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India vs Australia 3rd test likely to be shifted out of Dharmshala over concerns of relaid outfield: Reports

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The BCCI has kept Indore, Vishakhapatnam, Pune and Rajkot as the backup venues if Dharmshala fails to show match preparedness ahead of the India vs Australia 3rd Test match.

The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) could lose the hosting rights of the India vs Australia 3rd test match, which begins on March 1, as the stadium is racing against time to get the ground match-ready after relaying the entire outfield. Himachal Pradesh’s Dharmshala is scheduled to host the 3rd Test match between India and Australia.

As per the reports, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has shown concerns over the relaid outfield in the stadium and the cricket board has kept its options open, in case of a last-minute change.

The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) relaid the entire Dharmshala outfield including the pitch, which is not a major concern. However, a small incomplete patch near the square leg has pushed the BCCI into thinking.

Although the HPCA officials are confident to complete the work as still plenty of time is there before the third test between India and Australia. The BCCI will send its inspection team, including the curator, will visit the Dharmshala ground on 12th February, to see the match preparedness of the ground and to access the conditions. Only after the inspection, the final decision will be taken.

“There is still some work that needs to be done near the side area of the pitch. We are hopeful that things will be ready before the game. The HPCA will take a call after the BCCI inspection. We have relaid the whole surface with proper drainage and have added sprinklers to the ground. Some work is still pending and as three weeks are left we feel the work will be completed,” a source in HPCA said.

India vs Australia 3rd test likely to be shifted out of Dharmshala over concerns of relaid outfield: Reports
Dharmshala Stadium’s improved drainage system. | Image Source: The Tribune

One of the four backup options will be used by the BCCI in case Dharmshala fails to prove its match-readiness to the BCCI inspection team. Visakhapatnam, Rajkot, Pune and Indore have been identified as the top backup options to conduct India vs Australia 3rd Test match from March 1, 2023.

HPCA’s Dharmshala cricket ground last hosted an international match in February last year. India took on Sri Lanka in the two T20Is at the venue following which the relaying work started. A new drainage system along with a fresh outfield was relaid.

“In case the Test is moved out, even the curators at the new venue need time to get the pitch ready. A final call is expected by Monday or Tuesday,” sources in the know said.

ALSO READ: Rohit’s 100, Jadeja & Axar’s 50 torment Aussie bowlers on day 2 of the IND vs AUS Test, Highlights

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