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As expected, rain plays spoilsport

For the third successive year, heavy downpour forces tie to be called off

india Updated: Nov 23, 2005 02:10 IST
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has a committee for practically everything. Not all of them can be lauded for doing a great job and the tours and fixtures committee should rank at the top of the list of those not doing well.

For the third year in succession, an international match here had to be called off because of rain and this can't be amusing.

Locals say it's unwise to schedule matches here between Diwali and Karthigaidipam (a festival of lights to welcome all the good things on earth), but that hardly seems to be a concern for the BCCI committee assigned to allot matches to everyone's convenience.

There was little chance of the third India-South Africa actually getting underway on Tuesday and it didn't. There was rain in the early hours of the day, in the morning and in the afternoon, forcing a cancellation at around 3.30 pm, an hour after the scheduled start of play.

The players came to the ground on time, as did around 20,000 diehard spectators hoping against hope to witness what was supposed to be a day-night encounter, but things were not just conducive for cricket. Even the umpires were hoping against hope, which is why they said there would be another inspection at 4.30 pm before they woke up the wet realities and called it a day.

The point to note here is that not too many were taken by surprise because the match had been rained off. The India-New Zealand one-dayer here in 2003 and the India-Australia Test last year had met a similar fate. What's surprising is that the strange laws that govern the BCCI couldn't foresee such a situation despite being reminded of it over the last two years.

The local cricket association is unlikely to suffer a loss, as is the BCCI, but those who bought 40,000 of the 45,000 tickets available will. Strangely and sadly, India's cricket administrators are too busy fighting their own ego battles and not concerned about the fact that there would be nothing to gain if the paying public stay away from the game. Long live BCCI. Don't be surprised if it chooses the Indian Ocean as the venue for the World Cup it is trying to host in 2011. As long as water means money, the BCCI is game.

First Published: Nov 23, 2005 01:38 IST