It was overcast, dark and muggy in Ahmedabad throughout Monday morning. A downpour was imminent. Still, the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) officials were caught unprepared when it started pouring. And that was just the start of an ordeal that exposed the inefficiency of the body in terms of drainage facilities at Motera.
Just after the Highveld Lions asked Perth Scorchers to bat first, it started raining, accompanied by strong winds, thunder and lightning.
Despite it being a Test match venue, the lack of facilities was glaring. That the cover brought on could be spread across only three pitches and not wider meant the chances of play didn’t get better even when the rains abated.
The strong rains lasted for close to an hour. By the time the weather gods relented, there were puddles all around the ground.
No blankets too
Also missing were the blankets that are usually spread under the covers to prevent the pitch from getting too damp. “We are just not equipped to handle these kinds of rains.
Ideally, there should have been more covers and the match-wicket better protected,” a GCA official said. “We also don’t have the drainage facilities, even if rain stops now, for even the second match to be played.”
Asked why facilities are not being upgraded, the GCA official said, “GCA did not have its AGM for two years, and because of this accounts were not passed. We finally held it a fortnight ago. As per our accounts, the BCCI has to pay us `75 crore. Once they do, hopefully we will get work done in the stadium.”