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Friday, July 20, 2018

Suresh Raina slams UPCA CEO Deepak Sharma in Duleep Trophy rain washout

Following a brief drizzle, on-field umpires Navdeep Singh and Yashwant Barde, even after inspecting the surface five hours after it, found the conditions unfit for play to resume.

By: Express Web Desk | Published: September 17, 2017 6:17:14 pm
suresh raina, duleep trophy, upca ceo, kanpur duleep trophy, cricket news, sports news, indian express Suresh Raina is leading India Blue in Duleep Trophy. (Source: Express Archive)

Suresh Raina has slammed the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association’s CEO Deepak Sharma for the delay due to wet outfield and eventual draw between India Red and India Red in the Duleep Trophy. The contest could well have been one to watch out for but for the wet outfield and poor management by the authorities.

Following a brief drizzle, on-field umpires Navdeep Singh and Yashwant Barde, even after inspecting the surface five hours after it, found the conditions unfit for play to resume. It was an odd decision considering some of the players played foot volleyball outside the boundary rope – an area which had been uncovered and wetter. Some of the senior UPCA officials claimed the umpires were forced into coming up with the decision by a couple of senior players.

Clearly unhappy, Raina slammed the UPCA CEO for the mismanagement. “I’m happy with the way we played and took the first innings lead. Especially, after yesterday, when it rained, and we had only half an hour (of play possible). This (three points) is very important for us. We feel, had we played yesterday, things could’ve been different,” said Raina to Cricbuzz.

“Whatever happened, for the lack of facilities or the lack of initiative by the UPCA CEO, he (Deepak Sharma) has to take the initiative and give us a proper channel. You can’t just say something and expect something. They have to be very professional from their side as well. We’re here to play Duleep Trophy and Duleep Trophy has been a very important tournament for so many years. It’s important to take this seriously. We didn’t have a proper game, that was the sad part,” he further added.

With the matches being played in Kanpur, at a UPCA venue for a second straight year, Raina said UPCA CEO should have taken more ownership by being present during the match.

“We could have won outright,” Raina added. “We could have sat nicely with six points. We bowled really well, we got five wickets (in the second innings). (Yesterday) they said there was an issue with the cover and didn’t take the responsibility. That guy (Deepak) came late. Till then, I spoke to few of the groundsmen, they worked really hard. Credit goes to the umpires for trying to make some game possible. It’s something that he (Deepak) has to take seriously, otherwise there’s no point hosting,” fumed Raina.

“If you see, I supported them (UPCA) in the first press conference. I didn’t know what they had and what they didn’t. When you are hosting something, you have to take responsibility. This is one of the biggest trophies. We have all come from here. We need to take this seriously. It’s everyone’s responsibility – players, media, organisers. No point in saying something and not delivering,”he said.

With Kanpur slated to host New Zealand in an ODI, the preparation for the venue comes into question. Raina believes if things stay the same, Test status could be lost as well. “We held games in Noida. There was a game in Lucknow as well. Kanpur is the oldest Test ground (in Uttar Pradesh). You can’t make such mistakes and lose the charm of Test cricket here. So many UP guys have played on this ground. I have got so much from here. But if you make such mistakes, it could all be gone,” he claimed.

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