Dharamshala Misses Out On 2016 IPL Date, Kings XI Opt For Mohali

Dharamshala Cricket stadium a casualty to politics for 2016 IPL season

Dharamshala: Himachal Pradesh government having failed to express its willingness in writing for hosting of IPL Matches, Kings XI Punjab franchise promoters have decided to hold their 3 matches at homeground Mohali, HP Cricket Association executives here disclosed.

Sanjay Sharma, spokesman HPCA today said, “Having waited for 9 days for a reply from Himachal government, promoters of Kings XI have written to BCCI member Rajeev Shukla asking that their matches be played at Mohali instead of Dharamshala.”

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Sans 2016 IPL Matches, the beautiful Dharmashala Cricket Stadium bears an abandoned look

Recalling the 2014 and 2015 IPL, Sharma said, “the government in 2014 did not give any assurance about providing security as a result the matches went to Cuttack that Kings XI adopted as home ground for the season. And in 2015 they had picked Pune as their home ground but now when Pune has its own team, Kings XI for this season had settled for Nagpur as their second ground.

Due to water scarcity, matches had to be shifted out from Maharashtra and they approached us, said the HPCA spokesman. They wanted Dharamshala to be their venue for three matches and infact the Kings XI operational team had even inspected the stadium recently, where issues related to the problems that they could face were also discussed.

HPCA wrote a letter to chief minister Virbhadra Singh on 21st April, seeking a written consent for hosting of the three IPL matches that Kings XI Punjab wanted to be played at Dharamshala but till date the association has not received any reply.

HPCA was insisting on a written consent for hosting of the matches because of the embarrassment BCCI and the state cricket association had to face for shifting of the eyeball grabbers India Pakistan World Cup Twenty20 match from Dharamshala to Kolkatta earlier in the year.

Sharma also raised issues about taxes and security service charges that the government keeps raising about holding of IPL matches.

He said, “the government cannot be trusted, as at one point they say that nothing will be charged for holding of the matches but at the same time their own people drag HPCA to court over charging of entertainment taxes and levying of charges for providing security for hosting the IPL matches.

In 2010 Kings XI paid entertainment tax at the rate of 10%, which amounted to Rs 10 lakhs for holding of IPL matches at Dharamshala cricket stadium, said Sharma.

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.

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