Sunday’s blackout had a re-run at the Eden on Tuesday evening. Kolkata’s knights were training when two of the four floodlight towers shut down. And because this was just practice, business went on uninterrupted in the 15 minutes it took to restore normal service.
For now though, the focus is more on the pitch than power cuts. And on the day Daljeet Singh, head of the BCCI pitches committee, inspected the 22-yard strip that caused some shock and awe on Sunday, in Mohali, M.P. Pandove, co-chairman of the IPL’s technical committee, said the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) had deviated from guidelines given ahead of the first match here.
Singh though put it down to “inadequate watering” and felt things would get better before the next match on April 29.
“Instead of blaming the curator (Kalyan Mitra) for what has already happened, we must think of how to improve the pitch. I think it wasn’t properly watered before the match because people here don’t expect a big match at this time of the year.
“Things should get better if we water the surface and leave some grass on it. Given that the next match is some time away, we can hope for a better pitch for that game,” he said.
The former first-class wicketkeeper who is in charge of arguably the most sporting pitch in India, at Mohali, said the dryness on the surface caused the whole problem.
“Obviously, it wasn’t good for Twenty20 cricket although the outfield was perfect. Probably the men in charge miscalculated a bit, but this thing can be sorted out.”
About the power failure, the CAB maintained it was not its fault and said officials of the state electricity department should be approached for an explanation. “We have paid the requisite deposit amount (Rs 33 lakh) to the authorities concerned. It’s up to them now to ensure that electricity supply is okay,” said a CAB official.
“No grass led to problem”
In Mohali, Pandove blamed the curator and the local organisers.
“During the pre-tournament preparations, it was found that Eden had more sand in the top soil. As it was too late to remove the top soil, it was decided to keep a grass cover on the pitch to stop it from breaking, but, somehow, the guidelines were not followed for the first match,” he told the media.
Pandove said apart from the Eden, the IPL has been happy with how the pitches have behaved in the rest of centres.
The IPL had organised a seminar on preparations of pitch and grounds prior to the tournament in which curators and groundsmen from all the eight centres participated.