Sunrisers Hyderabad got the better of Rising Pune Supergiants in their adopted home ground, Vishakapatnam © IANS
Sunrisers Hyderabad got the better of Rising Pune Supergiants in their adopted home ground, Visakhapatnam on Monday © IANS

The curator of the YS Rajasekhara ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, K Nagamallaiah, told that matches held in the ground can go on despite rains as it has one of the best drainage systems and they have adequate covers to cover the entire ground, when needed. Ahead of the match between Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians, he did not water the ground as he knew that since dark clouds loomed, nature would take care of watering the field. “In fact, I knew that it would rain today (Thursday) and hence I did not water the outfield,” he said. He stated that he relies on ‘accuweather’ website for weather forecasts which has not disappointed him at all. “We have a good staff to man the ground. We have an underground drainage system which is sand-based. The sub-soil drainage for the outfield ensures that the rain water is soaked eight inches beneath the surface and mixes with the sand on way to the main drainage. Thus, it dries immediately,” said Nagamallaiah about the adopted home-ground for Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants. Full Cricket Scorecard: Mumbai Indians vs Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2016 Match 43 at Visakhapatnam

According to the dnaindia.com, he told that the system here is such that he recalled an ODI in November 2013 when West Indies played here. “The match was on 24th and it started to rain heavily on 20th for three days. But on the day of the match, with adequate sunshine, the match started on time. Commentators, who said on air during the previous game in Kochi that the Visakhapatnam match would be a non-starter, were stunned at the Vizag ground being ready,” said a delighted Nagamallaiah, who maintains all the 20 grounds of Andra Cricket Association.

In another instance, Nagamallaiah said that it rained continuously overnight and stopped before sunrise, allowing a 9am Deodhar Trophy match to start on time. However, he was helpless when Hudhud cyclone led to abandonment of an ODI in 2014 and a T20I in 2012.

“Even during Hudhud, nothing happened to the ground but everything around got damaged. As for the T20I, it started raining from 6pm on the match day and continued till the extended one hour of the match,” he said.

The lush green outfield at this venue is one to best and widely appreciated from all concerned including Ravi Shastri when he saw the pitch for IPL’s first game here last Sunday.

“Normally, when you cover the ground, the grass becomes yellowish. But it is not the case here. We use herbal liquefied fertilizer and time its use in such a manner that the grass is alive and green when it stops raining. The timing is important,” said Nagamallaiah, a veteran in preparing pitches in India ever since 1995. He started with SPIC ground in Chennai before moving to Anantapur and then finally to Vizag in 2007.

K. Nagamallaiah is often credited for preparing sporting pitches on which the battle between the bat and ball remains equal.