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VCA Promises cover for Wet outfield

It took two spells of rain, which lasted about half-an-hour each over the last two days to delay the start of the third Test by three hours on Saturday.

cricket Updated: Nov 21, 2010 01:13 IST
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay

It took two spells of rain, which lasted about half-an-hour each over the last two days to delay the start of the third Test by three hours on Saturday. The stoppage exposed a major shortcoming in infrastructure of the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium in Jamtha, which will host four World Cup matches next year.

For a modern stadium inaugurated just over two years ago, the showers were not intense enough to leave a vast part of the outfield - from wide long-off to wide long-on at the pavilion end - in such a state that it would take so long to dry.

The rains were followed by hours of bright sunshine, making the problem even more glaring.

Giving the incident another dimension is the fact that Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Shashank Manohar is from Nagpur. This stadium hosted its first international when he was head of both the BCCI and the VCA. Having relinquished his VCA post a year ago, Manohar is serving his last year as BCCI chief.

The delay highlighted two important points.

One, the stands and shades are erected in such a way that the problem area is always under the shadow of the construction when the sun is out.

Two, unlike some of the other international venues in India, this stadium has covers for only the pitch, its adjoining areas and the bowlers' run-ups. Having hosted two Tests, two ODIs and a T20I here before this, the VCA promised swift action.

“We have decided to arrange for covers for the affected area. Not just for the World Cup matches, this will be in place during this Test itself,” VCA president Sudhir Dabir told HT.