India National Cricket Team batting legend Sunil Gavaskar was furious after the first T20I of the three-match series between India and South Africa got washed out due to persistent rain.
The first T20I between Suryakumar Yadav-led India National Cricket Team and Aiden Markram-led South Africa National Cricket Team was played at the Kingsmead in Durban on Sunday, December 10. There was a delay in the toss due to rain in the city and the umpires waited for close to two hours, before calling off the match.
The match being abandoned came as a huge blow for both India and South Africa as they only have a handful of T20I matches to play before announcing their squads for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024.
As the match was called off, India great Sunil Gavaskar was left fuming at Cricket South Africa (CSA) for not covering the entire ground. In an interaction on Star Sports, Gavaskar said that each and every cricket board has enough money to buy covers to properly cover the entire ground at the time of rain, but this practice isn’t followed by many cricket boards, which leads to additional delays in the play.
“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. 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,” Sunil Gavaskar said, as quoted by India Today.
So many World Cup matches in England did not take place because the ground was not covered – Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar spoke about the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, which was hosted by England, and said that a number of matches were unable to take place due to the ground not being covered entirely at the time of rain.
“So many World Cup matches in England (2019) 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. South Africa. I remember that they wanted to play against some team and the match didn’t take place or something had happened, mainly because the outfield was wet,” Gavaskar said.
The batting great further said that every cricket board needs to cover the entire ground to avoid unnecessary delays and gave the example of Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
“What the boards need to do now is to cover the entire ground. Let’s have no excuse. I remember I think there was one Test match at Eden Gardens called where there was some problem at the game didn’t start. Next game, Eden Gardens had the entire ground covered of. 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,” Sunil Gavaskar further added.
The Men In Blue and the Proteas will next lock horns on December 12 and 14 in Gqeberha and Johannesburg.