The first T20 international between India and South Africa was abandoned on Sunday, without a ball being bowled due to heavy downpour that left a near-capacity crowd disappointed. While there was a prediction of a sharp drizzle in the afternoon, the weather forecast indicated that it would all clear out before the evening, however, the incessant rains kept the game from ever starting, with no hopes of even having a five-over per side encounter.
A spell of thundershowers happened in the afternoon and by 5:30 pm it seemed that the rain had subsided with the spectators thronging into the stadium. Just when the ground staff at the HPCA Stadium were working in full force, a second spell completely spoilt the evening as it was clear that even the shortest possible game cannot be conducted in such circumstances with multiple puddles created at the outfield. The worst sufferer was certainly the common fans, who had come from all the nearby districts as well as from Chandigarh and Delhi to watch the match. With most of the stands not having any overhead cover, the spectators were seen pulling off the in-stadia hoardings which worked as temporary “umbrellas” to save themselves from getting drenched.
However, all the matches under the aegis of BCCI are covered under the insurance policy and the HPCA will not stand to lose any money. Since the toss was also not held, the viewing public will get a refund of their tickets. The second T20 International will be played at Mohali on Wednesday while the third and final game will be held in Bengaluru on September 22.
While addressing the media ahead of the first T20I against South Africa at Dharamshala on Sunday, Indian skipper Virat Kohli spoke about trying new players with 30 matches left before ICC World T20 2020.
"We have 30 matches left before the World T20 and this is the best opportunity for us to try and check what our best combination is in the next 2-3 series. We will also understand how much ability, character and composure the new players posses while performing at the international level."
"From that point of view, it becomes very exciting for a captain and the team management to fit different players in combination and see how they perform because we all have been through that process. So, it feels good when new players come and express themselves", he said.
(With PTI Inputs)