Faced with the very real prospect of cancellation of the marquee contest between India and Australia on Saturday in view of the bleak weather forecast, a desperate Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) has now appealed to fans to ‘pray in their individual capacities’ to the rain gods to stay away.
“Since the weather condition depends on God’s desire, we appeal to everybody to pray in their own capacities so that the weather improves in time and we can host this prestigious match at Barabati Stadium, Cuttack,” a press release issued by OCA honorary secretary Asirbad Behera on Wednesday said.
Behera, however, hastened to add that the OCA was ‘still hopeful’ of hosting the match successfully as per schedule ‘by the grace of the God’ and has been taking all necessary steps on war footing for the match.
“We wish the match will be held in time as per schedule without any hindrances with our united and sincere prayers,” he said.
While assuring fans who have bought tickets for the match that the ticket money would be refunded in case the match is cancelled due to rain, OCA made it clear that there would be no refund even if one ball is bowled in the match. “Officially, if one ball is bowled, the match is considered to have been commenced,” it said in the press release.
The date and time of refund will be decided within seven days and accordingly ticket holders will get back their cost of tickets on production of tickets as per intimation, OCA said.
Having already announced that it would contribute Rs 1 crore to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF) for relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction work in the areas affected by the cyclone and the floods that followed, OCA clearly is hoping against hope that the all-important ‘one ball’ is bowled in the match so that it does not have to shell out a refund on ticket collections.