IPL leaves Dharamshala perplexed


By: Mohit Behl

Dharamshala (May 23): The current season of Indian Premier League (IPL) saw three matches being hosted at Dharamshala, making Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association proud enough to pat its back for this achievement. Though everything appears promising, the picture is not turning out to be rosy for the association as the much awaited event also brought in controversies, politics, and also realization that the small town has to go a long way before it can host mega events.

To begin with, this year the event failed to attract huge crowds in spite of much fanfare. Unlike last time when two matches were played here, this time stands could be seen empty except the general stands, which were sold out because they were the cheapest option available as compared to the other stands. There are many reasons which contributed to the low turnout, but mainly high ticket prices (almost double this time), and last year’s mismanagement of the event (which saw ticket holders outside the stadium & thus discouraged many prospective buyers) seemed to have taken a toll on sale of tickets.

Adding to HPCA’s woes this time was the controversy raised by opposition leaders, mainly by Nagrota Bagwan MLA GS Bali, against hosting the event and high prices of tickets (who by the way last year did not raise any questions on the League for certain obvious business reasons). The COO of Kings XI Punjab Col Arvinder Singh has already made it clear that because of such cheap politics next time his team will think about hosting their matches here as they are doing this to promote cricket and support the initiatives of HPCA in the state.

Amidst all this, HPCA president Anurag Thakur seems very determined to get a One Day game sanctioned for Dharamshala very soon and has also throw open a leisure club at the stadium. But the question is whether this kind of sports initiative is serving its real motive.

It is really surprising to see that a small city like Dharamshala, which doesn’t even have necessary infrastructure like good hospitals, educational institutions, wide roads and transport facility, has a world-class stadium first and now the relative infrastructure like a five star hotels are being planned. As of now, only the hotel industry & HPCA appear to be benefiting from this event as majority of the spectators are tourists from Punjab and other places, while the locals are being forced to bear with traffic jams and restricted movement due to VIPs thronging the place, even as the whole district administration too instead of being available to the public gets busy making arrangements for the event.

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  1. The efforts by HPCA and Anurag Thakur are highly commendable. No doubt, Dharamsala still lags in infrastructure to host big events but things are IPL are going to play an important role in development of area. Polititions like Bali should stand above party lines & realize that IPL is going to get business and development not just in Dharamsala but entire Kangra region. The entire world has been mesmerized by the charm of this place. All thanks to IPL and its organizers. Hopefully, Dharamsala doesn’t loose again due to cheap politics being played……

    • It is my long wish that Dharmsala (the place to which I belong to) should get international recognition with something else rather than due to Dalai Lama (after all he is not a product of India). I am happy that IPL has opened that window of hope of recognition of Dharmsala. I need not to tell my friends in future that I belong to Dharmsala where Dalai Lama stays (I have no personal problem with him, but identity crisis of my place)

  2. Dharamsala is a wonderfull place where cricket is played. After getting recognition from IPL , Dharamsala, through its heartblogging and mersmerising view has made a place in every people’s heart. Everyone admires n gets excited n charged as they hear that d match is gng to be held in Dharamsala. Bt i cant y d matches are less in Dharamsala , it has to be more n Dharamsala should be developed wich will result to a extravagant spot where cricket will be played n will be titled as ” THE HEAVEN PLACE OF CRICKET ” , Luv u DHARAMSALA…..

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