Match abandoned without a ball bowled

Commentary

Game has been called off

1.15 pm Umpire talk: "Conditions have not improved much. The groundstaff did a great job but it would take atleast couple more hours to get it ready. That will be too late."

So that's that. No play. Pity.

The first Test starts on 18th at Chittagong. Hopefully, cyclone Akash would have relented by then. Till then, good bye and good luck.

1.05pm Umpires are inspecting the field. They walked all around the outfield. They didn't tread gingerly anywhere. The crowd, who have been waiting patiently, let out a cheer of hope, egging the umpires to decide in favour of a game. Habibul Bashar was seen having a chat with the umpires and is now taking a close look at the pitch.

Sid Monga, our man at the ground, says, "Dravid doesn't look too happy, he believes it will take two hours to get the ground ready". With the Test matches to follow, no one wants to risk a injury.

Pitch inspection Umpire Asoka de Silva: "There are certain areas in the outfield that are still waterlogged. We will come back at 1.00 pm local time and have another inspection." So keep your fingers crossed and hope for some sunshine.

The cut-off time is 2.20 local time, informs Sid Monga.

11.13 Sun playing hide and seek. The Test players, from India, meanwhile are using the indoor facility to practise. The others have gone back to hotel. Wonder what's playing in the local television. Repeat of Wonder Years?

Ok ... here is another story. This concerns the greatest batsmen of 'em all - Don Bradman. Ray Lindwall recalls that the team attended a black tie function while a match was in progress, and that three of the bowlers on duty, himself, Colin McCool and Ern Toshach, were then invited to a party 15 miles out of London. They had to make three separate cab trips to get there; this persuaded them to stay at the party rather than attempt a complicated trip back in the early hours of the morning. When they did get back, still in dinner suits, they went up the hotel stairs in case Bradman was in the lift, but met him doing his exercises. The great man said no more than: 'Have a nice night? You had better do all right today.'

They had a shower and took the field. Bradman bowled the three of them all morning; each took three wickets. Lindwall was on the rubbing table at lunch when Bradman 'smacked me on the behind' and said: 'You were pretty lucky today.'

'Why? We got them all out.'

'If you hadn't I would have liked to see the three of you bowling all afternoon.' Aha!

-------------------------- And this is a well-known one but brings a chuckle everytime I read it. Raman Subba Row apologises after dropping a catch of Fred Trueman at first slip "Sorry Fred, Should've kept my legs together."

Fred: "Not you son, Your mother should've.."

while we wait Some sticky anecdotes. First from the great Neville Cardus. "I remember a very wet morning at Leeds," Cardus recalled. "They didn't cover the wickets in those days. At one o'clock, the sun came beating down and of course this meant the wicket would become difficult for the batsmen. An hour or so later Wilfred Rhodes and Emmott Robinson went out to inspect the wicket. And I went with them. Rhodes felt the turf and said, 'Emmott, it'll be sticky at four o'clock.' Then Emmott bent down, pressed his fingers into the soil like an expert cloth-tester and said, 'No Wilfred. half past." Can't trust Cardus too much. He is known to invent stories but ... hey ... makes for a good read.

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10.20: Drizzling again. Aargh.

9.55 am Rain has stopped, but it's fairly dark. Sun peeps out, winks and disappears. Hmm it seems the foxes are getting married again. Don't worry we have discussed the animal weddings in the first ODI. We won't go there again. Did I hear you sigh in relief?!

While we wait please do read Sambit Bal's interview with Dav Whatmore . On Bangladesh cricket. Worth a read.

9.50 local time: And it starts raining again. Sidharth Monga writes in, "There was a long queue outside the ground when we walked in; they were hoping more than us. I could see the queue from here. And as it starts raining again, immediately the people have started walking back.The chances of having a match -- not that they weren't bleak -- are getting bleaker by the second."

Hi there. Bad news to start off the day. Overnight rain delays start of play. Umpires to inspect the pitch at 12 noon.

Sidharth Monga is waiting for sun at Chittagong. He sends us this: "After being at it all night, the rain has stopped for the last one hour or so. Now, the one most hated commodity in Bangladesh -- the sun -- is the most wanted. They need two to three hours of sun to make the ground playable in. The square, though, looks fine, and they have started to take the covers off. But the major worry is the outfield, which needs serious drying. The next inspection will be done at 12 noon local time (11:30 IST). The teams are not expected to arrive at the ground before 10am local time."

The Dhaka-based daily, The Daily Star has more dope on the cyclone named Akash.

Oh btw I am Sriram Veera and will be joined later by the young Manish Jha. You must have read the news that BCCI plans to take inputs from the Met department regarding weather patterns and plan itenaries better. The other Sid, Siddhartha Vaidyanathan, has written a piece on it. Check here.