The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Now, match forecast
- Met office may have say on cricket dates

New Delhi, May 12: India’s weather scientists may, finally, have a say in deciding when and where cricket matches are to be held in the subcontinent.

Dates for cricket matches may in future take into account advisories from the ministry of earth sciences in a bid to prevent rain from playing spoilsport, an official said today, adding that the India-Bangladesh tour under way now may have been inappropriately timed.

An analysis of past data and the current weather condition in the Bay of Bengal suggests that rain may cause major disruptions to the India-Bangladesh Test matches between May 18 and 22 and May 25 and 29, the official said.

“The probability of rain or thunderstorms in Bangladesh will increase in the second half of May,” said Akhilesh Gupta, senior atmospheric scientist and adviser to the ministry of science and technology and earth sciences.

“We could expect major interruptions during the Test matches in Chittagong and Dhaka,” he said.

Kapil Sibal, the science and technology minister, said in the future the ministry of earth sciences, of which he is in charge, and the Board of Control for Cricket in India will work towards a “permanent mechanism” that would involve consultations with weather scientists while planning dates.

While the exact mechanism of these consultations are yet to be worked out, Sibal said, meteorologists might be sent to participate in the meetings where schedules in the subcontinent are likely to be discussed.

“Sports is entertainment in India. People pay for it. It’s our duty to make sure they get the entertainment,” the minister said.

Such weather advisories to the BCCI or other sports organisations can be issued for sports events anywhere in the subcontinent.

“This service could be made available to other sports organisations and even tour operators,” the minister said.

He said the meteorological department could earn revenue from such services to various organisations, but added that a decision on whether to charge the BCCI for this service has not yet been taken.

The weather in Bangladesh during the month of May is usually warm and humid with 60 to 80 per cent probability of severe thunderstorms on most of the days.

Even when rain does not occur, the weather is expected to be warm and humid with high moisture in the atmosphere — not the best of conditions for bowlers, batsmen or fielders, Gupta said.

However, the current weather situation and predictions for the next five days suggest that the monsoon may hit Bangladesh about a week earlier than the normal date of June 1.

“This will increase the probability of rain during the matches,” Gupta said.

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