The Telegraph
Saturday , January 26 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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England have a quiet day

Calcutta / Dharamsala: The England players were quite surprised with the pleasant weather in Dharamsala, contrary to their perception before reaching here. At the same time, they also missed a chance to meet The Dalai Lama, on Friday.

The visitors enjoyed their break to the fullest as they travelled to McLeodganj in order to meet one of the most renowned spiritual leaders of the world. They wanted to meet the Dalai Lama but, according to sources, His Holiness declined the offer since he has gone into a “spiritual retreat”.

Star batsman Kevin Pietersen also tweeted about visiting at the residence of the Dalai Lama. “His Holiness himself... Such an interesting morning visiting his residence!” Pietersen tweeted, attaching a photograph of his beside the Tibetan spiritual leader.

But, what has completely caught England by surprise was the bright sunny weather contrary to reports in the British media about the stadium and the ground being covered by snowfall.

In fact, as the England team bus was climbing up the hill road, captain Alastair Cook, sitting at the rear, clad in white body-hugging T-shirt, was happily clicking the pictures of the snow-capped Dhauladhar range. While it was a case of not having a clear idea about the climatic conditions, the visiting entourage was too happy to click the pictures of the stadium with the magnificent sight of the snow-capped mountain range at the backdrop.

“We always knew that the match was on. Those who were spreading information that there has been a massive snowfall did not try to get the details. Snowfall and the sub-zero temperature happened in McLeodganj, which is a few thousand feet above the level at which this stadium is located.

The temperature here does drop sharply in the evening, but by then, the match will be as good as over. On the other hand, Virat Kohli was smacked on the face by a football as the Indian team played soccer during its training session on Friday afternoon, at the picturesque HPCA stadium.

Although he was out of action for a brief period, the Indian team management confirmed that Kohli was fine. “There’s nothing serious at all. Kohli is fine,” a source revealed.