PCA grounds wet after rain; covers, sight screens blown off

Mohali: Punjab Cricket Association officials were racing against time to get the pitch ready for the IPL game here on Thursday as high-velocity storm accompanied by rain and hail struck the city.

"Both the sight screens got blown away in the heavy storm. The covers too sailed in the air and fell on adjoining spectator stands. The rains caused flooding of the ground," chief curator of PCA, Daljit Singh said.

He said the rain and hail had caused flooding on the ground and his team was working hard to restore things. The rainfall recorded here was over 25 mm. Local favourites Kings XI Punjab are set to clash with Pune Warriors in the IPL game here tonight.

"The storm was so strong that even some of the equipment kept inside the grounds got displaced. We worked till late in the night to restore things," he said.

Singh said match referee Ranjan Madugalle inspected the grounds this morning and expressed his satisfaction with the efforts being put in by the PCA.

Asked if the match was possible to be held tonight under the given conditions, Singh said, "We will hand over the ground after we have done our work. After that, it is for the on-field umpires to take a final call."

According to the Chandigarh-based Meteorological Department, more showers were expected at some places in the area. The storm with wind speed between 115-120 kmph hit Chandigarh and its adjoining areas including Mohali in Punjab and Panchkula in Haryana last night, a MeT official said.

A Western Disturbance had been active over Jammu and Kashmir and neighbourhood and rains were expected in the region, he said.

"We were not expecting the storm to be with such intensity, something rarely seen in this part of the region," he added.

The storm had caused damage to power lines in the region and uprooted trees and tree branches could be seen at some places in Mohali and Chandigarh.