SLC apologises for floodlight failure

Nasir Hossain acknowledges the crowd after his fifty Associated Press

Sri Lanka Cricket has apologised for the generator failures that halted play for 99 minutes in the first ODI in Hambantota, and said an investigation into the problem will be launched tomorrow.

One floodlight tower lost power after the 41st over of the Bangladesh innings, before both the towers on the western side of the ground went out during the innings break, causing the major 85-minute delay. Sri Lanka's innings was curtailed to 41 overs as a result, and their target adjusted to 238 according to the Duckworth-Lewis method.

"Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to apologize to the millions of viewers & the general public for the inconvenience caused due to this technical fault," a release said. "Two of the four light towers at the ground had failed. It should be noted that these generators were tested the day before and were fully functional during the said testing period."

One generator provides electricity to two floodlight towers, and each of those primary generators has a back-up generator that kicks in if the first one fails. The first generator on the western side failed during the Bangladesh innings, causing the first delay, but although the backup generator took over after a short break, that too failed during the innings break.

The generator that provides electricity for the southern grandstand was then brought in to provide power for the floodlights.

SLC has contracted state owned power company Ceylon Electricity Board, to provide and maintain the generators required for cricket matches, but an SLC engineer is employed to oversee the electricity arrangements for each match. The investigation into the failures will be carried out by the power company.

There have been several instances of floodlight failures affecting international matches, with the Twenty20 between South Africa and New Zealand in East London last year being the most recent example. This is the first time a floodlight failure has stopped play in Sri Lanka.

Hambantota hosts the second ODI on Monday, and SLC said two new generators would be brought from Colombo on Sunday, to replace the faulty ones.