Wet outfield abandons final day’s play as visitors settle for three points against Bengal
Kolkata: The iconic Eden Gardens’ inadequate drainage system once again came to fore when the final day’s proceedings in the Ranji Trophy Group ‘A’ fixture between Mumbai and Bengal was called off without little or no rain in the day.
Mumbai players Siddhesh Lad (left) and Iqbal Abdullah take a selfie yesterday. Pic/PTI.
There was light drizzle in the night — 0.1mm according to the Met Department — but it was enough to render the conditions “unplayable” as Bengal were happy to pocket one point after being followed on by Mumbai who return home heads held high with three points.
TV commentators Rohan Gavaskar (centre), Amol Muzumdar and national selector Saba Karim (left) chat during the rain-affected day
There were five inspections in the day and match referee Sunil Chaturvedi took the final call at 1.30pm. It was a blessing in disguise for Bengal who were 129 for no loss in their second innings after being followed on, still trailing by 75 runs as a loss was looming large.
Mumbai take 2nd spot
Mumbai now have 10 points from four matches to be in the second place behind Karnataka, while Bengal (4) are all set to slip to the bottom of the Group A table. “The outfield was wet and soggy and there were some damp patches in the bowling run-up... We can’t risk injury so we had to abandon the day’s proceedings,” Chaturvedi said.
‘No drainage failure’
The curator, however, said there was nothing wrong in the drainage system and blamed gloomy conditions. “We needed at least two hours of sunshine to make the ground to be ready. But the conditions were overcast and I couldn’t help,” Mukherjee said.
As a matter of fact, the entire ground can be put under the giant cover, something that could have avoided the field being wet but the curator thought otherwise. “Unless there’s rain no one covers the entire ground at night,” Mukherjee said.
The players had given up hope for the play to start. Bengal batsman Manoj Tiwary was seen in his denims and not in the team jersey as the India hopeful made full use of the time discussing batting with Mumbai coach Pravin Amre.
The Mumbai coach readily obliged and was seen demonstrating a few techniques and the duo were engaged in a one-on-one for about 15 minutes.