Principal Correspondent

Ahmedabad: Overnight rains and a wet outfield forced the cancellation of the first one-dayer between India ‘A’ and South Africa ‘A’ at the Sardar Patel Gujarat Cricket Stadium at Motera here on Wednesday. The teams will now travel to Baroda for the second one-dayer on Friday, followed by the third and final one-dayer at Rajkot on Sunday.

Sadly the news filtering in from Baroda also whispered about rain.

Umpires A.V. Jayaprakash and C. Mohite, inspected the pitch and the outfield at 7 a.m. and followed it with another walk to the middle at 10.30 a.m., which proved decisive. “The outfield is too wet and with the weather staying the way it is, there is no scope for a match here. I just feel bad for the groundstaff who have toiled hard,” Jayaprakash said after he and Mohite officially called off the match.

Frustrating wait

For the players, it has been a frustrating wait ever since the rains began trailing them since the second four-day Test at Dharamshala. “As ‘A’ team players, we get less tours and a few matches and when the weather does not improve, what can we do?” asked Parthiv Patel, the India ‘A’ team’s vice-captain.

Parthiv and Suresh Raina walked up to the pitch, spent a few minutes gazing at it and then walked back, shaking their heads in dismay.

“As players we can only control the way we play and there is no point in thinking about the weather,” said Parthiv.

The diminutive wicket-keeper has lost out with the rapid emergence of M.S. Dhoni and the metamorphosis of Dinesh Karthik as a Test opener. But he still hopes.

“I have scored four hundreds right during the tour of Zimbabwe and Kenya and I am hoping for the best. The competition is tough but I am doing whatever I can so that I am ready when the opportunity arises,” added Parthiv.

Comeback trail

Skipper Mohammad Kaif, who is also on a comeback trail, is another player who has boarded hope’s bandwagon. “I am trying to enjoy these games as much as I can and as for a recall, it is not in my hands but in cricket anything can happen. All I can do is perform well in these matches but looks like the rain is chasing us,” Kaif said.

Meanwhile the South Africans led by Boeta Dippenaar, had an early morning training session and returned to their hotel rooms even before the match was officially called off.

The visitors’ one-day replacements are scheduled to arrive in the course of the day with the quartet of Albie Morkel, G. Bodi, Vernon Philander and Thandi Tshabalala replacing Yusuf Abdullah, Hashim Amla, R. Peterson and Friedel De Wet.

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