Weather woes for opening tie

Shorter winter days could rob Guwahati of a full 100-over contest

Weather woes for opening tie

 In the hot seat: India’s new captain Gautam Gambhir plays a pull shot during a practice session at Guwahati on Friday. PTIStill, the Indian team went through its optional practice session but should the conditions remain the same on match day on Sunday, it will be impossible to go through a 100-over game.

The situation once again brings us back to the same old question -- why does the Board of Control for Cricket in India follow such an unscientific method while allotting the hosting rights of matches? Not too long ago, during the Australia one-day series, two of the three one-dayers were abandoned without a ball being bowled. While the rain played its part, the inadequate facilities at Kochi and Goa were mainly responsible for the matches in these two venues being cancelled. If Friday is anything to go by, then the BCCI is in for another potential embarrassment.

You don’t have to be a met department official to understand that days are going be shorter in this part of the country, especially at this time of the year. There is heavy fog in the morning and the sun sets in early, rarely allowing for a 50-over-a-side affair.  
Yet, in its unparalleled wisdom, the BCCI keeps on repeating its mistakes. The Board’s decision to host the opening game here is baffling, to say the least, as the multi-purpose stadium here doesn’t have floodlights either.

Like anywhere else in the country, there is a fanatic following for the game in this city too. The public here deserve to see their cricketing heroes in action in flesh and blood. But then, wouldn’t it be better for them to watch the game being played elsewhere on TV than having no play in their own den due to extraneous factors.

We don’t have go beyond 2006, when things took an ugly turn as the match between India and England was called off due to a damp outfield. The sun was beating down the ground and even a helicopter was summoned for ornamental value, but the poor drainage system here had rendered the ground beyond repair by then. The frustrated fans took matters in their own hands and things turned ugly, eventually forcing the police to use their might to bring the situation under control.

Despite the 8.30 am scheduled start, it’s unlikely Guwahati will witness a 100-over match as seldom does the weather pattern change in this part of world during this period. Having been witness to the conditions, the officials, led by match referee Roshan Mahanama, were closeted in a meeting on Friday evening to discuss how to make the best of a bad thing.

If prudence were to prevail, it would be in the best interests of both sides to have the number of overs reduced before the start instead of waiting for things to happen.
Meanwhile, India captain Gautam Gambhir and Daniel Vettori unveiled the one-day series trophy at the team hotel in a simple function. Gambhir is leading the side for the first time with regular skipper MS Dhoni enjoying a well-deserved break.

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