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Weathermen, ground staff equal heroes

Ground staff at the Super Sport Park and weathermen deserve to be commended for their meticulous job. Subhash Rajta reports.

cricket Updated: Dec 17, 2010 03:16 IST
Subhash Rajta

Ground staff at the Super Sport Park and weathermen deserve to be commended for their meticulous job.

While they miraculously got the wicket and outfield in order to squeeze in play on what had appeared a lost opening day's play to heavy downpour until Thursday, the weathermen have also got their forecast right to the T in the last few days.

The chance of any play had looked all but nil when it rained through Wednesday night and until Thursday noon. Just when everyone had given up on any chance of having play, the rain suddenly stopped.

Yet, the situation looked grim with the outfield completely drenched. The ground staff, however, got the chance they had been waiting for and lunged into action without wasting a second. The super soppers roared into life, and crisscrossed the ground, mopping up as much water as they could from the field.

"No matter how much it rains, we just need two hours to ready the ground after it stops raining," said Gilbert Smit, the curator, pointing to the excellent drainage system they have.

And as he had promised, the ground was ready to salvage some play. Apart from getting the outfield ready, the bigger challenge was to prepare the wicket. "It's extremely hard on the curator to work on the wicket as it's been raining so much in the lead up to the match," said South Africa skipper Graeme Smith.

Weathermen too have been as meticulous. Centurion and nearby places have been under the spell of unseasonal rain, but the weathermen have got their forecast spot on in the last few days.

Even today, they had predicted 65 per cent rain and it turned out to just about that.

Good news is that they have forecast a clear sky for the remaining four days, and, going by their record, one can hope there would be no interruption in the match.