Dharamshala Stadium Concerned with Fungal Infection Ahead of World Cup Matches
Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh –
The upcoming World Cup matches are causing anxiety for organizers as the Dharamshala stadium wrestles with an outfield infected by fungus. The inspection carried out by the International Cricket Council (ICC) team, led by Andy Atkinson, head of ICC Pitch Consultants, revealed significant displeasure with the stadium’s condition.
During the inspection, Atkinson conveyed his concerns to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), emphasizing that the airport had been afflicted with a Grade IV fungal infection, rendering it unsuitable for hosting matches. Notwithstanding, the BCCI has reassured the ICC that the matter will be promptly resolved.
Sources within the BCCI have confirmed that a team will conduct a thorough inspection by September 20th, with BCCI Secretary Jai Shah personally visiting Dharamshala to assess the situation. The inaugural match is scheduled to take place on October 7th, and both the BCCI and the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) remain optimistic that the stadium will be prepared in time for the encounter between Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
In the event that the stadium remains unfit for play, alternative venues such as the Greenfield Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram, or the Kariyawattam, Guwahati, and Hyderabad stadiums, currently slated for World Cup warm-up matches, are being considered as fallback options.
This is not the first time concerns have been raised regarding Dharamshala’s airport. Earlier this year, the HPCA disappointingly failed to host the Test match between India and Australia in March. Just a fortnight prior to the match, the game was moved indoors due to the bare conditions of the outfield.
Nevertheless, the stadium managed to stage two IPL matches two months later. While heavy rainfall in Himachal Pradesh has certainly taken its toll on the state’s infrastructure, it is believed that the fungal infection affecting the stadium’s outfield is not solely attributed to the inclement weather.
With the deadline drawing closer, both the BCCI and the HPCA are actively working towards resolving the issue, ensuring that cricket enthusiasts can witness enthralling World Cup matches amidst a well-maintained and safe playing environment.
Dharamshala: The Dharamshala stadium is a concern with just days left for the World Cup matches. The stadium’s outfield is infected with fungus, which is a headache for the organisers. Great concern was expressed by the ICC team when it inspected the stadium under the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA).
The team led by Andy Atkinson, head of ICC Pitch Consultants, expressed dissatisfaction with the inspection.
Atkinson told the BCCI that the airport has a Grade IV fungal infection and cannot play matches in this condition. However, the BCCI has assured the ICC that the matter will be resolved in time.
BCCI sources said that the BCCI team would conduct an inspection by September 20 and BCCI Secretary Jai Shah would visit Dharamshala to assess the situation.
The first match will be held in Dharamshala on October 7. BCCI and HPCA are hopeful that the stadium will be ready before the match between Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
At the same time, if the match cannot be played in the stadium due to any reason, the lottery may fall, including Greenfield in Thiruvananthapuram. It will not be difficult to move to one of the venues of Kariyawattam, Guwahati and Hyderabad, which are currently scheduled for World Cup warm-up matches.
This is the second time this year that concerns have been raised about the airport in Dharamshala. The HPCA had also failed to host the Test match between India and Australia in March. Two weeks before the Test, the game was moved indoors after the outfield became bare.
He then hosted two IPL matches two months later.
Himachal Pradesh received heavy rainfall this year. This has greatly affected the infrastructure of the state. However, it is estimated that rain is not the cause of a fungal infection on the stadium’s outfield.
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