The opening ODI between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at the National Stadium Karachi has been called off.
The decision was taken due to the heavy rain that lashed the city on Friday. As a result, the stadium outfield had become waterlogged.
It was initially reported that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) would try its best to stage the match even if it had to cut down on a few overs. However, the state of the pitch made it impossible for the ground staff to give match officials their go-ahead.
The stadium had puddles at a variety of places, whereas the area near the boundary line was almost completely submerged.
At one point, the ground staff had attempted to work towards getting the ground ready for a 20-overs-a-side match. However, continuous downpour made sure that their plan did not come to fruition. It is the first instance that an ODI match has been abandoned at the National Stadium due to rain without a ball being bowled.
The last time an ODI had been abandoned in Karachi, it was 1988 when the authorities had to call of the clash between Pakistan and Australia due to crowd unrest.
Showers started at around 1:20pm local time turned into heavy rainfall with thunderstorm later in the day.
The toss was originally scheduled to be held at 2:30pm local time with the first ball being scheduled to be bowled at 3pm.
The second ODI between the two teams is scheduled to be played on Sunday at the same venue.
Second ODI rescheduled for Monday Meanwhile, the PCB announced that the second ODI between the two sides has been rescheduled from Sunday, September 29, to Monday, September 30.
“The decision has been made mutually by the two boards to allow the ground staff to prepare the National Stadium outfield for next week’s play,” the PCB said.
It added that this week’s heavy rains, including on Friday afternoon, left the outfield soggy, with the groundsmen requiring, at least, two complete days to make the ground fit for cricket. Tickets policy The PCB also announced that tickets sold for Friday,September 27, will be valid for either September 30 or October 2 matches, while tickets sold for September 29 match could also be used for either September 30 or October 2 ODI.
As per the PCB ticketing policy for the series, the PCB will also allow refund of all tickets for Friday’s match. It has also been agreed that ticket-holders of Sunday’s match unable to attend Monday’s match will also get full refunds. Tickets for Monday’s rescheduled second ODI will also be available online and on the dedicated TCS counters.
A day earlier, Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed thanked the Sri Lankan team for visiting Pakistan and urged other foreign boards to also reconsider their approach towards Pakistan.
He had said that international cricket is incomplete without Pakistan. “Pakistan has delivered a clear message and now it’s time for other boards to reconsider their approach towards playing in Pakistan. Being a team and a nation, I request all boards to support cricket in Pakistan,” he had told a press conference in Karachi while talking about some international players who reportedly accused India of forcing them not to visit Pakistan.
Talking about the pitch and the field in Karachi, he had said, “We haven’t seen the pitch as yet, I have only an idea that which type of pitches are made in stadiums here.”—Agencies