Champions League news September 30, 2013

Ahmedabad gamble backfires on organisers


Last Friday, the organisers of the Champions League were busy preparing to move Monday's crucial Group B double-header out of Ahmedabad due to the torrential rain that had washed out a double-header and forced another game to be rescheduled to Jaipur last week.

Suddenly, the weather cleared on Friday evening and the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) assured the CLT20 officials that if there was no more rain, they could make a submerged Motera stadium playable by Monday afternoon.

This in itself was surprising since Motera is far from being a modern cricket venue. With an age-old drainage system, even a short shower makes the outfield soggy. Still, the GCA hadn't organised sheets that would cover the whole field of play and not just the inner circle, a step that has worked well in keeping outfields dry in Sri Lanka, where matches are often interrupted by heavy rain.

Yet on Saturday, all the four teams involved in Monday's double-header - Trinidad & Tobago, Titans, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Brisbane Heat - who had been told to be on standby for flying to Ranchi in case the venue was switched, were informed their matches would not be rescheduled, despite a scattered thunderstorm being predicted for Monday.

No doubt the CLT20 organisers had their hands full of problems. First and foremost, with a plethora of important tournaments clashing with CLT20 - the A series against West Indies, Challengers Series, Under-19 quadrangular series and the Duleep Trophy - the CLT20 team had to struggle to find venues for matches with clear weather.

To add to their woes, there were limited options to move Monday's double-header, if the need arose. Mohali, which staged a few games early on in the tournament including qualifiers, couldn't stage it since the in-stadia branding had been removed from the PCA Stadium. Jaipur couldn't host a match for three nights in succession due to a lack of pitches and the Delhi stadium wasn't available as it was only scheduled to be ready in time for the knockouts. As a result, the only possible venue for the double-header to be shifted was Ranchi, where a big hurdle was accommodating four teams in five-star hotels at such short notice.

The CLT20 organisers went ahead and took the risk of not moving the games out of Ahmedabad. However, it backfired badly as a heavy downpour arrived just as the first match of the day was heading towards a thrilling finish, thus possibly robbing Titans of a place in the semi-finals. And even though the storm subsided after about 45 minutes, it was enough to give the Motera the look of a mini-swimming pool and wash out the late game, thus taking away the possibility of Sunrisers keeping themselves in the hunt for a place in the semi-finals.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • varun on October 1, 2013, 18:49 GMT

    @anupkeni - thanks for posting the link but I doubt if any of the readers here would bother to go through the link as they are just waiting to bash BCCI/India - they would do better if they understand the technicalities involved as mentioned in this same article.

  • Dummy4 on October 1, 2013, 15:59 GMT

    Bcz of this bad schedule all the fans n supporters are stop watching CLT20, yesterday once again it shows, there is no reserve day to play :( Sorry SRH, We hope next year will everything go fine for SRH.

  • Android on October 1, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    Bad day for indian cricket around the world.

  • Anup on October 1, 2013, 7:15 GMT Champions League T20 2012 held in South Africa in October 2012 had 5 no-results. No one complained about scheduling back then.

  • Dummy4 on October 1, 2013, 6:27 GMT

    i totally disagre with all.look at kolkata it is raining heavily here in kolkata .so ruled out.CLT20 matches could have been played at rajkot , raipur or pune or cuttack.

  • Richard on October 1, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    I sincerely hope the good citizens of Ahmedabad were refunded their entry fee. Channel 10 too. What a disgrace. I am Australian but I feel sorry for the Hyderabad supporters, and a television station which paid good money. For a country doing everything it can (and a lot it shouldn't for that matter) to dominate the administration of cricket, such examples give us no confidence in the future of the game. This is the first year a cricket competition such as this has been televised free-to-air in Australia. Not a great start at all.

  • Vasudevan on October 1, 2013, 5:54 GMT

    A lot of people complained when the Champions Trophy (50 overs) in England was frequently interrupted or washed out due to rains. You would think ICC, at least BCCI who are supposed to be world leaders in Cricket, would organize themselves better. Even after the heavy downpour just a few days ago they could not think of moving the Ahmedabad games? This is so naive. Obviously one tends to think Mumbai Indians always get a special treatment.

  • James on October 1, 2013, 4:42 GMT

    Rubbish indian organisational skills.

  • Rahul on October 1, 2013, 4:39 GMT

    Mr.Lalit Modi! Rings any bell? He moved entire tournament to another continent within 3 weeks.

  • sam on October 1, 2013, 3:49 GMT

    Even in Eden Gardens (where the organizers can afford to be lackadaisical knowing that players consider it a privilege playing here) they cover the whole ground with covers completely. That's why I always say both Mohali and Motera need to be stripped from test status. Pitches become lifeless after day 1 and you get no spectators for test matches. In Mohali the organizers are a bit prompt, in Motera even they are lackadaisical.