Following the announcement that India and Pakistan will lock horns during the T-20 cricket World Cup at Dharamshala on March 19, the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association has said that they are trying to get Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif to watch the match together.
Addressing a press conference, HPCA vice-president Surinder Thakur said: “We want Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to arrive at Dharamshala to watch the match.
Asked if HPCA would extend a formal invitation to Sharif, Thakur said, “We can’t do that. The BCCI has to do this and we have asked them to ensure that the two dignitaries come here. Anurag Thakur, BCCI secretary and HPCA president, must have already taken this initiative”.
“The matches have offered opportunities for cricket diplomacy as a means to improve relations between the two countries,” he added.
This is first time that 10 matches, including two women’s matches will be held at Dharamshala . “This is a historic movement for the state. Travellers ,tourists and cricket fans from across the world will flock here. We are involving all stakeholders, including hoteliers, taxiwalas, traders and government agencies to hardsell the state. The HPCA feels that the month-long cricketing session at Dharamshala will bring a business of Rs 1,000 crore to the state,” HPCA spokesperson Mohit Sood said at the press meet.
Thakur too said that the cricket matches would immensely benefit the state’s tourism potential.