Dharamsala: With the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association's (HPCA) stadium all set to host its first international match, HPCA President Anurag Thakur said that ICC representative and former Australian batsman David Boon gave his go-ahead to the venue after inspecting it last year.
Dharamsala, which has been hosting the IPL matches for the past two seasons, will host an ODI for the first time during India's home series against England between November 2012 and January 2013.
"Former Australian cricketer David Boon came here for the inspection on December 12 last year and gave his go ahead to the HPCA stadium," Thakur said. “As he [Boon] entered the stadium, he said, 'I have nothing to inspect here as I'm witnessing the world's best-ever cricketing settings here. The facilities are good and I would be waiting for the day when the one-day match between India and England will be played here. I also want to witness that match'. Those were the words of a great cricketer."
Thakur said even former Aussie great and current skipper of Kings XI Punjab, Adam Gilchrist, was bowled over by the HPCA stadium. "Adam Gilchrist also wants to settle down here in Dharamsala. When he got the feel of the stadium for the first time, he said, 'This is one of the prettiest stadiums in the world'. We are looking forward to host England here during the series," Thakur added.
Apart from Dharamsala, a newly-constructed stadium in Rajkot will also host a match, while the stadium in Pune will host a Twenty20 international. After hosting England, India will play a four-Test series at home against Australia.
When asked about the facilities in Dharamsala, Thakur said, "The stadium got the BCCI sanction only after ICC's approval. I don't want to take names but there are many cricket centres in India that don't have any of the facilities available, such as a hotel and even an airport. [But] all the facilities are available here and we are ready to host international teams."
Around 20,000 spectators can be accommodated at the HPCA stadium.