HCA ready to tackle rain threat for India Vs Australia third T20

Chandrasekhar and his men working overtime to make Uppal ground fit for Friday’s T20 tie

By Author  |  Published: 12th Oct 2017  11:50 amUpdated: 13th Oct 2017  4:21 pm
A super-sopper drawing the water from the rain-soaked ground at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Wednesday. Photo: Surya Sridhar

Hyderabad: The Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) officials will be praying to the rain gods to stay away as the city is set to host the crucial deciding third and final T20 match between India and Australia at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium at Uppal on Friday.

With two days left the match, curator YL Chandrashekhar is a worried and busy man. The city has been witnessing heavy showers for the past 20 days, particularly from evening hours, making matters worse. The tickets have been sold like hot cakes and the enthusiasm around the match is palpable.

However, the HCA groundsmen are racing against the time to make the venue ready for the encounter. Groundsmen from Gymkhana and NFC were also requisitioned to speed up the work. The pitch and the 30-yard circle are in good condition as they were kept under covers.

And the bright sunshine on Wednesday provided a ray of hope. The groundsmen are working overtime to dry out the wet patches around the boundary area. Around four industrial fans will be deployed to clear the water. Unlike the previous editions, the staff brought in plastic sheets to cover the entire ground in case of rain. It will be under covers during night times also as a precautionary measure.

Two super soppers are also available at the stadium. The HCA officials are taking all measures for the rain threat. In case, if it rains before or during the match, the ground can be made ready for the play in less than two hours, said HCA president G Vivekanand on Tuesday. According to sources, the teams will be provided with six pitches. Three practice pitches and two indoor pitches if required. The main ground will be ready for fielding and warm-up sessions by Thursday when the teams are expected to hit the ground, provided there is no rain overnight, when the teams are expected to hit the ground.

The preparations are overseen under the watchful eyes of the zonal curator from Karnataka State Cricket Association Sri Ram, who was assigned the duty by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). He expressed satisfaction over the preparations and sounded confident of a match even in case of showers.

“There are few patches in the outfield which is not good. It will be difficult for fielders to slide. However, the remaining parts of the field are very good. I have full confidence in Chandrashekhar and his men that he would make it ready for the match. Even there are showers on the match day, I am sure the match will go on,” he added.

On Tuesday, HCA secretary T Shesh Narayana and chief Vivekanand said that the Uppal stadium has one of the best drainage systems in the country. Chandrashekhar has proven record of getting the ground ready from adverse situations in the past. Talking about this match, the seasoned curator said that they are praying to the rain gods and Lord Ganesha for a smooth conduct of the match. He also said that they were well equipped with staff in case of showers.