Kolkata: With the embarrasment of last October’s T20 washout against South Africa still fresh in the mind, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) ensured that Eden Gardens was prepared when a nor’wester hit Kolkata a couple of hours before Saturday’s marquee match.
A covered outfield of Eden Gardens on Saturday. Pic/PTI
Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly, then only a few months into his new role as CAB’s president, was left red-faced after the match couldn’t start because of a wet outfield, even though the rain was light and happened some six hours before the scheduled start. All because the outfield had been left uncovered.
The curator lost his job and CAB decided to acquire a set of costly covers that would protect the entire playing area. On Saturday, as a drizzle continued for an hour, the white covers, glistening under Eden’s floodlights, wore a reassuring look. Most of the time taken was to get the water off the covers, by manual means and with the ‘super-soppers’, and peeling off the covers ever so carefully.
An eager Sourav was at hand to see if all was well when the first of the covers came off.
An 18 overs-a-side game. He’ll take that.
No ‘boom boom’
Shahid Afridi’s final innings at the Eden Gardens failed to take off in a manner he would have wanted. Emboldened by a return to his ‘boom boom’ form in the previous match, when he hammered a 19-ball 49 against Bangladesh, the Pakistan skipper promoted himself further to No 3. A boundary off Jasprit Bumrah in the 10th over would have whetted the appetite of his fans but a mishit off Hardik Pandya, another young medium-pacer in the Indian ranks, ended his stay at the crease.