The first ODI between India and South Africa slated for Thursday couldn’t hold. The rain stopped the match without a ball being bowled.
This is the second match to be abandoned at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium in less than six months due to inclement weather, which was also an India-South Africa clash incidentally in September 2019.
The match which is first ODI of the three-match series had been in doubt due to the weatherman forecast of widespread rains and thundershowers over the region on Thursday and Friday.
There was also fresh western disturbance over north Pakistan and adjoining Jammu and Kashmir. In a bid to appease the god of rain, fans and organisers had offered prayers at the Indrunag Temple in the hills adjacent the stadium.
Ahead of Thursday planned game, The hill town had been lashed by heavy rains after the two teams’ practice sessions on Wednesday. This made the organisers cover the entire playing area as it rained on the eve of the match.
On Thursday, it rained on and off, which forced the toss to be delayed, and the ground staff were brought into action.
Despite not being a heavy one, the rain was enough for water to accumulate, forcing the organisers to press three super-soppers into action.
After tireless work, the ground staff couldn’t clear the ground, making the on-field umpires to call off the match.
With the cut-off time for a 20-over game set at 6.30 pm (IST), the on-field umpires after their final inspection decided that the match be abandoned.
The COVID-19, which is the novel coronavirus outbreak that has killed over 3000 people globally with the adverse weather conditions, affected ticket sales as well.
The second ODI of the series which comes up on March 15 holds is scheduled for Lucknow while the final match will hold in Kolkata’s iconic Eden Gardens three days later.
Meanwhile, the remaining two games between India and South Africa will be played behind closed doors.
According to the organisers, this is due to the dreaded novel coronavirus.
Written by: Oladipupo Mojeed