Dharamshala is regarded one of the most scenic cricket stadiums in the world © AFP
Dharamshala is regarded one of the most scenic cricket stadiums in the world © AFP

Lahual-Spiti, a cold desert in Himachal Pradesh, best known for its barren beauty may soon also be known as the place featuring the cricket stadium of highest altitude in the world. Presently, the Chail cricket ground which is situated at an altitude of 7,380 feet above sea level is considered to be the highest cricket ground. But if planning for the stadium in Lahual-Spiti comes to fruition, it will comfortably surpass that mark to stand at a majestic 10,235 feet. The idea for the stadium was broached a couple of years ago, but is still only in its formative stages.

According to the Times of India, there are two cricket associations in Lahual-Spiti with the identical name, which is simply District Cricket Association. However, the one that has floated the idea is not recognised by the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA), however it is registered with the district administration.

Being registered with the district administration, they have acquired Non-Objection Certificates (NOCs) from the forest department, but the next huddle lying in their path is the enormous money required to make this idea a reality. Since they are not registered with the HPCA and by extension the BCCI, they know their best option is to raise funds themselves.

“We have a very small amount in the bank account but this is not going to stop us from realizing the dream,” admitted Surinder Thakur, president of the association. “In fact, small amounts have already started flowing in from The area demarcated for the cricket stadium in Spiti Valley. The site for the proposed cricket stadium is next to Sissu lake, off the Manali-Leh highway, not far from the northern end of the under-construction, all-weather Rohtang Pass tunnel the people of the region.”

The local government seems to be enthusiastic about the project and have promised that there will be financial assistance for the project. “The stadium would be included in the tribal sub plan next year,” said MLA Ravi Thakur who is the vice-chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes and Lahaul-Spiti’s Congress. “There would be no dearth of funds.”