The Telegraph
Wednesday , May 14 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Heat no bar for cricket lovers...

...but humidity raises discomfort index

Bhubaneswar/Cuttack, May 13: Three days after Bhubaneswar experienced a cool shower, the temperature is again on the rise ahead of the Kolkata Knight Riders-Mumbai Indians match at Barabati Stadium on Wednesday.

The mercury level, which touched 43.2C yesterday, went up to 41.4°C in Bhubaneswar today. Worse, the meteorology department has forecast heat wave conditions over the next five days with the maximum temperature crossing the 43°C mark at several places in the state, including Bhubaneswar.

“One cannot even leave the house in this heat,” said Namrata Acharya, a resident of Patia.

Sonepur recorded the highest temperature in the state at 44.2°C today and the mercury crossed the 40°C mark at 15 places in Odisha. The situation cooled a bit in the evening with Bhubaneswar and some other places experiencing a light drizzle. However, high humidity made things uncomfortable.

“It is so hot even at night that it’s difficult to remain inside the house. I found it very difficult to sleep last night,” said Ratikant Sahu, a resident of Baramunda.

A man wipes sweat off his face on a Bhubaneswar road and (below) Lasith Malinga of Mumbai Indians in town for the match against Kolkata Knight Riders scheduled to be held on Wednesday. Picture by Ashwinee Pati and Telegraph picture

Over the past one week, the highest day temperature has been fluctuating around the 40°C mark. Met officials had predicted that there would be rain at many places due to a trough line formed in the southern part of the country. It did rain on May 10 but the situation changed from May 12. Met officials now predict that heat wave conditions would prevail in most parts of the state over the next 48 hours.

The heatwave-like condition was caused by high temperature and relative humidity. With the maximum day temperature touching 41.4°C today and the relative humidity fluctuating between 50 and 75 per cent during the day, the discomfort index was above 57°C, which is extremely dangerous and causes heat stroke.

“This situation will prevail for the next five days and the temperature will continue to rise,” said director of regional meteorology centre Sarat Chandra Sahu.

However, weathermen have predicted monsoon to hit the state on schedule. “It will hit Andaman and Nicobar in the next few days and will reach Odisha in the second week of June,” said Sahu.

But the searing heat has done little to dampen the enthusiasm of cricket-lovers, who are eagerly looking forward to Wednesday’s IPL tie in Cuttack.

Fans are queuing up at the Barabati Stadium counters to buy tickets for the match. Officials said that over 85 per cent tickets of the match have been sold even though the T20 match was shifted from Eden Gardens to Cuttack at a very short notice.

Cuttack witnessed a drizzle this afternoon bringing down the temperature. Fans are hopeful that the drizzle will not affect the match even though the overcast condition continued till late tonight. Met officials said there was little chance of rain hampering the match.

Barabati, that played host to Kings XI Punjab in the last two matches, will be the home venue for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) tomorrow.

While the KKR team sweated it out at the stadium this afternoon, Mumbai Indians reached Bhubaneswar this evening. The Mumbai players landed at Bhubaneswar airport around 7.15pm and were led to their hotel amidst tight security.

The KKR team was taken to Barabati Stadium this afternoon for net practice. For over two hours, the players practised at the stadium under floodlights as coach Trevor Bayliss kept a close watch on his boys.

Pitch curators for tomorrow’s match said that today’s drizzle would not have any impact because the 22-yards was well covered. They predicted a high-scoring match.

“Despite the heatwave, the overall turnout of spectators has been good and we are hoping for a good game tomorrow,” said Odisha Cricket Association secretary Ashirbad Behera.

The match will begin at 8pm tomorrow.