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Cricket on a high: Dharamsala

by Som

The first thing that strikes you is -- you just can't play cricket here.

I was more or less convinced that those who have Nature in their nature, would make dangerous non-striking partners.

To give you an idea, you might be so lost in your admiration that you would require a substantial nudge to come out of your trance to find your striking partner breathing through nostrils from handshaking distance, failing to appreciate the fact that you stood your ground come what may.

Worse, in case of a skier, the poor fielder simply stood no chance.

With the mighty Dhauladhar hulking in the backdrop, it’s simply breath-taking. No wonder, elderly visitors occasionally complain of breathlessness there.

In one of my first outstation assignments, I went to the stadium in 2005 to cover Pakistan's practice match against Board President's XI.

The day I reached, it rained. The day I returned, it rained. And in between, it rained. That's it.

Quite a Machiavellian ploy by BCCI to deny Inzy & Co some valuable practice, I told myself.

On Day One I think, I had buttonholed Shoaib Malik outside the dressing room for an interview when I saw Inzamam emerging.

"Happy birthday, Inzy bhai". I was eager to prove that I had done my home work.

"Thanks, par birthday ji kal hai". He looked rather amused.

I did not like his fussing over details and ignoring the spirit. But I had the face-saver quite at hand.

"I'm not sure if I would meet you tomorrow. So, wishing in advance."

It was a strange sight next day. The entire stadium had become one big birthday party with banners and chorus of 'Happy Birthday' making it anything but a cricket match.

In between showers, probably a couple of hours' play was squeezed in before the party began.

The organizers, the chief being the Chief Minister's son, had arranged some 20,000 laddoos that was distributed among all.

Lack of cricket was thus compensated with loads of bonhomie and Inzy never looked tired of shaking hands with whoever crossed his path.

But as I had told you, you just can't play cricket there.

Of course you can't find a fault with the stadium. But an equal truth is, you can't have Test matches there and possibly not even ODIs since the sky there has a permanent leak.

A match just can't go the full distance. At best, it would be a Duckworth-Lewis' delight.


scorpicity said...

The chronicles of Inzy... Superb read Som.

Gaurav Sethi said...

It was no small coincidence that you met the mountain of a manhill in Dharamsala.

Even if for just a few hours, I must watch a game here.

Homer said...

Thanks for the post Som. And thanks for the pic..


Som said...

Scorpicty, thanks.

Som said...

NC, your words give cricket tourism a leg up.

Som said...

Homer, thanks:)

pRAFs said...

Som, that place is beautiful.
Cricket will only add to the beauty, provided Paul Collingwood stays away

Som said...

pRAFs, I don't doubt the beauty of the place. But I just don't want to see Mssrs Duckworth-Lewis roaming around with their collar up.

pRAFs said...

fair point,
No use playing, 10 over games

straight point said...

som D&L too deserve some royalty for their services to

nice read as usual...

Som said...

pRAFs, only a toss-toss seems a win-win situation:)

Som said...

SP, royalty! They have not run into me, or I could not recognise them when they did. Else they would have got their royalties!

Aditya said...

T20 should be an ideal format for this ground!
Here's hoping that both the IPL matches on (16th and 18th) aren't interrupted !

Awesome Pic!