South Africa v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Johannesburg January 9, 2017

SL forced to practice indoors after rain affects practice pitches

Andrew Fidel Fernando and Firdose Moonda

Sri Lanka were forced to train indoors at the Wanderers Stadium on Monday, after weekend rains had seeped through the covers and made the outdoor practice pitches unusable.

Though there was no rain, overcast conditions did little to aid the drying of the surfaces on Monday, and there is a chance both teams' training will be affected on Tuesday as well. The South Africa squad does not officially convene till Tuesday, and as such, have not trained yet in Johannesburg.

"Our guys are working on it," Greg Fredericks, CEO of the Lions, the franchise based at the Wanderers, told ESPNcricinfo. "We had a lot of rain from Friday and through the weekend but we are doing our best."

Groundstaff did provide a centre track for Sri Lanka's bowlers to train on - no one batted there - and will also aim to provide one for South Africa on Tuesday. Additionally it is hoped one of the practice pitches will have dried sufficiently to conduct a nets session on.

Sri Lanka were briefly dismayed at the prospect of training indoors on surfaces they felt may be slower than the outdoor practice pitches, and indeed the Test-match surface. But after talking to groundstaff they are hopeful facilities will improve in the approach to the game.

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  • herman5470635 on January 11, 2017, 7:59 GMT

    the amount of rain that happened on Friday and over the weekend was really really heavy and much needed. there has been a drought in the area and has only recently eneded. it does suck for both teams, but the rain is very welcome. normally this time of year it rains lightly for a few days, or heavy rain for late afternoon, and then clears up again before sunset. but this weekend it was really heavy rain, non stop for 3 days.

  • Dhawala on January 10, 2017, 8:45 GMT

    Rain will save SL in this match 2-1 is what SL want

  • udendra on January 10, 2017, 6:09 GMT

    I've always wondered why they can't build a mobile enclosement kind of thing which could be moved over the pitch/square for training during rainy weather. Or have an "indoor" soil pitch.

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