Even with Guwahati staff's best effort, the Opening T20 between India and Sri Lanka 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 Kogli opted to bowl after winning the toss. The rain spell, however, lasted less than an hour but the ground could not be prepared in time.
As per sources, the rainwater seeped through leaking covers that were used to cover the pitch at the Barsapara Stadium. Commentator Aakash Chopra opined about the same and expressed disappointment over such preparation of an international game. He went on to term the dry outfield as a 'schoolboy error'. However, the usage of a hairdryer for damp patches on the pitch gave way to criticism.
The umpires held several inspections but the dampness on the pitch did not allow a single ball to be bowled, much to the disappointment of a strong 35,000 crowd at Barsapara Cricket Stadium, which was hosting only its second T20I.
ACA secretary Devajit Saikia feigned ignorance, saying he has no idea about the seepage.
"Official reason is heavy downpour. Two spells of heavy showers did not allow the ground to be ready in such a short time," Saikia said. "I've no idea about it. I've not spoken to the curator or the groundsmen. Once I speak to them, I will get to know whether there were any lapses," he added.
The second match of the three-match series will be played on Tuesday in Indore followed by the decided in Pune on January 10.