India! The country with amazing diversity and wonders has many champions. All these are real facts and real records. Most of them are certified by authentic record books like Guiness Book of Records & Limca Book of Records. I am trying to tabulate as many as I can. Please help me in my efforts by adding more facts and records.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
WORLD'S HIGHEST CRICKET GROUND
The world's highest cricket ground is in Chail, Himachal Pradesh. Built in 1893 after levelling a hilltop, this cricket pitch is 2444 meters (7,500 feet) above sea level. The ground itself is located three km from the village of Chail. The Maharaja of Patiala Bhupinder Singh was a cricket enthusiast and had a vast stretch of land flattened in the Himalayan terrain for cricket. The Maharaja used to play friendly matches with the Britishers.
History says that in 1891, Maharaj Bhupinder Singh of Patiala incurred the wrath of Lord Kitchener. It led to the restriction of his entry into the summer capital of India, Shimla. This incensed the Maharaja and he vowed to build a new summer capital for himself. So he rebuilt the place (Chail) as per his requirements.
For many years, the cricket ground merited a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records. Though the record has not been broken, Guinness Book has decided to delete the documentation because no competitive cricket is being conducted there. Today, local youth use the venue for inter-school matches and units of the Indian Army located nearby hold their sports meets and march-pasts. The sprawling grounds are well-kept with manicured lawns. The cricket ground, and also the whole village of Chail is surrounded by the forests of Chir Pine and giant Deodars trees.
Despite its unique location, Chail cricket ground is today starved of first class matches. Since long no international cricket have been played there. However many world class players of India still come to practice there and HP cricket association has plans so as to bring international cricket to Chail soon.
You can enjoy an amazing view of Sutlej Valley, Shimla and Kasauli at night from here. On the other side of the town are situated the massive Himalayan ranges spectacularly gleaming in the sun and snow- covered every thing under it.
Local youth believe that the ground despite so much neglect can still be restored. It can also promote tourism in the region. They want the ground to be properly developed as a cricket ground.
Himachal Pradesh government is also interested in building a cricket stadium at this highest ground. "This cricket ground is under the possession of the Army. We are planning to request them to hand over the land to us for the purpose of making a stadium. Whether it is Chail''s cricket ground or Anne Dale Ground at Shimla, we are ready to give a compensatory land to the army people. We will speak to the State Cricket Association and will make good cricket stadiums at Chail and Shimla," said Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh.
See the bird's eye view from Wikimapia here.