Friday, November 6, 2009

Fog threatens to play spoilsport

Heavy early morning fog and sunlight that fades early are a cause of concern ahead of the sixth India-Australia ODI in Guwahati.

But the ground staff is confident that new equipment would prevent any weather-related delays in the game.

The scheduled start of the play is 8.30 am in the morning and pitch curator Sunil Barua said the teams have to watch out for the morning fog and the dew factor. But he assured that with the new equipment, the match will start as scheduled.

"The Board has asked us to get the pitch ready one hour in advance. We have super sopers at our disposal and we hope to clear the dew and get the pitch ready in time," Barua said.

In case the light fades out early, they have an option of floodlights but the curator doubts whether the lights which are used for other sport would be of any use.

The Nehru Stadium strip may have got a history of bowling-friendly wicket, but the curator said this time the wicket had been relaid and the fans can expect a "300-plus total".

Barua, who is handling the wicket since the stadium hosted its first one-dayer in 1983, said, "It will be a batting-friendly one-day wicket. The wicket has been relaid two years ago with special soil brought from outside. We can expect a high-scoring game and 300-plus is possible.

Indian, Australian teams arrive in Guwahati

Meanwhile, the Indian and Australian cricket teams on Friday arrived in Guwahati from Hyderabad for the sixth one-day international match scheduled to be played on November 8.

The two teams arrived at the Lokopriyo Gopinath International Airport from Hyderabad by a Jet Airways flight.

The players were escorted to their respective hotels amid tight security with fans lining up the entire way from the airport to the two hotels in different parts of the city.

The Indian team is staying at Hotel Brahmaputra Ashok near Latasil area while the Australian team has been put up at the new Hotel Nakshatra in Beltola area of the city.

Both the team members and officials were greeted at the hotels with the traditional Assamese 'gamosa' (hand woven towel).

Meanwhile, all arrangements have been completed for the Sunday's match and the state police department has made elaborate arrangements to tackle any untoward incident, Assam Cricket Association Secretary Bikash Barua said.
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