Eden pads up for dew battle

Telegraph India

Telegraph India

Author 2019-10-31 04:45:00

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The D-factor. That’s the most important thing the Eden Gardens is grappling with as the iconic venue gets ready to host India’s first-ever Day-Night pink-ball Test.

The battle with dew though is nothing new at the Eden. The dew factor gave a lot of creased foreheads while staging Day-Night ODIs in the past during November and December. On most of the occasions, the team bowling/ fielding under the lights have been the sufferers.

The India versus Bangladesh game — the 12th pink-ball Test — begins on November 22, which is the early stages of winter. So possibilities of heavy dew cannot be ruled out.

However, according to the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) curator Sujan Mukherjee, dew shouldn’t be a huge factor mainly because of the 1 pm start. “Look, the dew factor is always there. But it won’t be something massive or as big as game determining.

“The match starts each day from 1pm and should end at 8pm or maximum half past eight. It’s only around 6.30pm onwards that dew could be felt.

“It will be at its extreme from or after 8pm, and by then it’s stumps.

“So, I think dew won’t be a massive factor unless there is a drastic change of weather. It won’t be like bowlers are feeling they are holding a soap, as is seen sometimes in dew-affected limited-overs matches,” Mukherjee, also a former CAB joint secretary, told The Telegraph on Wednesday.

The association, of course, is keeping the precautionary measures ready in case there’s excessive dew. “Obviously, we have to take precautions, like anti-dew sprays and sufficient mopping,” Mukherjee added.

CAB secretary Avishek Dalmiya echoed the curator. “We have anti-dew sprays, ropes for mopping, while super-soppers with a bit more servicing will work well.

“A multi-day pink-ball game is not something new or unusual to us. The only issue is the time of the year. But that’s why the game will start a bit early. You would want some sessions also without the floodlights. Otherwise, you have to use them in every session, considering light fades very fast during this period,” Avishek pointed out.

Mukherjee, however, feels it would have been ideal if a couple of trial matches with the pink ball were held before the November 22-26 Test. “Let’s see what happens, but I didn’t see the pink ball change or behave too differently under lights in the Super League final (in 2016).

“The ball lasted fairly well for 70-80 overs. But that game was played with the Kookaburra ball, while this will be with SG. So, difficult to say what’ll happen,” he said.

Pink flavour to tickets

The tickets for the Day-Night Test will have a pink flavour, Avishek informed. “We’ll write to the Board if they allow us a revised design of the tickets as everyone wants to keep them as a memorabilia. It’s about adding a pink flavour to the ticket.

“Eden Gardens will be at the background (in the ticket) while we’ll also see if the World Test Championship symbol at least could be in pink. We’ll also be giving a separate design (to bookmyshow.com), provided the Board allows us.”

With Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to be present on Day I of the Test, there are also possibilities of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s presence during the occasion.

‘Helicopter shot’

The CAB has its own plans of a ‘helicopter shot’ before the pink-ball Test begins. According to an official, paratroopers could come down from a helicopter with the trophy for the Test series.

“Or it could be like the helicopter passing over the ground and spreading pink hues. We do have such plans,” the official said.

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