Assam Cricket Association 'rain-ready' for India-South Africa T20
ACA secretary Devajit Saikia

Guwahati: The Assam Cricket Association has put in place elaborate arrangements to minimise time-loss in the event of rain, including importing pitch covers, for the T20 International between India and South Africa on October 2, a senior official said.

The last cricket match at Barsapara Stadium here between India and Sri Lanka in January 2020 was abandoned following heavy rainfall.

Guwahati had experienced unprecedented rainfall in the middle of winter, and that is why the match in 2020 had to be eventually called off.

The weather forecast for October 2 is clear, but the weather is not within the control of anyone. We have all arrangements in place in case there is rain on October 2, ACA secretary Devajit Saikia told PTI.

The ACA has imported two extremely lightweight pitch covers from the US, he said. It already has around 20 covers at its disposal.

These imported covers ensure that water or moisture does not seep into the pitch, Saikia said.

He said the ground had been handed over to the BCCI chief curator on September 16, and its staff is now in charge of the entire field, including the pitch.

Saikia said a capacity crowd is expected for the India-South Africa encounter, with the first phase of online ticket sales garnering good response.

The first batch of online tickets has been sold out. We will open another batch on September 26, he said.

The stadium can accommodate 39,000 people, out of which around 8,000 seats are reserved as complimentary passes for different agencies, state bodies, sponsors and other invitees, the ACA official said.

Saikia also said additional measures are being planned for crowd management as the match schedule coincides with the Durga Puja days and Gandhi Jayanti.

Under the instruction of the chief minister, ACA has already held three rounds of talks with the district administration, police and other agencies.

A traffic plan is being chalked out to ensure minimum inconvenience to the public, he added.

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