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Monday, January 20, 2020

India vs Bangladesh T20I: After poor air quality, now cyclone threat

With Bangladesh leading 1-0 in the three-match series and “heavy to very heavy” rainfall expected on Thursday, the day of the second T20 game here, the city had its fingers crossed.

Written by Gopal B Kateshiya | Rajkot | Updated: November 5, 2019 8:18:41 am
The Arabian sea off a coast in Chellanam (Kerala) swells under the influence of severe cyclonic storm Maha. (Express photo: Nithin RK)

The vagaries of nature continue to chase the touring Bangladesh team. After putting up with poor air quality at Feroz Shah Kotla in their opening T20 game, it was the threat of cyclone that greeted the visitors as they moved towards the west coast for their next match. With Bangladesh leading 1-0 in the three-match series and “heavy to very heavy” rainfall expected on Thursday, the day of the second T20 game here, the city had its fingers crossed.

According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) the cyclonic storm, Maha, is likely to make landfall between Diu and Porbandar early on Thursday. However, it is likely to weaken by the time it reaches the Gujarat coast. “It is very likely to intensify further till Tuesday morning and weaken thereafter,” stated the IMD bulletin.

But that could result in rains at the venue for the second T20 game. “There will be widespread rainfall in the state when the cyclone makes landfall. Coastal areas of the state like Amreli, Bhavnagar, Rajkot, Botad, Surat, Vadodara will be affected and “heavy” to “very heavy rainfall” will occur at isolated places,” Jayanto Sarkar, director of Meteorological Centre, Ahmedabad told reporters on Monday.

Meanwhile, the two teams landed in the early hours of Monday and remained confined to their hotel rooms because of the overcast conditions. They are scheduled to have net sessions on Tuesday.

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It has been raining in isolated places in Sauarashtra for more than a week now. Initially, the rains were induced by cyclone Kayaar, which had intensified into super cyclone before weakening and moving towards Oman coast. Rainfall was reported at isolated places in Saurashtra and Kutch regions on Monday also due to effect of the cyclone Maha.

SCA president Jaydev Shah said they were trying their best to ensure that the match is played. “We have completed pitch preparations early so that it can be kept covered. We would cover much of the outfield. Additionally, the drainage system of our ground is so good that some amount of rainfall should not disturb the match. We are hoping for the best and prepared for the worst,” Shah, the former captain of Saurashtra Ranji team who had been elected president of the SCA told The Indian Express.

The third and final match of the series is scheduled to be played in Nagpur on 10th of this month.

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