The crowd in Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium was left rather disappointed as the first T20 international between India and South Africa was abandoned, without a ball being bowled on Sunday (September 15), due to heavy downpour that lashed Dharmashala in the afternoon.
According to the weather forecast, the rains were expected at intervals during the day but it was predicted to stay clear all evening. However, the skies opened up multiple times, dropping the hopes of even having a five-over per side match for the game to be called official.
The thundershowers that lashed the ground looked like subsiding by 5:30 PM IST. Just when the ground staff at the HCPA Stadium were trying to revive the ground in full force to make it ready for the match, the second spell of rain played the spoilsport such that even the shortest format of the game could not be conducted.
The worst sufferer was certainly the common fans, who had come from all the nearby districts as well as from Chandigarh and Delhi to watch the match as multiple puddles created at the outfield stopped the game.
Since most of the stands in the stadium didn’t have overhead covers, the spectators found ways to create temporary “umbrellas” off the in-stadia hoardings.
Under the aegis of BCCI, all the matches are now covered under insurance for the fans, since the toss was also not held. This means that the viewing public will get a refund for their tickets and even HPCA will not lose any money.
The second T20 International will be played at Mohali on Wednesday (September 18) while the third and final game will be held in Bengaluru next Sunday (September 22).
(With inputs from PTI)