Cricket

Wet patches play spoilsport

Picturesque yet... Players from both teams — Himachal Pradesh and Mumbai — were left gazing at the sights as a soggy outfield made play impossible.

Picturesque yet... Players from both teams — Himachal Pradesh and Mumbai — were left gazing at the sights as a soggy outfield made play impossible.  

Despite sunshine, ground conditions deemed not fit for resumption

For the second time in as many weeks, a whole day’s play was lost due to wet outfield at the HPCA Stadium despite the snowy mountains overlooking the stadium basking in sunshine for virtually the whole day. With the penultimate day’s play of Himachal Pradesh’s Ranji Trophy Group B clash versus Mumbai abandoned, the visiting side’s chance of forcing a result was over.

After the second day’s play was washed out due to rain, clear skies in the morning — despite heavy overnight downpour — raised hopes of resumption of play. Umpires S. Ravi and Vineet Kulkarni conducted four inspections along with match referee Gaurav Vashisht but such were the wet patches on either side square off the pitch that the officials were forced to call stumps at 2.40 p.m.

Despite BCCI president Sourav Ganguly insisting on state associations possessing covers to protect the full ground, barely half of the HPCA ground was covered.

Similar incident

A similar incident had forced a full day’s play to be abandoned in HP’s tie versus Baroda last week.

“Had the entire ground been under covers, the game would have been possible today. As long as it’s not raining, we could have played. The problem is the areas which are not covered,” said Aditya Tare, Mumbai captain. “There are venues in India where the entire ground gets covered. Obviously not every ground has covers for the entire outfield but it’s unfortunate because there had been prediction for rain.”

Torn

While no HPCA official was available for comment, it is understood that the HPCA had to despatch half of its covers to Una, where the BCCI’s U-23 women’s one-dayers are in progress. However, lack of proper covers — torn according to a few women cricketers — has resulted in the women’s game being abandoned.

HPCA hopes it will be equipped with a new set of covers before next month’s ODI against South Africa. Mumbai and HP will keep their fingers crossed for clear skies and action on the field on the last day.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 12:30:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/wet-patches-play-spoilsport/article30685298.ece

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