The highly anticipated final of the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL) faced a significant delay due to persistent rain in Ahmedabad. Despite the match being scheduled for a reserve day, the rain gods continued to disrupt the proceedings, forcing Chennai Super Kings’ run-chase to be reduced to a mere 15 overs. However, the CSK emerged victorious, successfully chasing down a revised target of 171 runs. Nevertheless, the conditions at the Narendra Modi Stadium during the final have prompted questions about the stadium’s rain management capabilities, especially as it prepares to host the prestigious ODI World Cup Final in the coming months.
Snehasish Ganguly, the president of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), has suggested that the authorities responsible for the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) can learn from the rain management system at Eden Gardens. According to Snehasish, the delay in the IPL final occurred because the side wickets became wet, hampering the progress of the match. He emphasized that if the GCA covers the entire ground, such issues would no longer persist.
Eden Gardens, located in Kolkata, currently stands as the sole stadium in the country equipped with a comprehensive ground cover. This innovative concept was introduced during the IPL in 2008 when Snehasish served as the assistant secretary under then-president Prasun Mukherjee. Highlighting the learning process involved in stadium management, Snehasish expressed confidence that the GCA will rectify the situation before the World Cup.
Drawing a comparison to Eden Gardens, Snehasish emphasized that the GCA possesses all the necessary facilities to overcome the rain-related challenges. The Narendra Modi Stadium has a sand-based ground, complemented by an efficient drainage system that swiftly eliminates excess water. However, Snehasish noted that the absence of sand on the side wickets makes them susceptible to rainwater penetration. To address this, he recommended employing an additional workforce of 40-50 people to ensure full coverage of the playing area.
Regarding the financial aspect, Snehasish revealed that implementing a full cover at the Narendra Modi Stadium would cost approximately ₹80 lakh, based on their own experience at Eden Gardens when they replaced the covers with a fresh set two years ago. He reassured that the implementation process would take only two months if the decision to proceed with it is made promptly. Importantly, Snehasish highlighted that such an investment would provide double protection, allowing uninterrupted gameplay even during adverse weather conditions.