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Dog takes a bite of DDCA's prized asset

cricket Updated: Jun 25, 2011 01:22 IST
Shalabh Manocha
Shalabh Manocha
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

There was no dearth of problems for Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) but another one was added to the growing tally during the Cricket World Cup. It was revealed that stray dogs tore a portion of the balloon (used for taking the pitch covers on the centre) bought by the body before the mega event to cover pitch.

The dogs apparently caused the damage to the balloons before the World Cup and they have not been used since then.

"One day we noticed that the balloons brought recently were torn by dogs," said pitch curator Radheshyam.

The problem does not end here; Radheshyam also feels that these balloons are not viable to use at the Ferozshah Kotla as they take too long to get them ready in case of rain.

"The time taken to get these balloons ready is more than ten minutes which is too long in case it rains heavily. In comparison to them the ground staff will to a better and faster job to cover the pitches," Radheshyam said.

Other issues
Radheshyam also stated that the balloons couldn't be used when air is filled in them because they will hide the advertising boards just outside the boundary.

"When filled they cover the advertising boards on the boundary line which are a major source of revenue during an international match."

However, the chairman of BCCI pitch and grounds committee Venkat Sundaram who had ordered these balloons, which cost DDCA around Rs 4 lakh, feels that the balloons are good enough to be used and it is just that the ground staff at the Kotla needs to be trained a bit on how to use them effectively.

"Our ground staff needs a little bit of training on how to use these. I find them good enough and will recommend for other centers as some of the best grounds in the world use them with great results," Sundaram said. He however agreed to them hiding the advertising boards when filled.

On them being damaged by stray dogs Sundaram agreed. "Yes the dogs which have been a perennial problem at the ground did tear a portion of it but that was before the World Cup.

"These balloons come with repair kits and we have already repaired them. They will be used during home series against England," Sundaram added.