Overcast skies and persistent rain put paid to the second day’s play in the Duleep Trophy match at the Green Park here. India Green was to resume at 100 for three in reply to India Blue’s first innings total of 177.
As the 40-strong ground staff, which rarely gets credit, toiled vainly to get the game going, the players watched the action from the dressing room with a tweet from India Green captain Parthiv Patel put things in perspective.
Loss of play hurts his team’s chances of qualifying for the final because only a victory can take India Green past India Blue, which has three points to its credit from the draw against finalist India Red.
Led by Shiv Kumar and his trusted colleagues Ravi Shukla, Haji Asad and Bhupendra Singh Chauhan, the ground staff galvanised itself into drying the field but bowed to nature. “We tried our best,” said Shiv Kumar. “Our aim first was to restrict water logging and ensure that the field can be fit to play tomorrow if it doesn’t rain further.”
The groundstaff had done a wonderful job a day ahead of the match on Monday when it had rained for a much longer period. Thanks to their work there was a full day’s play possible on Tuesday.
With better drainage facility, the Green Park could have seen some play on Wednesday. India Blue skipper Suresh Raina had slammed the local association for its tardy response to a similar situation in the last match. But even he would have appreciated the hard working ground staff this afternoon.
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