Champions Trophy 2006 October 24, 2006

ICC to use chemical spray to offset dew at Mohali

The battle against dew: it will be chemical sprays now after ropes, sooper-soppers and mops have all failed to do the trick © Getty Images

In an attempt to reduce the extent of dew on the outfield, the ICC has decided to use a chemical spray tomorrow morning for the Pakistan-New Zealand clash at Mohali. Ropes, sooper-soppers and mops have been tried as solutions but the dew factor continues to play a critical role in one-day games, especially in the subcontinent, with the balance tilted heavily in favour of the team batting second.

APSA-80, a chemical manufactured by Amway, will be employed at Mohali. "I cannot tell you the percentage level, exactly, by which the dew can be removed. But experts suggest that it has been helpful," Brian Murgatroyd, ICC's communications manager, told Cricinfo. Chemicals had been sprayed on the outfield before, during an India v South Africa one-dayer at Centurion Park. On that ocassion India successfully defended 234 and interestingly it was Harbhajan Singh, the offspinner, who starred in the second innings. The dew has often rendered spinners ineffective, making it difficult to grip the ball, but that one instance suggests that the chemicals might assist in negating the dew.

Apparently the idea came from John Bracewell, New Zealand's coach, who suggested the solution after observing the outfield last evening. "We'd discussed several ideas like starting games early and so on," Murgatroyd continued, "but we decided to do a bit of research into the chemicals and came upon this as an effective solution."

David Richardson, the ICC's Manager, Cricket, said: "Dew and the effect it has on day-night cricket has been something that everyone is conscious of.

"And although it has not played a major role in the ICC Champions Trophy so far we are keen that should remain the case for the rest of the tournament and that every match should be a fair contest between bat and ball."

He also revealed that it would be ensured "that outfields are not watered on the day of a match and that they are cut shorter to reduce the amount of grass that is available for dew to cling to".

The procedure is not believed to have any effect on the ball.

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan is staff writer of Cricinfo