Mumbai: The main focus ahead of the second Test between India and Australia in Bengaluru is on the 22-yard strip at the M Chinnaswamy stadium.
The dryness of the pitch in Pune has kicked up a controversy regarding the sportingness of the pitch to be used in the second Test, something that could be instrumental in deciding the fate of the four-match Test series.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle over the phone, Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) secretary Sudhakar Rao said that the ground curators are preparing a sporting wicket.
“We are preparing what we normally keep for the Test matches (here). It might turn after the second day,” said Rao. “Before that it will be a good batting track. We are trying our best to give a good, sporting wicket. We want to see the match go on till the fifth day.”
A major issue with the Pune track was the fact that it was not watered for at least four days before the start of the Test match, according to reports. When asked whether the grounds are being properly watered, Rao said, “It depends on the weather and the heat. Even in domestic cricket, we only sprinkle the water after the day’s play.”
While Rao did not entertain questions that further probed about the usage of water in the Chinnaswamy Stadium, sources close to Deccan Chronicle revealed to us that the KSCA ground staff use around 6,500 gallons of water everyday.
This amount of water is used in the outfield alone. Further additional water is used to impart moisture to the pitch.
Karnataka is currently facing a huge water crisis. Places like Bandipur, Nagarhole and Bannerghatta National Parks, the Jogimatti Reserve Forest, and the BRT and Cauvery wildlife sanctuaries face acute water shortage, which is being termed as the worst drought the state has faced in the last four years.
“People are totally misusing the water in the urban areas,” says water conservation activist Ayyappa Masagi.
“Even today, (a lot of the water) is brought from the rural areas. The Rural people are selling water to the urban people for money. This way, the water will also slowly get depleted,” he continued.
An earlier report in Deccan Chronicle brought to light that the water shortage has affected a number of forested areas in the state, with large animals like elephants being the worst affected.
A similar issue had taken the world of cricket by storm last year, when the Bombay High court passed an order that deemed the usage of excessive water in cricket grounds is a ‘criminal waste’.
The Mumbai-based IPL team played a few of their home games in Vishakhapatnam, last year....