Rain carries the first India-South Africa ODI in Dharamsala
DHARAMSALA: The first ODI between India and South Africa was abandoned on Thursday without a ball being thrown due to relentless rain.
It was the second game in less than six months to be abandoned in the picturesque Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium due to bad weather.
Incidentally, that match was also a clash between India and South Africa in September last year.
The first ODI in the three-match series was always in doubt after the meteorologist forecast widespread rains and thunderstorms in the region on Thursday and Friday due to further western unrest over northern Pakistan and alongside Jammu and Kashmir.
Fans and organizers had offered prayers at the Indrunag Temple on the hills overlooking the stadium in an attempt to appease the rain gods.
Heavy rains also hit the hill town just after the two teams' practice sessions on Wednesday, forcing organizers to cover the entire playing area.
If that wasn't enough, it rained all night on the eve of the game.
It was cloudy for much of the day and the sky opened just before the start. It rained from time to time, forcing it to delay the launch and put the ground crew into action.
The rain was not that heavy, but it was enough for the water to accumulate, forcing the organizers to press three super soppers into action.
But despite working tirelessly, the ground staff were unable to clear the field, forcing the referees on the field to suspend the match.
The deadline for a game over 20 was at 6.30 p.m. (IST), but the referees on the field made their final inspection and decided to leave the game much earlier.
The new coronavirus outbreak and adverse weather conditions also affected ticket sales.
The second ODI in the series will be played in Lucknow on March 15, while the third and final match will be in the iconic Kolkata. Eden Gardens On March 18th.