Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin today said that the picturesque Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) stadium should start hosting Test matches as it is not just a beautiful venue but also has all the facilities available.
“HPCA should host the Test,apart from One-dayers and T20s. The stadium has got a beautiful setting,all the facilities are available here,” said Azhar.
“I believe after Newlands in Cape Town (South Africa) and Pukekura Park in New Plymouth (New Zealand),I think this is another picturesque venue,” he added.
Dharamsala,which has been hosting IPL matches for the past two seasons,is all set to host a One-day International for the first time during India’s home series against England between November 2012 and January 2012.
The HPCA stadium,with a capacity of around 20,000,overlook snow-capped Dauladhar mountain range and Azhar feels that the location and weather makes it a perfect venue.
“The pleasant weather and scenic locations make it a perfect ground to host international matches,” said Azhar,who was here to play a friendly cricket match between India and UK parliamentarians.
HPCA president Anurag Thakur-led Indian MP team played a T20 cricket match here against a visiting team of the parliamentarians from the United Kingdom and Azhar scored a quickfire 46-ball 100 (retired) to help the hosts register a 56-run win here today.
“I am happy that I played my first match here and scored a hundred. It was a good outing,” said Azhar,whose 100 was laced with two sixes and 17 fours.
Azhar single-handedly guided his team to an imposing 226 for five before the Indian bowlers restricted the visitors to 170 for 9.
His scored most of his runs in his favourite leg side region and also came up with his trademark flick shots.
Apart from Azhar,opener Kuldeep Bishnoi struck a fine 39-ball 54,while Thakur played a cameo of 22 runs.
M Hancock was the most successful bowler for the UK Mps,picking up two wickets for 40 runs in his alloted four overs.
Chasing a stiff target,opener L Faulks scored 30-ball 31 while A Jackman hit 37 runs laced with five boundaries.
Thakur scalped four wickets,while Nishikant Dubey accounted for two.