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Canopy like covers at Mohali to retain bounce and moisture

With an aim to preserve the bounce and moisture in the wicket for a longer time, the PCA would use specially designed "canopy-like" covers during the second Test between India and New Zealand.

india Updated: Oct 12, 2003 16:38 IST

With an aim to preserve the bounce and moisture in the wicket for a longer time, the Punjab Cricket Association would use specially designed "canopy-like" covers during the second cricket Test between India and New Zealand beginning at Mohali from October 16.

The new covers, to be used for the first time in the country, ensure abundant supply of fresh air on the wicket keeping it lively, chief curator of PCA and a member of BCCI's Grounds and Pitches Committee Daljit Singh told PTI today.

"The canopy-like structure is designed in a way that it will leave space over the wicket wide open. The structure will have three parts made from iron bars and scooter wheels will be fitted to roll it on to the wicket area. We want to ensure that the wicket gets abundant supply of fresh air," he said.

"At present the covers that are being used throughout India have been provided by BCCI in 1996. As per the prevailing practice, the wicket is covered with tarpaulin having durries underneath it. Tarpaulin generates a lot of heat and this results in the formation of pores in the wicket which leads to sweating on the surface," Singh said.

Since the covers used at present made the wicket lifeless after the first two days we will observe the result of using 'Canopy-like' covers, he said. "If successful we will recommend it to BCCI for use on other grounds as well."

Asked as to how the wicket was likely to behave, the curator said the seamers should get good assistance, especially during early hours and we hope there should also be good bounce for Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble as well.

"We have tried different mixtures of soil to prepare the wicket. The results were evident in the last Test encounter between India and England and the match was over in little under four days," Singh said.

"The playing conditions are going to be a lot different from Ahmedabad. The weather is also going to be a little cooler. Overall, the teams will love the perfect conditions."

The Mohali stadium has come a long way ever since the first Test was played there between India and West Indies in 1994-95, which the hosts lost.

"From a Test centre in 1994 which did not have even complete pavilions to having attained a status where it is envied around the world, is a matter of pride for us," PCA president Inderjit Singh Bindra said.

The PCA has upgraded its facilities for the benefit of players and the spectators. "This time we have added a state-of-the art Health Club, upgraded dressing rooms and if all goes well a Video Screen which has been temporarily held up in Taiwan should be in place just before the Test starts."

He said the sale of tickets was also picking up and all general block tickets had been sold.

"Nearly half of the tickets meant for the VIP block, terrace block and the AC lounge have also been sold out. Tickets for students are available and we hope that stadium should be filled to 80 per cent of its capacity once the match gets going," Bindra said.

First Published: Oct 12, 2003 16:38 IST