Dharamshala, December 5, 2017: HPCA Cricket Stadium is one of the most beautiful cricket stadiums of the world, where the first ODI of the Indo-Lankan series is being played on 10th of December. Though the stadium is unique in such a hill station like Dharamshala of Himachal in North India where the Lankan team shall perform for the first time, it is also the place which is popular as 2nd most wettest place in India. The organisers of the match here perform a Ritual/Pooja at the Indrunag (Lord of the rain) to clear the match day.
This time too HPCA offered prayers at Indru Nag Temple in Dharamshala for a successful organisation of the match on Monday. General Manager HPCA Col H S Manhas, Pitch Curator Mr.Sunil Chauhan and other HPCA officials today offered prayers at Indru Nag temple for the upcoming match between India and SL.
The BCCI had recently announced the change in timings for the first two ODIs of the three-match series between India and Sri Lanka which is scheduled to start from December 10,as the cold season is already on in the area,
India is scheduled to play three ODIs against the Islanders — Dharamshala (December 10), Mohali (December 13) and Vizag (December 17). The Indian cricket board had said that due to the cold weather, they are forced to change the timings of the matches that are scheduled to take place in Dharamshala and Mohali. The first two ODIs will start at 11:30 am instead of 1:30 pm. The last match played here was on 25th of March. A test match between India and Australia. It will be the first ever Test at the most picturesque cricket ground.
It will be the perfect setting to start a ODI series in the land of Dalai Lama and at an altitude of 1457m above sea level with the snow-capped mountains in the background. Stunning. Breathtaking. Awesome. The adjectives roll out as one enters the most beautiful ground in India. The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association [HPCA] Stadium in Dharamshala, with a capacity of 23,000, is as picturesque as the Adelaide Oval and Newlands, if not more. A small and glittering green plate, the ground has a snow-capped background in the form of the Dauladhar hill-range. The mountains add to the serenity of the venue. Another impressive feature is its openness and small-sized stands, which allow for winds to sweep across, giving fast bowlers assistance in the air. The venue is the first in India to use winter rye grass scattered around the outfield, which prevents the grass from dying when temperatures fall below 10 degrees.
The harsh winters, during which it rains and snows, can be deterrents to organising international matches here but it hosted its first ODI in January 2013, between India and England, despite snow falling at the ground in the preceding weeks. The 2010 expansion of the IPL brought Dharamshala wider attention and it has the potential to become one of India's most popular venues.
This shall be the third ODI in this venue; the last one was played between India and New Zealand in October 2016.