GUWAHATI, Jan 5: The first T20 International between India and Sri Lanka has been abandoned due to rain after water leaked into the pitch. Damp patches on the pitch at the ACA Stadium at Barsapara, Guwahati, forced the on-field umpires to abandon the match without a ball being bowled.
Ironically, although the pitch was covered when the showers lashed Guwahati, water still flowed into the pitch, something that has left cricketers and experts baffled.
Incidentally former India cricketer Akash Chopra, who is now a commentater with broadcaster Star Sports, questioned how water could have seeped into the playing surface although the covers were on and termed it a “school-boy error”.
“I would not like to jump the gun. The outfield was dry that should have allowed at least a 10-to-15-over match. But the playing surface should have remained dry. But apparently there were holes in the covers or the covers were not taken off properly,” Chopra said.
Earlier in the evening, the start was delayed after rains lashed Guwahati just after the toss that Indian skipper Virat Kohli won and then elected to field.
The on-field umpires conducted three inspections, the first at 8:15 PM and then at 9 PM and 9:30 PM before finally abandoning the match.
Officials used blowers, hair dryers and even irons in their attempt to dry the pitch and help start play. But all efforts went in vain.
On the other hand, several spectators expressed anger at the match getting abandoned due to a damp pitch.
“How could water trickle into the pitch. The outfield was dry but someone from among the ground staff allowed water to flow into the playing surface, apparently while removing the covers,” an angry fan told News Live.
The two teams will now travel to Indore for the 2nd T20 international of the series to be played on Jan 7.