picturesque Himalayan hill station, which has lured hundreds of thousands of Westerners since Tibetan spiritual leader The Dalai Lama settled here in 1960, is all set to witness its first international cricket match this month.

The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association is leaving no stone unturned to make the fifth and final ODI between India and England on January 27 at its new showpiece venue, located at an altitude of 4,000 feet above sea level, with the mighty snow-clad Dhauladhar Ranges forming the backdrop, a warm and welcoming affair.

“If everything goes as planned, the stadium has the potential to become a permanent fixture for future international matches,” HPCA president Anurag Thakur, a member of the Lok Sabha, said.

The stadium, 250 km from Shimla, has a 21,600-seating capacity, besides a world-class indoor stadium comprising video analysis facilities for both bowlers and players, a club lounge, restaurant, bar and banquet hall.

He said the popularity of the venue soared after the seven IPL matches in the past three seasons. “We are going provide not only the players but also the spectators with a world-class facility,” Thakur, the force behind the Rs 100 crore stadium and ultra-luxurious residential complex, said.

He said the HPCA has been working overtime to get the stadium ready for the match.
“For the players, the Pavilion residential complex is almost ready. It has 32 huts made of imported wood and 38 concrete rooms. A world-class multi-gym is the new addition,” he added.

The town has 56 registered hotels and guest houses with a bed capacity of 1,100.

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