Indian Premier League 2010 March 18, 2010

Ahmedabad takes steps to curb moth menace

Cricinfo staff

The Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) will use fogging machines to reduce the menace created by moths attracted to lights during the IPL matches. Ahmedabad hosted its first IPL game on March 15 - Rajasthan Royals lost to Delhi Daredevils - but the players and spectators had to endure an army of moths. The insects swarmed over the entire ground, including the stands and the media box, making it difficult for the players and everyone else to sight the ball clearly. The seriousness of the issue was highlighted by Shane Warne and Virender Sehwag after the match and both voiced their concern and irritation about the moths. "A couple [of moths] hit me in the eye when [Shaun] Tait was bowling and I was in the slips. Lucky that nobody nicked, otherwise I could've got hurt," Warne said.

Sehwag was more direct. "[I was] Very much distracted because it is difficult to focus on the ball when you are running, and it is scary when some moth comes and hits you in the eye," Sehwag, who was the Man of the Match for his aggressive half-century, said. He had a similar experience during the 2009 IPL in South Africa, when an insect got into his eye, and hence he was wearing night glasses as a precaution.

Embarrassed by the incident, GCA officials are confident there would be no moth menace during Saturday's match between Rajasthan and Kolkata Knight Riders, which starts at 4 pm. "We have been using the fogging machines inside and outside of the ground for the last two days after six in the evening, as the moths come out in huge numbers in the evening," Rajesh Patel, the GCA secretary said. He also said a private firm would be carrying out a pesticide treatment throughout the ground from eight in the morning on Friday, followed by another round of fogging later in the evening.

Dhiraj Parasana, who has been Motera's curator since the venue was inducted into the BCCI fold, said the spring-summer season was usually the breeding period for insects and that the floodlights were another attraction. "It is typical for the moths to appear at this time of the year especially under lights," Parsana said. "My experience says it will reduce, being a day game. It will be a lesser problem as the game should end by 7.30 pm and the moths appear normally after the lights come on fully."