On Day Two of the wet, miserable second >Test between India and South Africa in Bengaluru, Bharat Arun was asked how players passed the time when an entire day was rained off. “Well, we are 24 of us in the dressing room,” India's bowling coach said. “Some of us watched the >Australia – New Zealand match [that] was going on. Someone then recollected old things and we had a good laugh. There’s always music playing (in the dressing room) so if you want to dance, you can go ahead and do that.”
They were no different, then, from the two dozen reporters at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, except for the fact that no music plays in the press box. And that any dancing will be treated with the sort of contempt reserved for men who beat up five-year-olds for a living.
At rain-hit cricket matches, there is a lot of waiting: for the rain to stop or for the umpires to call play off. Neither, unfortunately, happens with any urgency.
It is difficult to report on a five-day cricket match when there is only one day of cricket. The press box can be a dull place to inhabit, the atmosphere only enlivened by the occasional arrival of commentators. In Bengaluru, one former India player recounted a distressing one-day series in Sri Lanka in 1998, when three games were washed out. “It was the time of the FIFA World Cup, so we would watch the matches till late into the night,” he said. “The next morning we would open the curtains, see it was raining, and go back to sleep. We spent almost a week there and did not even get to see the ground.” Reporters, unfortunately, do not have that luxury.
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