Ranji Trophy: launch threat looming after the opening ceremony of the State Games

JAIPUR: With the opening ceremony, the fanfare about the first state games soon diminished, leaving a huge task at hand for the gardeners to deliver a pitch ready for the game. Ranji Trophy match between Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh from January 3 at the SMS stadium.

For the inauguration at the stadium, the stage was set in the garden where horse shows were held and paraded with the participating students sitting right in the middle of the playing field.

TOI has learned that the pounding of horses' hooves against the careful outdoor garden and the damage caused by setting the stage will keep the guards standing until midnight in a chilling cold. The field, although it was covered, saw young people wandering around and sitting on it. Experts believe that more time is needed in winter to prepare the ground and gardeners require 10 to 12 days to prepare the pitch.

The sources told TOI that the field curator for Ranji's party, Sunil Chauhan of Himachal, in his report to the BCCI informed them of the opening ceremony of the State Games that was held on the ground on the eve of the match.

Although the ground was at the receiving end, the Games have been a welcome signal for the next athletes in the state. Giving a new opportunity to sports culture in Rajasthan, the first State Games began with a decent crowd in attendance.