'We're in a lot of trouble': What umpires Nitin Menon, Rod Tucker said moments before CSK vs GT IPL final was called off
As the clock ticked towards the possibility of a reserve day, umpires Nitin Menon and Rod Tucker addressed the conditions, more or less sealing the fate.
The spectacle that the IPL 2023 final was expected to be ended up nothing more than a long, frustrating evening as relentless rain in Ahmedabad stopped the summit clash between Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Titans from happening… at least for now. For the first time in its 16-year-long history, the winner of an IPL season will be determined on a reserve day when the two teams return to determine the 2023 champions provided the weather stays clear. From 7PM to 11PM, fans, players, experts and everyone else waited in anticipation. The closest they came to dreaming of a start was around 9PM when albeit briefly, the rain stopped. The covers were off and the players and officials were out to assess the field. But just when things looked slightly positive, the rain returned as a drizzle only to get heavier as the night progressed. Finally, after four disappointing hours, play was called off.
As the clock ticked towards the possibility of a reserve day, around 10:30PM, the two official umpires for the evening - Nitin Menon and Rod Tucker – addressed the conditions, which more or less sealed Sunday's fate. On being asked about whether there was still scope of a curtailed match, the officials spit facts that everyone saw coming but just weren't willing to accept.
Also Read: Is there a reserve day for IPL 2023 final? What happens if rain washes out CSK vs GT summit clash on Sunday
Nitin Menon: "The conditions were quite good (at around 9pm). We were very surprised that even after 3 hours of rain, the outfield looked very good. So we were quite hopeful that we will have a game tonight, but unfortunately, the rain came back again. So let's see."
Rod Tucker: "12:06 is the latest we can start and the groundsmen have an hour in hand to do the mop up work, We were trying to push the game as deep as possible tonight but if it doesn't stop till 11, we might have to come back tomorrow. If it's still raining by then, we are in a lot of trouble. It should be around 60 minutes for the groundsmen to get the ground ready for having a game."
Around 9PM, when the rain cleared, the ruled for revised playing conditions were informed. Had by some miracle, the final gotten underway before 9:35 PM, fans would have been in for an entire 20-overs-per side game. But once that time period was breached, for a 9:45 PM start, a 19-overs-perside game was up for grabs. Similarly, for 10 PM, 17 overs and for 10:15 PM and 10:30 PM, a 15-overs-per side was the best way forward.
If the final was to begin at 12:06, the winner would have been determined by a five-over shootout. In the end, it never came down to it. Afterall, what is an IPL final if contested in anything less than a 20-over contest? Surprisingly, around 10:50PM, the rain stopped but it everyone's interest, the right call of moving the final to reserve day - i.e. Tomorrow, Monday, May 29 - was made.