Ranji Trophy: Damp squib as excess water queers pitch
The weather was fine, so was the outfield. But the pitch wasn’t.
A damp Eden Gardens pitch delayed the start of the Bengal-Odisha Ranji Trophy Group A clash by more than four hours on Tuesday.
With the light fading in the final session, only 35 overs were possible on Day I as Odisha, put into bat, reached 96/2. Opener Shantanu Mishra (41) and captain Subhranshu Senapati (9) were batting at stumps.
Everything else aside, the pitch turned out to be the cynosure for a major part of the day. Due to excess watering, as instructed by BCCI curator Ashok Verma, the surface remained damp throughout the morning session. The umpires carried out four inspections before the game finally began at 1pm.
“Pitch preparation was under his (Verma’s) supervision since he’s the BCCI curator, so we worked as per his instructions. Even the practice wickets (termed ‘under-prepared’ by the Bengal team management) were monitored by him,” Birendra Pratap Singh, one of the assistant curators of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), said.
Bengal will most likely play their quarter final too at the Eden, and the CAB wants to ensure such a bizarre incident doesn’t recur. “It’s a huge learning for us
“In the coming days, we’ll ensure how best we can keep monitoring the wicket till the match begins. Once our president (Snehasish Ganguly) returns, we’ll convey the message to the Board that our curator too should have a say on the requirement and accordingly, the BCCI curator needs to assist,” CAB secretary Naresh Ojha said.
Brief scores: Odisha 96/2 (S. Mishra 41 batting) vs Bengal. At stumps, Day I.