The Ranji Trophy group ‘A’ match between Delhi and Jharkhand was abandoned on the fourth day at the Keenan Stadium here on Wednesday.

The umpires made the second inspection at noon — the first was at 7.45 in the morning — and called both team representatives to convey their decision to call off the game. Both teams got a point each.

The soil underneath the top layer on many parts of the outfield failed to dry up despite two full days of sunshine.

The match officials decided to play it safe and the four-day match was called off without a ball being bowled.

The Keenan Stadium, which was once an international venue, seems to have fallen on bad days. The abandonment of this match only indicates that it is not even fit to host a first-class match.

The 500-odd spectators, who had gathered to witness some action, gave vent to their disappointment by throwing all kinds of missiles onto the ground from the galleries.

Speaking to media, Delhi manager Suresh Luthra felt this abandonment would cost his side. “We have a very good side. We wanted to have a good start to the season. We also understand that no one has any control over rain,” he said.

“The curator told me even three more days of sunshine would not be able to dry up the outfield, such was the damage to the ground,” he said.

The problem with the ground is that the pitch square is being maintained by the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) and the outfield by Tata Steel, requiring coordination between the two in its upkeep.

This game was initially scheduled at the Ranchi’s JSCA Stadium but was shifted to the Keenan Stadium. It is important for the Board to find out what prompted the JSCA to change the venue. — Special Correspondent

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