Using hair dryer to dry the pitch after water seeped in through leaking covers is not something that is expected at an international cricket ground. But that is exactly what happened at the Barsapara Stadium in Guwahati on Sunday as the opening game of the three-match T20I series between India and Sri Lanka had to be called off without a ball being bowled. And that hasn’t gone down well with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) which now awaits chief curator Ashish Bhowmick’s report on the same.
Speaking to IANS, a BCCI official said that this was elementary and is a direct effect of the lack of experience among the new state association officials. In fact, he also pointed at the lack of preparedness of Bhowmick and CEO Rahul Johri.
“These things will happen as there is learning curve that officials of all associations are faced with after the implementation of the Lodha report. No association had the opportunity to plan for succession and continuity. In this day and age continuity strategies remain one of the biggest concerns for stakeholders across the globe.
“The associations were never given the opportunity to address this concern. I think a lot of blame lies with the BCCI’s curator and ultimately with the CEO who should at least have had the foresight to ensure that the basics were in place,” he said.
Another official pointed at the disappointment that the fans must have felt considering that the rest of the ground was completely dry. In fact, he pointed at how having the expertise of the experienced officials from the past, even in an advisory role, could have helped avoid such a situation.
“Due to the Supreme Court order, we are afraid to seek advice from the former office bearers even though the court allows us to have them in advisory capacities in one order as we don’t want to take a risk. We however feel sad for the fans, some of whom had gone to Guwahati from far away places for nothing,” he rued.
Asked about the whole fiasco, a former office bearer said that it was just a matter of time before the new officials would get a hang of things.
“We have the utmost confidence in the Sourav Ganguly-led team of office bearers and are confident that they will take quick steps to ensure a smooth process for all associations so that the fans aren’t inconvenienced at any other venue,” he told IANS.
A BCCI functionary when contacted said that GM Cricket Operations Saba Karim would be the right person to check with on Bhowmick’s team messing it up on the international stage.
Karim though said that he is awaiting the report from Bhowmick. “I don’t look into international cricket, but I can comment once I get the report from the chief curator who was there,” he told IANS.