India beat England by five wickets in the fourth ODI to win the series 3-1 © PTI
Dharamsala: Jan 24, 2013
Amid huge enthusiasm, both India and England cricket teams arrived at Dharamsala on Thursday for the fifth and final One-Day International (ODI) to be held here on Saturday.
The two teams reached Gaggal Airport in the afternoon by a chartered flight and headed straight to their the five-star residential complex.
Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association officials and girls dressed in traditional Kinnauri outfits welcomed the members of the both teams at the airport.
The HPCA president, Anurag Thakur welcomed the teams at the hotel.
This is the first time that the hill town is hosting an international match. At an altitude of 1317 metres, the stadium is all set to provide a breathtaking view of the snow clad majestic Dhauladhar mountain ranges at the backdrop.
The ODI was originally scheduled as a day-night fixture, but it was changed to a day match, slotted for a 9am start to avoid a bone-chilling cold in the evening under floodlights.
“It is going to be a historic day for the small hill town,” said Thakur, who has been instrumental in setting up the ground here.
Thakur also said that his next aim will be to hold a Test match here.
Thakur, however, is worried about the unpredictable weather in the region and for that he has also visited a temple of local deity and performed ‘puja’.
India have already taken an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match ODI series and star players like India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who has been reportedly carrying an injury, may opt to sit out of the game.
Other players who might give the game a miss are Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma and Gautam Gambhir who are likely to make way for Amit Mishra, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ashok Dinda.
Meanwhile, the English players are likely to enjoy playing in the “home like” cold conditions here and would look to reduce the margin in the series.