Cricket fans were disappointed after the first of the three-match ODI series between India and South Africa was abandoned due to rain without a ball being bowled at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala on Thursday. Star all-rounder Hardik Pandya was all set to make his return to international cricket after a lower back injury had kept him out of action for six months but the fans could not witness it as the rain had the final say in the contest.
The toss was delayed due to rain and reports had also said that there might be a 20-20 contest should the conditions be favourable by the stipulated cut-off time which was 6:30 pm IST. However, as it was still raining, the officials had no choice but to call off the match much to the disappointment of the crowd and fans. The fans seemed to have had enough as they took to social media and vented out their frustrations.
Cricket nahi to Swimming competition hi rakh lete— Aparna 🌼 (@AppeFizzz) March 12, 2020
Make sure Dharmashala is never alloted a match ever !— Rahul Dhere 🕗 (@RahulDhere3) March 12, 2020
Please abandon the whole series— abhishek masand (@abhishekmasand) March 12, 2020
Moreover, it has been learned that the final two ODI matches will be played behind closed doors due to the outbreak of COVID-19 which has spread its tentacles all over the world. At the same time, it has also been reported that the upcoming edition of the IPL might also be played in crowd less stadiums.
With the first ODI abandoned both teams will be leaving no stone unturned in winning the remaining two One Day Internationals. Meanwhile, the HPCA Stadium had also hosted the first T20I between India and South Africa in September last year which was also abandoned due to rain. The T20I series ended as a stalemate as both teams ended up winning the two games each that followed. However, Kohli & Co. returned the favour in the Test series as they whitewashed the Faf du Plessis-led side 3-0.
Now, in the second leg of this bilateral series, it remains to be seen which team will have the last laugh. The second ODI will be played at the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow on Sunday while the series-deciding third ODI will be played at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata.