Overcast skies in Guwahati, ahead of India's T20 fixture against South Africa on Sunday has left organisers and fans anxious.
This is the first international cricket match at the venue since the COVID-19 pandemic and tickets are sold out. The last international cricket match, a T20 between India and Sri Lanka, at the same venue – the Barsapara Stadium, on January 5, 2020, -- was called off due to persistent rain.
At a pre-match press briefing, India head coach Rahul Dravid said it was great to see fans back in the stadium.
"Since June, when things opened up, every time we play in India, every stadium has been packed. That's a great thing. I am sure the boys really appreciate the fans cheering for them, hopefully supporting good cricket. I think it's a wicket that would support good cricket,” Dravid said.
The regional meteorological centre has forecast partly cloudy skies with one or two spells of rain or thundershower for Guwahati on Sunday.
The organisers, meanwhile, said they have made arrangements to minimise time loss in the event of rain.
The Assam Cricket Association (ACA) has imported two “extremely lightweight” pitch covers from the US. It already has around 20 covers at its disposal.
“These imported covers ensure that water or moisture does not seep into the pitch,” ACA secretary Devajit Saikia had said.
The stadium can accommodate around 39,000 people.
Saikia also said additional measures are being planned for crowd management as the match schedule coincides with the Durga Puja days and Gandhi Jayanti.