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Special measures taken to protect second T20I

Local officials are doing all they can to ensure that India’s second T20I at the Holkar Stadium in Indore against Sri Lanka goes ahead as planned on Tuesday. Their preparations include spraying the outfield with a special chemical and refraining from watering the pitch for three days, to counteract the effect of due.

With the match scheduled to start at 7 pm local time, dew is likely to be a factor, especially later in the match. However, the good news is that there is no threat of rain, at least according to current forecasts.

The row over the abandonment of the first game in Guwahati shows no sign of abating, meanwhile. The match was called off after rain fell 15 minutes before the start of the match, and water was allowed to seep under the covers, although the rest of the outfield was dry. It resulted in the unedifying spectacle, at least as far as the BCCI was concerned, of groundsmen trying to dry the pitch with hairdryers and steam irons, whilst frustrated spectators waited in vain for proceedings to get underway.

And now it turns out that, for the cost of just Rs. 50,000, a top quality cover could have been bought which would have kept the middle dry, and the rain water out, rather than the cheap plastic version that the staff at the Barsapara cricket ground employed.

Questions are also being raised as to why the last inspection of the pitch was carried out by match officials when most of the players had already left the ground. Umpires Chettithody Shamshuddin, Nitin Menon, Anil Chaudhary and match referee David Boon last inspected the pitch at 9.30 pm, but, but, by then, most of the players had already departed for the night.

Yet it was a further 24 minutes before it was announced to spectators in the ground that the match had been abandoned.

Given that it had earlier been made clear that there could be no play if the game could not be ready by 8.45 pm the chain of events has resulted in more embarrassment for those involved.

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