The 1st T20I match between India and Sri Lanka at Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati on Sunday was called off due to a wet outfield. India had won the toss and decided to field first. Rainwater reportedly seeped through leaking covers that were used to cover the pitch. Some of it even got spilt on the 22-yard strip due to errors made by the groundstaff.
Former India fast bowler Zaheer Khan was upset with the ground staff of the Barsapara Cricket Stadium after the match was called off by the umpires post 9.30 pm IST. Speaking to the official broadcaster, Zaheer Khan said that when there is water on the wicket, it really changes the dynamics of the game. The development left many shocked because the rain stopped and in today's day and age, water going on the wicket through the covers makes for embarrassment. Zaheer called it 'a bit disappointing' and opined that the pitch wasn't covered properly.
Former player-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra also slammed the staff at the ground on air after the match was called off. He said the outfield is bone-dry and it’s a schoolboy error that the water has seeped onto the pitch. He further added that perhaps there were a few holes in the covers and the preparation was really disappointing for an international game.
Even with Guwahati staff's best effort, the opening Ind vs SL T20i match on Sunday was called off due to wet patches on the track. Guwahati ground staff toiled hard to repair a damp pitch, but what grabbed eyeballs was the staff using hairdryers, steam irons and vacuum cleaners to dry the wet patches on the pitch. The rain lashed out 15 minutes before the commencement of the game after skipper Virat Kohli opted to bowl after winning the toss. The rain spell, however, lasted less than an hour yet the ground could not be prepared in time. The 2nd T20I between India and Sri Lanka will be played at Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore on Tuesday. The three-match T20I series between the two teams is the first campaign for the Virat Kohli-led Indian cricket team this year.