Shimla: Sunny weather with the snow-clad Dhauladhar peaks in the backdrop will welcome cricket fans for the fifth and final ODI between India and England at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) stadium in the hilly town of Dharamsala Sunday.
"The minimum temperature of Dharamsala was 4.4 degrees Celsius Thursday but the day was comparatively warm at 18.8 degrees Celsius, up by 1.6 degrees from Wednesday," Manmohan Singh, director of the meteorological office here, told IANS.
He said the weather would remain dry in the region till Jan 28. The state capital Shimla recorded a low of 2 degrees Celsius, while it was minus 4 degrees in Manali and 8.8 degrees in Kalpa. Keylong, headquarters of Lahaul and Spiti, was the coldest in the state at a low of 13.1 degrees Celsius below the freezing point.
Meanwhile, the cricket teams Thursday reached Dharamsala for the match. The HPCA is sparing no effort to make the ODI a warm and welcoming affair 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.
"We have completed all our preparations for the success of the match," HPCA president Anurag Thakur, member of the Lok Sabha, told IANS. The stadium, 250 km from state capital 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.
"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," Thakur added. The Pavilion, overlooking the stadium, is some three km from the stadium.
However, the HPCA admits the spectators might face problems in getting suitable accommodation. The town has 56 registered hotels and guest houses with a bed capacity of 1,100. Similarly, McLeodganj, eight km from Dharamsala, has around 91 registered hotels which can accommodate 1,000 people.