With rain still lashing parts of eastern Indian state Odisha including Cuttack, the venue of the fifth One-Day International (ODI) between India and Australia, the Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) on Friday said chances of drying up the waterlogged Barabati Stadium was “extremely remote”.
“The ground is completely waterlogged and chances of its drying up are extremely remote. The pitch is safe, but the total outfield might cause harm for the fielders,” OCA secretary Asirbad Behera said even as the the Indian players practiced in nearby indoor stadium.
Regreting the development caused due to inclement weather, the OCA said it was expecting sunny weather on Friday.
“We planned to use the service of helicopters to dry the ground, but it did not click,” Behera said.
The operators of helicopters visited the ground and expressed that they could dry the pitch, but were unable to remove the mud which has accumulated throughout the playing area, the OCA secretary pointed out.
“After inspection of the ground by the umpires and the match referee on Saturday afternoon, only then the final decision will be taken,” the OCA said.
However, the gates of the Barabati Stadium will be opened for general public at 11.30 am instead of 8.30 am as announced earlier, it said.
In this scenario, Behera said, if the match is called off, the OCA intends to refund the money as declared earlier.