|The floodlights that went dead in Ranchi on Sunday. Picture by Prashant Mitra
Ranchi, Sept. 22: This is Jharkhand’s kala tika welcome to Mahendra Singh Dhoni, perhaps. Chennai Super Kings (CSK), chasing the Titans’ score of 186 at the Champions League T20 match in Dhurwa, were stumped in the first over when a light tower conked out around 9.50pm tonight.
If Dhoni was Chennai Super King, Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) was the Dark Knight.
Two of the six light towers at the Rs 180-crore JSCA stadium blacked out, the first one from 6.13pm to 6.25pm during a tie between Brisbane Heat and Trinidad & Tobago, the second during the clash between CSK and Titans, between 9.50pm and 10pm.
Everyone — from cricketers, Dhoni-town fans, commentators, TV watching public to the Twitterati — was amazed. After all, it is the JSCA stadium that tom-toms itself as a world-class venue of cricket that has single-handedly propelled the Jharkhand capital from a sporting backwater to a familiar name on sports channels.
This same JSCA was responsible for the 12 and 10 minute-long howlers. According to International Cricket Committee (ICC) rules that all boards must follow, high-mast lights are supposed to be powered by generator sets inside the stadium.
A quick recce shed light on the darkness of the first incident.
“The computer-controlled lights of the tower tripped due to a diesel generator snag. Could be due to a few wires that melted due to excessive heat. The technical team fixed it,” said a senior functionary of JSCA.
“It’s unfortunate but the lights were fixed,” said JSCA spokesperson Manoj Kumar.
The incident revived the memory of another recent embarrassment.
Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB) was responsible for the gothic feel to the concluding ceremony of the 53rd National Open Athletics Championship two weeks ago. State HRD minister Geetashree Oraon stood helpless before over 1,200 athletes and officials from across the country. After an agonising one-hour wait, the valedictory ceremony had to be conducted under the twinkling lights of mobile phones and tablets.
Today, forget the much-maligned JSEB. “We have no role to play in the lights going out of order,” Ram Janam Singh, JSEB chief engineer, said.
The much-hyped JSCA had spooked out. JSCA chief Amitabh Choudhary and team, which promised “power back-ups in place”, must be more careful till September 28, when the stadium remains the venue for the CLT20 ties.