‘Why Didn’t They Cover The Ground When It Was Raining?’

The legendary Sunil Gavaskar voiced his disappointment with Cricket South Africa in the aftermath of the series opener between Team India and the Proteas being called off in Durban due to persistent rain.

India’s multi-format tour to South Africa faced a damp start at the Kingsmead stadium.

With hopes of substantial earnings, CSA had anticipated over a billion rand ($53 million) from television rights during India’s tour, aiming for much-needed financial relief. However, the incessant rain in Durban dashed those hopes as the first match was abandoned, prompting Gavaskar to critique CSA’s management of the situation.

Expressing his dissatisfaction on air, Gavaskar criticised CSA for failing to adequately cover the entire cricket field when the rain began before the coin toss.

‘If the ground remains uncovered and the rain stops, you know it doesn’t start for another one hour. Suddenly it rains again. So there’s no play whatsoever. Everybody (cricket boards) is getting a lot of money. Let’s make no mistake. All the cricket boards have got plenty of money. If they say they don’t, they are lying,’ Gavaskar said on Star Sports.

‘They might not have as much money as the BCCI. Fair enough. But every board has got money to buy these covers to cover the entire ground.’

‘So many World Cup matches in England did not take place because the ground was not covered. The rain had stopped, but the rest of the ground was, you know, wet. So a lot of teams lost points,’ Gavaskar added.

‘South Africa wanted to play against some team and the match didn’t take place, mainly because the outfield was wet,’ Gavaskar recalled.

In a nod to former BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, Gavaskar praised the proactive approach taken at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens. He highlighted Ganguly’s role in ensuring the installation of a fully covered rain management system at the venue, illustrating it as a model initiative that other boards should emulate.

‘What the boards need to do now is to cover the entire ground. Let’s have no excuse. There was one Test match at Eden Gardens called off where there was some problem at the game didn’t start. Next game, Eden Gardens had the entire ground covered.’

‘That is the kind of initiative that you want to have. Sourav Ganguly was the man in charge and he made sure that nobody could point the finger at Eden Gardens,’ Gavaskar added.

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