Lahaul to get world’s highest cricket stadium, site next to Atal Tunnel | Shimla News – Times of India

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MANALI: Move over, Dharamshala. The world’s highest cricket stadium will now be at at Sissu in the Lahaul valley of Himachal Pradesh, 10,000 feet above the sea level and next to the Atal Tunnel.
The formalities of land transfer and other paperwork are in the final stage. Unlike other cricket grounds, this 10,000-spectator facility will be tribal-funded. The location and design are final. The Lahaul-Spiti Cricket Association (LSCA) is at work since 2013, while the forest department had demarcated the 38-bigha site and now the file will go for FCA clearance.

LSCA president Surender Thakur said a letter of intent from the government will enable it to start the construction. The local administration, panchayat, and residents look forward to hosting cricket matches. Thakur said: “A few days ago, association general secretary Tenzin Karpa, joint secretary Sanjay Yarpa, members Ashok Bata and Virender Thakur, and I went to cabinet minister Ram Lal Markanda, who is keen to be involved in the project.”

Chail has the world’s highest pitch at 8,000 feet altitude but Dharamshala is the highest international venue. Patiala’s Maharaja Bhupinder Singh had developed the Chail ground in Shimla district in 1893. The Dharamshala stadium at 4,780 feet was built in 2003. The new ground will be 7 kilometres from north portal of the Atal Tunnel, an engineering marvel that has made Sissu a new tourist destination of Lahaul.

Asked about the impact of high temperature and rain on the matches, the LSCA president said: “The Sissu ground will remain shut in winter after the first snowfall. Between May and October, when Sissu’s temperate stays between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius, will be a pleasant season for cricket. Being almost a rain-shadow area, Lahaul can be ideal venue.”
Cabinet minister Ram Lal Markanda said the state government will give the LSCA all possible help, because the stadium will boost tourism.”

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