By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA APRIL 30: Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) has announced that Dharamsala will not host any IPL matches this season as well, continuing the trend from last year when the matches were cancelled amid controversies.
Following directions from Bombay high court, 13 IPL matches were shifted out of drought-hit Maharashtra. Kings XI Punjab franchise has made an official request to hold three matches at Dharamsala on May 7, 9 and 15. However, the franchise didn’t receive any response from the State government to their official request.
They have now decided to host the three matches in Mohali, Punjab. HPCA’s PRO Sanjay Sharma blamed the state government for being passive and not responding to the request.
“The HPCA has written a letter to the state government to provide security for the three IPL matches in Dharamsala but the state government had not responded to the request,” he said.
In 2010 His Holiness the Dalai Lama graced the stadium in Dharamsala as the Chief Guest and gave his blessings to the players and the audience.
It is not the first time that the Dharamsala cricket stadium is involved in controversies because of the tussle between Congress-led state government and the HPCA president, Anurag Thakur who belongs to the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party. Other issues such as high security charges and entertainment tax collectively brought the stadium to the headlines for all the wrong reason.
Earlier in March this year, India-Pakistan t20 world cup match was also moved from Dharamsala to Kolkata for security reasons. So it can be assumed that politics is the reason leading to the series of matches being cancelled from the picturesque Dharamsala cricket stadium.