Interestingly, the ACA claimed that the use of hairdryers and steam irons is part of the protocol to dry the popping crease in international matches.
Cricket fanatics in India were caught in shame when grounds staff of the ACA were seen using the strange tools to dry the cricket pitch in Guwahati.
In a desperate face-saving exercise, ACA general secretary Devajit Saikia on Monday claimed that using hairdryers and steam irons were part of the BCCI ‘protocol’ to dry the popping crease.
“If there is an evening match and there is moisture on the pitch, it is the protocol to use hairdryers, steam irons, charcoal on iron pan and heater to dry the pitch. We have not done anything out of the protocol,” justified Saikia.
“When the toss is done, we hand over the pitch to umpires and match referee. On Sunday, the toss was done around 6.45 pm and we handed over the pitch to the umpire,” Saikia claimed.
The ACA secretary said after handing over the ground to the umpires, even the curator has no right over the pitch. “Whatever was done on Sunday was as per instruction of the umpires and match referee,” he said.
“They (the umpires) have also asked us to use heaters. But heater could not be used as there is some possibility of short circuit which would affect the telecast of the match,” said Saikia.
Although the ACA does not accept it as a ‘shame’ to use hair dryers and steam irons to dry the wet pitch, an unhappy BCCI has sought a report from the chief curator Ashish Bhowmick on the mess.
It is sort of raining criticism for the ACA on Sunday evening when photographs and visuals of using hair dryers and steam irons went viral on social media drawing huge criticism on match preparedness of the ACA.
Senior BCCI officials termed the measures adopted to dry up the pitch as ‘a direct effect of the lack of experience among the new state association officials’.
“This also points out to the lack of preparedness of Bhowmick and CEO Rahul Johri,” the BCCI official said.
GM Cricket operations said that he is waiting for the report of Chief curator Bhowmick on the mess on Sunday evening that drew huge criticism and questioned the preparation for holding international cricket.