Kolkata: The top-table clash between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals at the Eden Gardens was washed away without a ball being bowled.
Groundstaff try clear the flooded outfield after heavy rains washed out the IPL match between KKR and RR at Eden Gardens. Pic/PTI
A persistent drizzle that began a couple of hours before the scheduled 4 pm start compounded problems created by overnight rain.
Umpires Rajesh Deshpande and Richard Illingworth finally called off play after it became evident that the game cannot be started before the cut-off time of 7.20 pm despite frenetic mopping-up operations by an army of groundsmen.
The two teams split the points, Royals managing to regain their perch at the top, which they had temporarily lost to Chennai Super Kings on Saturday. KKR, on the third rung of the league ladder, retain their position.
Eden Gardens was packed despite rain
Persistent rain, the drenching, a trudge through the muck on the maidan to get to the gates, diminishing chances of even a truncated game getting off the ground... but the Eden Gardens was packed! The 55,000 die-hards, who filled the terraces yesterday for KKR's game against RR was another reaffirmation of this city's craze for cricket — whatever the format.
The drizzle continued well past the 4 pm start time and, as soon as it relented, the groundsmen were out to carefully peel the covers (the entire ground had been draped since Saturday evening) and begin mopping up operations. Despite the frenetic to-and-fro of the three supper soppers, it was an arduous task.
Some water seemed to have seeped under the covers and wet patches on the outfield dimmed hopes. The DJ kept the mood upbeat with foot-tapping numbers and announcement even as the umpires came out and went in, promising another inspection at 6.20pm. The crowd waited, fingers crossed, but then the disappointing news was announced.
KKR name Keshri as 16th member
KKR had responded to the tragic passing away of Bengal U-19 skipper Ankit Keshri on April 20 by giving R10 lakh to the bereaved family. On Sunday, they decided to name him as their 16th member on the team list for the match against RR. Alas, rain ruined that possibility.
The Cricket Association of Bengal too had announced an amount of R10 lakh for the family. Ankit, one of the most promising juniors of the state, died a few days after an on-field collission with a teammate during a CAB League match.