While the massive protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act observed in Guwahati had transformed into a violent form, the Assam Cricket Association (ACA) decided to up the tightness of security on the first match of the India versus Sri Lanka T20 series, to prohibit any mishaps from entering into the Barsapara Cricket Stadium, ensuring a smooth and safe game of cricket. But the match still got cancelled. Why? Because proper precautions were also needed against rain, which the curators and ground staffs failed to provide.
While ACA had issued a strong notice of additional security in the stadium, the curators at the pitch had no basic clue on how to protect the pitch from the rain. According to Aakash Chopra, commentator and former cricketer, the cover used for protection might have mad some leaks, as water found its way into the pitch, making it unplayable.
In a session with Star Sports, Aakash Chopra said: “The outfield is bone-dry so I’d say it’s a schoolboy error that the water has seeped onto the pitch. Perhaps there are a few holes in the covers. It’s really disappointing preparation for an international game.”
A bizarre method of countering the water issue was seen, as the ground staffs were seen using hairdryers, steam irons and vacuum cleaners to make the wet areas dry. Unfortunately, all of their efforts went in vain.
The ground development source confirmed Chopra’s claims. They revealed that the present curators of the stadium- Ratul Das, Barshamangal Baruah, and Bibhash Talukdar,, along with chief curator Ashish Bhowmick lacked the practical knowledge of handling the situation, which was to be aware of any damages in the pitch covers.
“See, the problem is that they removed the previous curator Mukut Kalita due to internal differences and now the new people in charge couldn’t rise to the challenge as they weren’t trained enough. How can you not be aware that there are holes in the covers?” the source told IANS.
Mukut Kalita, the former curator was contacted on the incident, to which his reponse was: “I did see what happened yesterday and it is unfortunate. Happens when it is a high-profile situation and you get nervous.”
However, the sources cleared chief curator Bhowmick’s name: “You cannot really blame BCCI chief curator Ashish Bhowmick for that. He isn’t supposed to be aware if the covers have holes or not. The manager’s report that will be sent to the secretary will have mentioned that there should have been more awareness.”