In P.G. Wodehouse’s short story, How’s That, Umpire?, the heroine, a young American woman, tells her fiancé, an English cricketer, that an ideal cricket contest is one wherein the entire day is rained off while the rival teams do their crossword puzzles.
The goodly crowd that came for the opening day of the second ‘Test’ between India-A and New Zealand-A may not quite agree with Wodehouse’s heroine. They arrived at the KSCA Stadium before the scheduled start on Thursday and stayed on till the announcement came, a little after 3.30 p.m., that play had been called off for the day. That was after the last of the day’s several inspections by the umpires.
No play was possible because of the wet ground conditions. Ironically, there wasn’t a drop of rain during the scheduled playing hours and there were in fact spells of bright sunshine, but the damage had been done by some overnight drizzle, and a bit of that early in the morning.
Late in the day, when both teams came out to practise, they were greeted by loud cheers by the fans, who also got some entertainment, watching a couple of young selfie-seeking boys being chased off by the security guards.
Those who didn’t barge on to the field were given plenty of time for selfies and autographs by Umran Malik, the man who stunned the world with his super-fast deliveries at the IPL. It was a nice gesture from the young quick.
Umran would have of course rather bowled, especially given the greenish tinge of the wicket and the overcast conditions. But he would have to wait for another day.
That day hopefully would not be the ideal one for that American girl in the Wodehouse short story.
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