Preparations are on “war footing” at the scenic HPCA stadium, host to a bagful of eight matches in the World T20 with the highlight being the mouthwatering India-Pakistan showdown on March 19.
Though Pakistan are yet to confirm their presence in the tournament to be held in India, HPCA organisers are ready for the marquee clash as well as for other important games such as the one between Australia and New Zealand on March 18. The stadium will also host a couple of women’s World T20 matches.
“The preparations are on war footing. That is what you expect with less than a month left for the qualifiers (to precede the main event),” HPCA curator Sunil Chauhan told PTI today.
Chauhan assured it will be a typical T20 wicket for the scheduled India-Pakistan contest, offering lots of runs.
“It will be a typical T20 wicket. We will keep one strip for the game and test it only during the warm-up matches. It will be the first time a big event is happening here, we are all looking forward to it,” said the curator.
The qualifying and main matches will be preceded by four warm-up games.
Oman, who will compete in the qualifier of the men’s event, had recently trained at the facility and played against the state players.
The interest in the matches in this hill station only keeps increasing, something that has forced HPCA to increase the capacity. HPCA spokesperson Sanjay Sharma said the earlier plan of adding 5000 seats won’t be possible before the World T20.
“We would be able to increase the capacity by 2000 seats before the World T20. The rest will be done after the competition,” said Sharma, adding the capacity will go up to 22,000.