India vs England: Dharamshala festive ahead of ODI
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The atmosphere in Dharamsala is nothing short of festive as the hill town gears up to host its first ever international cricket match with India taking on England in the inconsequential fifth and final ODI of a series that has been pocketed by the home nation.
The English fans have started arriving through charted flights and luxury vehicles. BCCI officials are also gathering here for the closing ceremony of the series.
All 67 MLAs of the state are coming to witness the game where Chief Minister Vir Bhadra Singh shall be the chief guest along with the Dalai Lama.With the match falling on a Sunday, lot of tourists are coming in from the adjoining states of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi.
The host of the show, the Himachal Pradesh Cricket association (HPCA) admitted that the spectators might face problems in getting suitable accommodation. The town has 56 registered hotels and guest houses
with a bed capacity of 1,100.
McLeodganj, 8km from Dharamsala, has around 91 registered hotels which can accommodate 2,000 people. In addition to this, a dozen government guest houses are also there. Sanjeev Gandhi, owner of a hotel in McLeodganj said, "The total rooms of our hotel were booked a year back for this event.
Beside accommodation, the administration is worried about the parking for the vehicles. But there is no problem for the players and officials of this match as the the Pavilion residential complex is almost ready for them. It has 32 huts made of imported wood. The Pavilion, overlooking the stadium, is some 3 km from the stadium. The stadium, 250 km from Shimla and Chandigarh, has a seating capacity of 21,500.