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Himachal stadium pavilion named after India’s woman wicketkeeper

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Shimla, June 3: India's wicketkeeper-batswoman Sushma Verma added another feather to her cap when the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) named after her a pavilion of its newly-opened cricket stadium ringed by lush green hills in her home district Shimla.

The HPCA on Saturday said it was an honour to name the pavilion of Gumma stadium, the fifth in the state, after the ace player. 

It was inaugurated on June 1 by former HPCA President Anurag Thakur, who is also former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President.

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"The naming of a pavilion after our player would go a long way in promoting, encouraging and inspiring young cricketers," HPCA Director R.P. Singh told IANS.

Shimla-born Sushma, the first cricketer from this state to represent India in international cricket, is the biggest success story of the HPCA's residential academy located in its picturesque stadium in Dharamsala, around 250 km from the state capital.

HPCA Press Secretary Mohit Sood said: "It's a great motivation for the girls of the Himachal Women Cricket Academy and other players to work harder and perform at their level best to achieve such heights."

The news to name the pavilion after the 25-year-old has brought cheers on the faces of Himachal Women Cricket Academy players.

"It's really a big thing for any player when a stand or pavilion is named after him/her just like Sachin Tendulkar. We juniors have always been inspired by Sushma 'didi'. She has been our support system," said Harleen Kaur Deol, a player.

Shivani Thakur of the academy said: "We always followed her footsteps. She has been a true source of guidance for us all. And after this news, we feel so proud of her. She deserves this honour."

Other trainees of the academy were also excited to hear the news.

Sushma, a right-hand batswoman and wicket-keeper, made her debut in the Indian cricket team in the 2014 England tour.

The HPCA's stadium at Gumma, with facilities like a pavilion, dressing rooms and four turf wickets, has been constructed with an outlay of Rs 3 crore.

HPCA Press Secretary Sood said the stadium's outfield has class one Bermuda grass to give the players an international playing experience.

The stadium is located around 60 km from the state capital at an altitude of 5,500 feet above sea level.

The HPCA has to its credit five stadia, including the world-class showpiece stadium in Dharamsala, and three cricket academies, including one in the state capital.

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