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India vs Australia: Wet outfield delays start of deciding T20 in Hyderabad

The third and final Twenty20 International between India and Australia at Uppal in Hyderabad was delayed by a wet outfield and chances of the game to resume looked bleak.

india vs australia 2017 Updated: Oct 13, 2017 20:07 IST
Abhishek Paul
Abhishek Paul
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
India vs Australia,India national cricket team,Australia national cricket team
The wet outfield in Hyderabad delayed the start of the India vs Australia game in Uppal. The series is currently tied 1-1.(AFP)

The Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, the venue for the deciding T20I between India and Australia, was expecting cracker of a contest on Friday. Instead, it waited with baited breath for the game to start.

The reason was a wet outfield. Though it did not rain in this part of the city since Friday morning, Hyderabad has been consistently pounded by rain in the last couple of weeks. Groundsmen could be seen frantically spreading sawdust on the wet patches on the outfield. A day before, pedestal fans were used on the same spots to dry those patches in time.

On Friday, when match referee Richie Richardson, during his outfield inspection, dabbed his feet on those patches it seemed to go deep. There were two rounds of inspection as the match got delayed as the full house crowd waited in expectation.

Though the city has been receiving rain this past week, Hyderabad Cricket Association officials said that they took every precaution to protect the field of play, adding that the inner circle and pitch has got no problem. However, a groundsmen, who did not want to be quoted, had said on Thursday that the damp spots on the outfield were quite serious.

Surprisingly, the field received bright sun for majority of Thursday as well as Friday. It rained for an hour in the evening on Thursday, but curator YL Chandrasekhar had said they are confident of getting the field ready.

An official who was present at the ground, when the inspection was taking place, said some of the spots on the outfield looked pretty bad. In fact, during the practice session when Virat Kohli hit a ball and it landed on the wet patch, it did not bounce. The severity of the dampness can be gauged by this.

If the match is called off due to wet outfield then it will be a blot on the HCA. Last time a match was called off in India due to wet outfield was at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata in 2015 when India where supposed to play South Africa.

First Published: Oct 13, 2017 20:06 IST