Tri-Nation Tournament in Bangladesh 2009-10 January 7, 2010

Dew factor in Mirpur prompts early starts

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) will ensure earlier starts to matches in the second half of the tri-series to minimise the effect of dew on the pitches, an issue that has been severely criticised by all three captains. The matches are currently scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m., but board officials said the remaining matches, beginning with Bangladesh's clash against Sri Lanka on January 8, will start 30 minutes earlier.

The 2:00 pm local start was decided after the BCB tried to ensure the matches started 90 minutes earlier. However, Nimbus, the broadcaster, could only push it forward by 30 minutes.

"It won't happen for tomorrow's [Bangladesh versus India] game, but we are hoping that we can start the next game early, or do it for the other matches," Jalal Younis, the BCB's chairman of media communications, told Cricinfo on Wednesday. The dew factor has been threatening to strip the tournament of its competitiveness, with all the captains believing that the toss could be a huge factor in deciding the outcome of the game.

Shakib Al Hasan, the Bangladesh captain, showed his displeasure at the end of the defeat against Sri Lanka on Monday and said it could adversely affect the future games. "It was almost unplayable out there," he said. MS Dhoni too has advocated an early 11.00 am start and Kumar Sangakkara has said early starts, if possible, would make for good cricket.

The organisers seem to have been caught unawares about the extent of the damage that the dew has caused to the fielding side. "We really didn't expect this much dew," Jalal said. "We didn't realise that there would have been so much fog and it would be so chilly."

Television is one of the main reasons why the game couldn't be advanced to take the dew out of the picture. "Nimbus, the official broadcasters, have already sold the product to their partners assuming certain time," Jalal said. "It involves lots of marketing decisions and thought; it's not an easy decision to just advance the start. They have even sold the product to Europe. We have been in constant touch with their CEO."

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at Cricinfo