Rain plays spoilsport to Yuvraj Singh’s return to international cricket, match called off

The much-hyped comeback of Yuvraj Singh after surviving from rare germ cell cancer turned into an anti-climax in the end as the first T20 International between India and New Zealand here today was abandoned due to heavy downpour without a ball being bowled, says a report in The DNA, adding that the heavens opened up at around 6 pm and after two hours of incessant rain, the official announcement came at around 8:15 pm with the giant scoreboard showing, "Due to heavy rain the match has been called off”, much to the disappointment of the capacity crowd.

It was a match where 21 players from either side were completely overshadowed by one man --- Yuvraj. From the time, he had stepped into this coastal city of Visakhapatnam, all eyes have been on stylish left-hander. If there was a sell-out weekend crowd at the stadium, it was primarily due to the pre-match build-up terming it as Yuvraj's return to international cricket.

Meanwhile Deccan Herald reports that At 5.31 pm, the ground-staff rolled out the covers at the first hint of drizzle and waited for the hovering dark clouds to move way. “But what followed bore close resemblance to a dark movie. A gentle drizzle gave way to thunderstorm accompanied by sharp streaks of lightning, and by 6 pm the stadium was draped in black, brightened only by the frequent bolts from heaven. It poured incessantly over the next one hour and on the first instance when the elements settled down a bit, three super-soppers attempted to clear the covers before moving on to clear the outfield but the rain, which had arrived due to a depression in the Bay of Bengal, got worse at that stage,” says the report, adding that had the match started at 8.00 pm, play would have been extended and a full twenty-over game could have been played. At nine pm, a fourteen-over game would’ve have been possible and at 10:15 pm a five-over game might have happened.

The groundsmen continued their efforts to salvage the ground and match, but weather had aleady done irreparable damage. Finally, the umpires officially called off the match at 8.15 pm.

The Indian Express writes that Yuvraj Singh will have to wait a little longer for his return to international cricket after rain washed out India's first Twenty20 International match against New Zealand at Visakhapatnam on Saturday.

The 30-year-old all-rounder's return after a successful cancer treatment was the main attraction for his fans but rain and thunderstorms denied them a chance to see him in action. Yuvraj's only hope of getting some match practice before the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka now rests on the second and final match against the Kiwis in Chennai on Tuesday.

“I was very excited... Unfortunately it's raining. I just can't wait to get back to the field,” Yuvraj said on television before the match was called off.