Day-Night Test & Dew Factor: A Problem at Hand For Ganguly & Co
BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly & the people at CAB are looking at some options to make sure dew doesn’t play a spoilsport
Soon after the announcement was made on Tuesday, 30 October, that Team India were set to play their maiden day-night Test next month at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, the biggest concern from thereon was how big a role would the dew factor play in the landmark Test.
Indian grounds, especially in the northern and eastern parts of the country, are infamous for their dew-related issues and how they have influenced the results of matches in the past.
But newly elected BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly was quick to play down the concerns.
“We will sort this out. We will make sure there’s no dew. After all, day-night one-dayers are played here. There’s this dew treatment spray and all. Nothing will happen,” Ganguly told PTI on Tuesday.
Chemical sprays have been used to offset the dew in the past as well. APSA-80, a chemical manufactured by Amway, has been employed in the past for ICC tournaments as well as other international matches.
But the method had only limited success. Ropes, super-soppers and mops have also been tried as solutions, but the dew factor continues to play a critical role in the sub-continent during day-night encounters.
Under this scenario, Sujan Mukherjee, the pitch curator at Eden Gardens, offered a better solution to overcome the dew problem.
The experienced campaigner said Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) officials are planning to have an early start to the match. According to him, the second Test will start between 1 pm and 1:30 pm, subject to BCCI's clearance.
A final clearance will come from the BCCI in consultation with the broadcasters.
“Since it’s an early start, the day will get over by 8-8:30 pm. The dew factor comes into play mostly after that, as we have seen in white-ball game this time of the year at Eden. Therefore, I don’t think dew will be a problem,” Mukherjee told IANS.
As far as ‘plan B’ is concerned, Mukherjee reiterated his former boss and former CAB chief Ganguly’s stance. "We also have arrangements to tackle dew issues like treatment sprays and all that," he said.
This might be Team India’s first day-night Test, but this won’t be the first time that a day-night Test is being hosted in India or, as a matter of fact, Kolkata.
Coincidentally, Ganguly himself was instrumental in organising the first ever pink ball match in India – though it was the CAB Super League final between Mohun Bagan and Bhowanipore in June 2016. Ganguly headed the CAB at the time.
In that same year, BCCI also decided to make Duleep Trophy the only day-night first-class tournament to be played with the pink ball. The experiment lasted for three seasons, till 2018.
Back then, the spinners had expressed concerns over the dew factor, which they believe, puts them at a disadvantage.
CAB secretary Avishek Dalmiya has said they will ‘leave no stone unturned to make India's first-ever Day-Night Test a success.’
So, it will be interesting to see what CAB as well as BCCI do to make sure that such a historic moment in Indian cricket is not reduced to a ‘dampener’, quite literally.
(With inputs from PTI & IANS)
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