Rain disrupts Indian, South African teams’ practice

March 24th, 2008 - 7:29 pm ICT by admin  

Chennai, March 24 (IANS) But for a brief morning practice session, a steady downpour disrupted the nets schedule of the Indian and South African cricket players Monday, ahead of the first Test starting here Wednesday. Following the drizzle that began around 11 a.m., the Chepauk ground was rendered soggy, preventing further nets.

Without the comfort of a tour-opener to acclimatise for the three-Test series, the South Africans have to start their campaign directly with the first Test.

“Rain, rain, go away…” sang sports enthusiasts who had turned up at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium to watch the practice session.

A shooting schedule of the Kingfisher-owned Royal Challengers’ Bangalore Indian Premier League (IPL) players was also interrupted after some footage was canned with Indian skipper Anil Kumble obliging the cameras at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here in the morning.

The Bangalore IPL media interaction interspersed with some action by South African players Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher and Dale Steyn, to be canned for a Kingfisher commercial promotion, was postponed.

“For the time being, we do not know whether the players will just talk to the media or the shooting may get underway later in the evening today or be postponed to Tuesday,” S. Prasad, spokesman of United Spirits Ltd (the company that owns the Kingfisher brand), told IANS.

The Met Office said here that a shallow depression had developed in the Bay of Bengal and may result in intermittent showers till Wednesday.

“The temperature has already crossed the 30s barrier and the humid conditions may affect the performance of fast bowlers from both the sides if the skies clear before the match,” a former Indian Test player who coaches young cricketers here said.

“But the weather is the key, since the earlier One-Day International between the two sides at the same venue was washed out in 2005. One can only hope that off-season rains do not dampen our spirits,” he said.

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