Indian cricket slipped one more rung on Friday after the team finished second best to England in the first one-day tie, but for the organisers it was still celebration time regardless of the embarrassment it brought.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni had just begun to explain the latest debacle at the
press conference when the lights went off at the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) stadium, that had just finished staging its first international tie.
It soon dawned on the media as well as a bemused India skipper that the lights have been switched off to get the full effect of a laser show that was beginning. With the room plunging in darkness, Dhoni quipped: “So, we'll call it a day?” before trudging off.
The England skipper Alastair Cook still found his way to the press conference room but most of his comments, as well as that of spinner James Tredwell, the man-of-the-match, were drowned in a burst of crackers.
The lights came after a while, in time to show Niranjan Shah, former BCCI secretary and the man behind the venue, being cheered by his admirers.
Dhoni bemoaned the fact that the bowlers went for too many in the end and that he could not stay on to finish the chase. “If I had batted for two more overs, things might just have been different,” he said.
Cook was delighted with the outcome as England had been routed 5-0 in the previous ODI series in India in 2001. “It is important, for the main reason that it gives us the confidence. I mean it's pretty much the same squad that we had last time out here when we lost 5-0.
“So to get an early win, especially in the first game, it proves to themselves that they can play in these conditions.”
The English captain also praised man-of-the-match James Tredwell for his match-winning figures of four for 44. “Tredwell bowled brilliantly. It is pretty much the same attack we had here in 2001, and good to see how we have learned from the experience,” Cook said.
Off-spinner Tredwell said while restricting, England got wickets when it mattered for the side.
“You try and hit your skills over and over again. If the batsman hits a good shot, so be it. We got wickets at the right time, even at the lower end, it is what helped us get over the line,” he said.