- Groundsmen failed to prevent rain water from seeping into the pitch through the covers
- The downpour had started 15 minutes before the scheduled time after Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bowl
- The umpires held 3 inspections but dampness on the pitch did not allow a single ball to be bowled
Former India fast bowler Zaheer Khan was not impressed with the ground staff’s work at the Barsapara cricket stadium in Guwahati where the first T20I between India and Sri Lanka got abandoned without a ball being bowled due to wet patches on the pitch after rain.
Rain water reportedly seeped through leaking covers that were used to cover the pitch and some of it even got spilled on the 22-yard strip due to errors made by the ground staff it seems.
Zaheer expressed his displeasure with the work of the ground staff after the match was called off by the umpires post 9.30 pm IST.
“When there is water on the wicket that really changes the dynamics of the game. Everyone was shocked because the rain stopped and in today’s day and age this is the last thing on your mind that water has gone on the wicket through the covers.
“Bit disappointing but we don’t know the exact story. Maybe the pitch wasn’t covered properly because to hear a cover not being taken properly is something which is unheard of,” Zaheer told Cricbuzz.
It started raining heavily just before the 7 pm start and although the downpour passed away, the pitch had damp patches which did not dry up in time for any play to be possible. The ground staff even used equipments like hair dryers, vacuum dryer and Super Soppers but all their efforts went in vain.
Former India opener-turned commentator Aakash Chopra also said on-air that it was disappointing to see such kind of preparation for an international game while pointing out the leaking covers used for protecting the pitch from rain.
“The outfield is bone-dry so I’d say it’s a schoolboy error that the water has seeped onto the pitch. Perhaps there are a few holes in the covers. It’s really disappointing preparation for an international game,” Aakash Chopra told Star Sports.