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Shimla, Sep 15: The Himachal Pradesh government Monday said it would extend all possible help to organise the India-West Indies ODI a day after HPCA president Anurag Thakur expressed uncertainty over holding it. “The government is fully committed to promotion of sports. It’s unfortunate that Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) president Anurag Thakur is unnecessarily trying to politicise the issue,” Urban Development Minister Sudhir Sharma said in a statement. Also Read - School Reopening News: Himachal Gives Green Signal to Reopen Schools From Sept 21 | Read Here
He said Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has already made it clear that the state government would extend all help for organising the One-Day International (ODI) in Dharamsala Oct 17. Sharma said: “The HPCA president is continuing to issue baseless political statements on the matter.” Also Read - 5 Unexplored, Easy On The Pocket Destinations in Himachal Pradesh
BJP MP Thakur Sunday said “if the government fails to respond to the requests of the HPCA for providing security and other necessary arrangements for hosting the ODI by next week, the holding of the match might be uncertain”. He had told reporters: “The government has not been responding to the requests of the HPCA.”
The minister asked the HPCA to approach the government for whatever assistance they need to organise cricket matches in the state rather than accusing it of not responding to their requests. He clarified that the government has no interest whatsoever of taking control of HPCA’s Dharamsala cricket stadium, some 250 km from the state capital, as alleged by Thakur. The first ODI in Dharamsala was played between India and England Jan 27, 2013. The picturesque stadium has a 21,600-seat capacity, besides a world-class indoor stadium comprising video analysis facilities, a club lounge, restaurant, bar and banquet hall.
The popularity of the venue soared after nine IPL matches were held there. In the last IPL season, Dharamsala was not allotted a single match owing to the tussle between the Congress-led state government and the HPCA.