India’s HPCA Stadium stripped of Test match as drainage project fails

HPCA Stadium

Featured image credit: BibhasCD / CC by 3.0 / Resized to fit

Dharamsala’s HPCA Stadium has been stripped of its forthcoming cricket Test match between India and Australia after torrential rain scuppered an outfield improvement project.

The third Test of the Mastercard Australia tour of India for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, originally scheduled to take place at the picturesque 23,000-capacity stadium on the edge of the Himalayas from March 1-5, has now been moved to Holkar Stadium, Indore.

HPCA Stadium, which has not hosted a first-class match since early 2020, recently underwent renovations to relay the outfield and fit a new drainage system, but recent rain in the city delayed the work.

The BCCI conducted an inspection of the ground late last week to determine whether it is ready to host Test cricket before making the switch to the 30,000-capacity Holkar Stadium.

In a statement from the BCCI, Indian cricket’s governing body said: “Owing to harsh winter conditions in the region, the outfield lacks sufficient grass density and will need some time to develop fully.”

The three-Test series gets under way at Delhi’s 42,000-capacity Arun Jaitley Stadium – previously Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium – on Friday, February 17. The final game will be staged at the world’s biggest stadium, the 132,000-capacity Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, from March 9-13.

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