India vs England 2012-13: Dharamsala confident of hosting final ODI

India have already sealed the five-match series 3-1 © Getty Images (representation pic)

Dharamsala: Jan 23, 2013

Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) on Wednesday sought to dispel doubts expressed at some quarters over the holding of the fifth and final One-Dayer between India and England at Dharamsala on January 27, with its secretary saying that stadium was all set to host the match.

The cold weather prevailing in the region has led to some casting doubts over the holding of the match but the officials here were going ahead full steam for a full game.

HPCA secretary Vishal Marwaha said the organisers were “hopeful” of getting a full 50-over contest in the first ODI in the state.

“We are set for the match. Only last-minute preparations are left and we are confident there will be no interruptions,” said Marwaha.

Marwaha said the hill station had been getting a fair bit of sunshine and that should be good for cricket. The day temperature is around 15 degree Celsius on Wednesday and according to weather forecast it’s expected to climb to 19 degree around the match day, which the officials feel should be all right for the players as well the spectators.

Unlike other matches in five-match series, which started at noon, the Dharamsala game will start at 9am to help the players escape the late evening cold.

Besides hosting a first-class game involving Pakistan in 2005, the HPCA Stadium has also been the venue of IPL matches over the past couple of years, serving as the second home for the Kings XI Punjab franchise.

It was the IPL experience that convinced HPCA that they were capable of hosting international games. In fact, people here are desperately hoping that the weather elements don’t have the final say and the January 27 match is held.

Being the final match of the England series, the venue has become more important as all the prize-giving formalities will be performed here. Because of that, all the top Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials are set to gather at Dharamsala.

HPCA officials said that a bulk of tickets have already been sold and Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh is expected to be the chief guest. All the 67 members of Himachal Legislative Assembly have been invited to watch the match.