Zee Media Bureau
Barabati:In a major disappointment for cricket fans, the fifth ODI between India and Australia scheduled to be held at Barabati Stadium in Cuttak has been called off due to heavy rains.
The scenario is a repeat of 1996, when a match between both the teams was washed out without a ball being bowled.
Due to torrential rains in the Odisha for the last five days, the ground is damp and water-logged. Though, despite the non-stop showers, tickets for the 45,000-capacity stadium had almost been sold out.
The Orissa Cricket Association had given up hopes on Friday only and announced the dates of ticket refunds as there was no let up from rain because of a low pressure formation in the Andhra-Telengana region.
Umpires Nigel Llong, S Ravi and C Shamsuddin inspected the ground at 11am as there was some sunshine after five days of incessant rains but with the outfield still soggy and damp patches at several places, the duo officially abandoned the match.
"After inspection umpires in their report submitted that the outfield is not fit for play and no play is possible," OCA secretary Asirbad Behera said.
Both the teams, who are put up in state capital Bhubaneswar, did not turn up at the venue as only the match officials came to make the announcement.
Anticipating that the match would not be possible, no spectator turned up. Starved of International cricket, the excitement was palpable in this part of the country as large number of fans gathered both at the airport and team hotel on Friday to catch glimpse of the stars. The fans will be overtly disappointed now.
Australia are leading the seven-match ODI series by 2-1. Now, India need to win the remaining two matches in Nagpur (October 30) and Bangalore (November 2) to win the series.
With PTI inputs