Fifth ODI between India and Australia called off

Fifth ODI between India and Australia called off

The fifth one-day International between India and Australia was officially called off today without a single ball being bowled after a formal inspection by the umpires this morning.

The Orissa Cricket Association had given up hopes yesterday only and announced the dates of ticket refunds as there was no let up from rain for five days because of a low pressure formation in the Andhra-Telengana region.

Umpires Nigel Llong, S Ravi and C Shamsuddin inspected the ground at 11am as there was some sunshine after five days of incessant rains but with the outfield still soggy and damp patches at several places, the duo officially abandoned the match.

"After inspection umpires in their report submitted that the outfield is not fit for play and no play is possible," OCA secretary Asirbad Behera said.

Both the teams, who are put up in state capital Bhubaneswar, did not turn up at the venue as only the match officials came to make the announcement.

Anticipating that the match would not be possible, no spectator turned up even as tickets for the 45,000-capacity stadium was almost sold out.

This was the second consecutive match to be abandoned due to rain -- both in the East Zone -- as the Aussies continued to lead 2-1 in the seven-match bilateral series.

Winning the series has now become more difficult for India who have to win both the remaining matches in Nagpur (October 30) and Bangalore (November 2).

Later making a formal announcement, OCA secretary Asirbad Behera said: "Pitch is fit to play however the outfield is still wet and not fit and the umpires announced it at 11.15pm. With deep regret, I announce the cancellation of the match."

"We knew it from yesterday but as per the ICC guidelines we had to wait for the umpires' inspection on the match day."

Behera further announced that the three-day practice match between touring West Indies and Uttar Pradesh CA scheduled here from October 31 was too shifted to Mumbai.

"Such is the condition of the ground that it would require about four days of sunshine to make it match ready. The Board has already shifted the practice match to Mumbai."

The venue turned out to be a jinxed for both the teams as the last match between India and Australia was too abandoned without a single ball being bowled exactly about 17 years back on October 27, 1996.

Having learnt a lesson, the OCA secretary further said next time onwards they would not host any match in October.

"It normally rains throughout Odisha in this month because of the low pressure formation. Next time onwards, we would try not to bring any match in October," Behera said.

The OCA had already announced the refund of tickets from November 8-15 between 10am to 5pm at the three ticket counters of the Barabati Stadium.

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