Dharamsala: As the scenic hill- town of Dharamsala readies to host, just 2nd international ODI of the venue , the India-West Indies one-dayer slated for October 17, the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) has written to the district police and civil authorities requesting for security cover and administrative support during the event. This comes at a time when the Congress government in Himachal Pradesh and the sports body, headed by Hamirpur MP Anurag Thakur, son of former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, are locked in a fierce battle over alleged regularities in the functioning of HPCA.
“We have written to the district police and the district administration on September 5, requesting for security cover and support during upcoming ODI match between India and West Indies, but the authorities have not responded so far ,whereas HPCA has to report about the preparatory steps taken for the said tie within a week . ” said HPCA President Anurag Thakur in Dharamsala .
Anurag on Saturday said that VirBhadra lead Congress government’s only aim is to snatch Dharamsala Cricket Stadium. He said that HP government faced the agony of the voters of the area in parliament poll for making hindrance in the organization of IPL matches early this year. ”And if similar attitude was shown, than the public will reply accordingly,” he said .
On the other hand CM Himachal VirBhadra Singh replied in a supporting way in a press conference at Hamirpur on Saturday. “My government is only investigating the issues raised by the Congress party in a charge sheet prepared against the BJP regime and since there were major allegations which were made part of our election manifesto, it was my moral duty to get them investigated,” he said, reacting to the accusations that his government was hounding the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA), headed by BJP MP Anurag Thakur.
He assured that the state government would extend all possible help to the HPCA for holding international match scheduled at Dharamsala provided they asked for it.
Vice Chairman Himachal Forest Corporation Kewal Singh Pathania also came to the support of the government by claiming that sports was only uplifted during the 6 terms of VirBhadra Singh as CM Himachal. In a press conference at Dharamsala on Sunday, Pathania said,”Anurag must tell the state that how many Himachali cricketers were raised to the international standards in past 14 years of his control of HPCA.” He blamed that instead players from Himachal and Kangra in particular were not even allowed to practice in the stadium which was built by BCCI on the land given by HP government for development of Himachal Cricket.
Kangra deputy commissioner C Palrasu confirmed that the administration has received a communication from HPCA regarding the upcoming match and the help they need during this event. “Whatever we can, we will do,” said Palrasu. Meanwhile, the district police authorities said that they have also received the request from the sports body and will be intimating it to the higher officials.
Notably, the tussle between the Congress-led state government and the HPCA had robbed this hill station of the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches this season, which had hosted nine IPL matches in the last four seasons. HPCA had blamed the state government of refusing to provide security for the home-leg of the IPL held in May and June, prompting the IPL governing body to drop Dharamsala as a venue for the commercial league in 2014 season. The Congress lead state government, however, claimed that it was willing to host the IPL matches early this year , and rather accused Anurag Thakur of misleading the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that the Himachal Government would not be able to provide the required security.
Dharamsala hosted its first international event in the shape of India- England ODI, which was played here in 23rd January 2013.
Arvind Sharma is an award winning bi-lingual journalist with more than 20 years of experience.
He has worked with Divya Himachal, Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhasker, Vir Partap, Ajit and PTI.
In 2010, he was conferred the Himachal Kesri journalism award. He reports on the Tibetan Government in Exile, politics, sports, tourism and other topics. He lives in Dharamshala.