Ahmedabad does not have an Indian Premier League team. Not surprisingly, when Mumbai Indians decided to make Motera as their home ground for the Champions League T20, there was a lot of buzz and excitement among the locals here.
The Amdavadis welcomed Rohit Sharma and his triumphant IPL team with open arms, expecting the batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar to once again come up with some record-breaking score.
This was evident from the fact that more than 25,000 tickets were sold for the Mumbai Indians vs Otago Volts match scheduled on Monday evening. Expectations were high as fans wanted Mumbai Indians, and Tendulkar in particular, to show their fighting skills and set Motera afire. This, after Mumbai Indians had lost their opening match against Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur on Saturday night.
However, the fans were left disappointed after heavy rain forced the authorities to abandon the match without a ball being bowled.
In fact, the day’s first match Highveld Lions vs Perth Scorchers also suffered the same fate.
With the points shared on Monday, Mumbai Indians are in a spot of bother. They face a must-win situation in their remaining two matches against Highveld Lions (September 27 in Ahmedabad) and Perth Scorchers (October 2 in New Delhi) to keep alive their hopes of making it to the knockouts.
Motera has a good drainage facility but the four-hour long downpour made it impossible for the ground staff to repair the damage and get at least the bare minimum number of overs to constitute a match. The pitch was covered but the outfield was in a deluge. The players stayed indoors and the match was called off half-an-hour before the scheduled 8pm start.
The crowd was hopeful of watching some action probably some vintage Tendulkar strokes before returning home but, sadly for them, that was not to be.
But true to the cricket lover’s spirit, not once did the fans show any signs of frustration and remained in good spirits. They even chanted ‘Ganpati Bappa Morya’ but the weather gods eventually had the last laugh. The CLT20 organisers would refund the spectators as not a single ball was bowled in either of the two matches.
While there was not even a possibility of a toss for the Mumbai Indians-Otago Volts match, the coin went up for the day’s first match between Scorchers and Lions. Alviro Petersen of the Lions won the toss and elected to field. However, shortly after the flip of the coin, the skies opened up and left Motera in a pool of water.