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Rain forces IPL final into reserve day

AFP . Ahmedabad
29 May 2023 11:07:31 | Update: 29 May 2023 11:07:31
Rain forces IPL final into reserve day
A digital board displays a message at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on May 28, 2023 — AFP Photo

Heavy rain and thunderstorms in Ahmedabad on Sunday forced the Indian Premier League final between holders Gujarat Titans and Chennai Super Kings into a reserve day for the first time.

Rain began 35 minutes before the toss and went on for over two hours and 40 minutes before it stopped and raised hopes for the game to begin at the world's biggest cricket stadium.

But a second downpour washed out the day, leaving thousands of fans, who had taken shelter in the covered areas of the 132,000-seater stadium, disappointed.

The ground was a sorry soggy sight when officials called off play for the day and a message on the giant screen, for the fans, read "please keep your physical tickets safe!".

The action will begin on Monday with an IPL final heading for a reserve day for the first time in its 16-year-long history.

The weather department of the western city predicts a slim (10 per cent) chance for evening rains on Monday as well.

The match is believed to be Chennai skipper M S Dhoni's last as a player and fans turned up in numbers wearing the yellow jersey of the superstar cricketer.

Chennai will be aiming for a record-equalling fifth title to go level with IPL powerhouse Mumbai Indians, led by all-format India captain Rohit Sharma.

Dhoni has led his team to their 10th IPL final including four trophies and five runners-up finishes.

Gujarat, captained by Hardik Pandya, have extended their fairytale journey which began with a title win in their debut season last year at the same venue.

The T20 competition, which began in 2008, has grown into the world's richest cricket tournament and a huge revenue earner for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).