The heavy rains that lashed the city in the past two days did provide much-needed relief from the sweltering heat, but it has sent cricket officials run for cover, literally.
With the city’s first IPL match — between Sunrisers and Pune Warriors — scheduled to be held on Friday, the ground-staff at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Uppal have swung into action to protect the pitches.
Tuesday’s showers rendered the outfield waterlogged, presenting a disturbing sight.
A ‘practice’ match of the Sunrisers – between a mix of the franchisee and the local players – had to be abandoned after just 10 overs.
Chief curator Y. L. Chandrasekhar and his team had a torrid time bringing on the covers to protect at least the playing area in the middle, even as most of the ‘square’ surrounding the pitch was water-logged.
“We were somehow able to cover the pitches. Unless there is bright sunshine and no more rain tomorrow [on Thursday], things might just look more a bit serious as the first match is only 48 hours away,” Mr. Chandrasekhar said. Interestingly, the practice match also intended to test the make-shift lighting inside the canopy (roofing). They were, however, not used on Wednesday.
“The works are complete. However, the lights were not switched on because of the heavy rains. We will test them tomorrow [on Thursday],” HCA secretary M.V. Sridhar said.
Unless there is bright sunshine and no more rain on Thursday, things might just look more a bit serious as the first match is only 48 hours away.
Y.L. Chandrasekhar, chief curator, Uppal Stadium