What could be better than to play your favourite sport amidst the beautiful scenery? Such is Chail Cricket Ground. Chail is a hill station in Himachal Pradesh and is also the home to world’s highest cricket ground.
This cricket ground was built in the year 1893 and this needed the massive work of leveling the top of a hill. This could only be done by a royalty and indeed Maharaja of Patiala, Bhupinder Singh took the initiative and developed as his capital during summers. It was during his stay in Chail that this ground was used for the friendly matches between his guests and him. This ground was later taken over by the military school.
This cricket stadium that stands 2444 meters above sea level is 49 km away from Shimla was built out of royal rage. When Lord Kitchener forbade Maharaja Bhupinder Singh from entering the summer capital of Shimla, Maharaja decided to build one for himself. He chose Chail for this and reconstructed this hill station according to his needs.
Chail is known for the architectural beauty of Chail Palace while the Chail Cricket ground is known for the picturesque beauty of the area surrounding the cricket ground. There are beautiful and high rising Deodar trees all around the ground. This hill station that is famous also by the name of hiker’s paradise which is totally opposite of the hustle and bustle you witness in the city of Shimla.
The story of Chail cricket ground is very interesting. When Maharaja of Patiala got infuriated with the ban on his entry in Shimla and got this amazing cricket ground made. But after India got her independence Maharaja Patiala donated a lot of buildings that were under his possession there to the Chail military school. This cricket ground is used by the school as playground while during the vacations polo is played on this ground. Also, there is a basket ball court which is well maintained. This ground is also a football ground as there are goal posts on either side of the ground.
This cricket ground was though made for playing cricket but the irony is that there is never any major cricket match played in this ground. There are many reasons why till yet there has been no matches played in here. First of all for a first class match to be conducted here this ground needs renovation. Then, before any match can be organized here there is a requirement of the permission of the military school. Also, when first class matches are held sixes are hit and in such case the ball may roll down the hill. There are fences to stop the balls that are normally reaching the boundary but when the ball crosses the fence there is no way it can be stopped.
Though BCCI has strengthened its commitment of developing this highest cricket ground for playing international cricket matches but Lahaul Spiti has put up a competition as they are planning on building a cricket ground on their dry and barren land. It is to be seen that which f these towns will be able to win this bet.
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