Guwahati: Announcing that everything was done on and outside the pitch following the direction of umpires during the abandoned T20I match on Sunday night in Guwahati, Assam Cricket Association (ACA) general secretary Devajit Saikia said, “I have spoken to BCCI chief curator Ashish Bhowmik and he told me in very categorical and clear terms that due to sweating the pitch was dampened.”
The ACA secretary also alleged that running of super soppers very close to the pitch over the covers might be another reason for the Sunday night disaster. Referring to the comments made by some of the former Indian cricketers-turned-commentators like “human error” or “school-boy error” on the part of the organisers, the ACA secretary said, “Laxman or Aakash Choppra’s statement can’t be Bible.”
Elaborating on the use of blankets under pitch cover, Saikia said that there were two spells of heavy shower during the match. “Usually blankets are used to cover pitch. That day following the instruction of umpires, the pitch was under cover during the rains without blanket for more than 1.03 hours,” Saikia regretted.
Outrightly rejecting allegations that the cover had holes, the ACA secretary said, “We are using the same pitch cover for the Assam Vs Chhattisgarh Ranji Trophy match.”
Sharing his reaction about the worldwide jokes and memes about the hair dryer used to dry the pitch he said, “Hair dryer is a wrong word it was a hot air blower. Functionality is the same. This was not the first time something of this sort was used and we were only following instructions from the BCCI officials deputed only for the match.”
During the press conference, Saikia also distributed some leaflets where he tried to show how different measures were taken in other parts of the country and worldwide to tackle such situations. However, the gadgets shown in pictures and used at the ACA Stadium, Barsapara seemed to be completely different. Questions have been raised on how the ACA can compare the hair dryer used in Guwahati (left) with hot air blowers used during an Ashes match (referred in leaflets shared by ACA among the journalists on Tuesday).
ACA president Ramen Dutta also spoke during the press conference.