India is hosting the ICC World T20 tournament for 2016 and for this the venues which India has provided for the event need to be properly inspected, vetted and confirmed by a panel of the ICC. So for the very reason a panel of the ICC had visited Indian and checked out all the venues in the fray and were mighty impressed with Dharamsala. Dharamsala is located in Himachal Pradesh and is developed and maintained by the HPCA (Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association).
The stadium is located at quite some altitude and it said to be among the highest stadiums in the world. Dharamsala will be hosting as much as 10 matches in the entire tournament along with the most anticipated India – Pakistan clash.
A 17 member ICC inspection team led by its Head of Events, Chris Tetley and Tournament Director for BCCI MV Sridhar were on a pan-India tour to check out all the venues for the tournament and they visited Dharamsala last in the list. The inspection consisted of the entire premises including overall ground infrastructure, practice areas, changing rooms, safety measures as well as the hospitality facilities available.
“We have carried out inspection from all aspects and are happy with the facilities here,” said Tetley said in a press conference event. He added, “Dharamsala has already hosted a number of International matches and was a fantastic venue. Given the India-Pakistan match, which will be held here on 19 March, we had have detailed discussions on security arrangements with host organization.”
ICC takes the issues with security very seriously since the Sri Lanka team attack in Pakistan. There is partiality in the security arrangement for certain teams only; it remains constant for all the teams and all the matches. The BCCI official MV Sridhar said that the Dharamsala venue is the best among all the rest that they have checked out.
“Practice facilities and the indoor practice area are of world class level and the biggest advantage at Dharamsala is the practice area for four teams at a time, which shall help organizing many matches in short time. Hospitality facilities here are unmatched and no other venue has so much of options,” he said and added, “practice area for four teams and will be useful during the group stage when two matches will be held on a day. In fact we have asked the other venues to create more practice facilities”.
The inspection panel on visit said that there were no shortcomings with the requirements in any ways and only a few additions have been suggested which should be taken care of since the tournament is still 3 months away. So there is time to smooth out all the edges.
“Sitting capacity is being increased while special enclosures will be created for differently-abled persons,” said Sridhar, displaying how much ICC and BCCI both believe in giving every spectator the best and enjoy the cricket fully even they might be differently abled.
There were some issues with the kin of the Kargil war Martyrs who have revolted a bit against the India-Pakistan match being held in Dharamsala. To this the ICC said that this is a world stage competitive event and not a business event. The motive is to find the best and not make money out of it. Had it been a bilateral series, then the suggestion could have had been considered in that ways, but it is not one.