IPL 2019: Eden Gardens must never be bathed in darkness again
A chase is in progress and the spotlight is on a dynamic young left-hander who is in the midst of a brilliant knock and has his eyes firmly set on the target. He must finish it on his own terms. But the light goes off at the Eden Gardens and play is stopped for 12 long minutes.
Nitish Rana of Kolkata Knight Riders, who was batting on 68, took guard when it resumed. He was trapped leg before wicket off the very first ball that he faced from Rashid Khan of Sunrisers Hyderabad after the "forced" break during the second encounter of IPL 2019.
"I didn't know this could happen. My gameplan got interrupted. I lost my momentum when I came to the dressing room. The atmosphere also became a bit relaxed. I got into a shell because of the break or I would have finished the match," Rana said after the match.
Not a one-off
Interestingly, this was not the first time that such an event has occurred at Eden Gardens. Last time around, it happened during the ICC World T20. Bangladesh were playing New Zealand in the Super 10 stage of the marquee tournament when the power failed.
Before that, an ODI between India and Sri Lanka met with the same fate, while an IPL encounter in 2008 involving Kolkata Knight Riders and Deccan Chargers was halted for 23 minutes for a similar reason.
Why is the Cricket Association of Bengal unable to solve the issue?
What is the reason behind the repeated occurrence of power failures at Eden Gardens? Why is the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) unable to solve this issue? - these are some pertinent questions that need to be asked.
More importantly, urgent steps need to be taken in order to make sure that this is not repeated in the future. After the latest instance during the match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders, the response from the authorities betrayed the gravity of the matter.
Same old narrative
"It was an eventuality that was addressed instantly and got rectified. The agency appointed by CAB had done a routine check and also issued a certificate. We would re-conduct a thorough check ahead of the next game to prevent its recurrence," CAB joint secretary Avishek Dalmiya was quoted as saying by IANS.
The official statement blamed it on a short circuit that occurred in a particular tower. In the past too a similar stand was taken but nobody was held accountable and eventually the lights went off again when a match was in progress in front of a packed Eden Gardens.
In fact, when lights went out during the India-Sri Lanka ODI in 2009, a blame game ensued between CAB and the Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation.
Testing the patience of the fans
Such incidents definitely test the patience of any cricket fan and particularly the sports-crazy folks of Bengal. The fact that it has happened twice during the tenure of Kolkata's favorite son, Sourav Ganguly, who heads the CAB, makes it even more embarrassing.
No matter what the reasons are for the power outages at the iconic stadium, CAB must make sure that Eden Gardens, which embodies the undying spirit of crickets fans, is not kept in the dark for the remainder of the IPL or, for that matter, ever.
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Published 25 Mar 2019, 19:11 IST