It was with humor that Anurag Thakur, the BCCI secretary and BJP MP, explained the rationale of Dharamshala land the biggest clash in the T20 World Cup ICC on March 19 – India vs Pakistan.
“Looking at the heat generated by the debate about whether the series between India and Pakistan will take place or not, I think you need a cool atmosphere and the right environment is in Dharamsala,” he said with a smile.
Thakur, who also heads the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association who has the floor, followed with a Hindi byte. “Itni game Garam ke liye, Chahiye jagah thandi (A hot game like this needs a cool place),” he said, as big smiles spread across the faces of Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan, who sat next to Thakur.
But not everyone would have been smiling for the announcement on Friday of venues for the T20 World Cup, to be held in India in March-April 2016.
A clash between India and Pakistan is normally held on the biggest stage possible, even during World Cups or tri-series abroad, taking into account the thousands of people who crowd this clash perpetually “highly anticipated”. But this time, the Cricket Board of India has chosen to go the other way – Dharamsala has a capacity of only 23,000, and is hampered by a shortage of good hotels.