Dindigul diaries: Mukund loses cool, empty stands greet Duleep Trophy final

On the first day of the Duleep Trophy Final at the NPR College Ground, here are some tit-bits from Natham.

Anmolpreet Singh's brilliant 96 was the highlight of the day.   -  B. Jothi Ramalingam

It is tough to be a bowler and captain

Cricket can sometimes be a lonely game, especially when you are a bowler. India Red’s Mihir Hirwani brought all his tricks out of the bag to stop India Blue’s Anmolpreet Singh and Ricky Bhui but failed in all his attempts as the pitch and the pink ball did little to help the bowlers.

Lost in thoughts, Hirwani walked up to his mark at square leg and started fielding as B. Sandeep was flexing his muscles around. Ricky Bhui attempted a sweep shot and the ball beat Hirwani with ease and raced to the deep square leg boundary.

A visibly upset Abhinav Mukund gestured to Hirwani and made his displeasure evident as he appeared to have asked him to field at deep square leg. Mukund, then, ran to the bowler to enquire about Hirwani’s field placement and as the bowler too feigned ignorance, Mukund had no choice but to curse his fate and walk to his fielding mark.

Needless to say, the upset captain didn’t have a word with the bowler and the fielder for that over. After the over, the trio had a chat and it was back to business. It is tough to be a bowler and a captain!

Assistance to the third umpire

Domestic matches are usually devoid of any fanfare, big screens and glaring scoreboards. The big screens usually take up the job of a third umpire and as the replay is played on the big screen, the players get to know the decision before the umpire can actually make his.

In the final, the third umpire was summoned as Ricky Bhui seemed to have had his foot in the air while Ishan Kishan effected a stumping. While replays were a tad inconclusive, an inquisitive player from the India Blue camp ran to the third umpire’s room and peeped from the window in an attempt to watch the replay.

Needless to say, he was asked subtly to get back into the pavilion and let the third umpire complete his course of investigations to arrive at a decision.

Fumigation, the need of the hour

While picturesque stadiums offer breath-taking views, the perils of playing in grounds away from cities can be calamitous, at times, especially when insects get attracted to the lights and make an entry in huge numbers.

Hundreds of moths and mosquitoes made an appearance as the match was into the third session   -  Hari Kishore M

 

While there was an instance of the match being called off early in this tournament, hundreds of moths and mosquitoes made an appearance as the match was into the third session.

That forced the umpires to call for drinks and fumigation was carried out on the pitch and on the ground and the match had to resume after an elongated drinks break.

Stars can only get crowds

The main idea of playing domestic matches in rural areas is to popularise the game but it looks like the game, which is called a religion in the country, cannot get popular without stars.

The picturesque NPR College Ground in Natham wore a deserted look on Day one of the Duleep Trophy final.   -  Hari Kishore M

 

As the Duleep Trophy was being played at the NPR College Ground in Natham, in the premise of NPR Engineering College, there was not a single soul who was interested in the game. A casual chat with the groundsmen revealed that lack of big names was the reason for fans to stay away.

“Who will come to watch these players? They are unknown commodity and moreover this is a Test match. A T20 at least can provide some entertainment,” a ground staff said as he laughed and walked away.