Odishatv Bureau

Ahead of the second T20 international match here between India and South Africa on Sunday, the Regional Meteorological Center (RMC) at Bhubaneswar ruled out possibility of any major rain during the evening.

The chance is 50:50. We cannot say for sure that there will be no rainfall in Cuttack on Sunday evening. There may be a small spell of rain but no possibility of any major rainfall, RMC Bhubaneswar director H R Biswas told PTI.

Biwas said the sky will remain overcast. "There may be thundershower induced rain in the evening and it will be known about three to four hours earlier. However, there will be no heavy rain which can affect the match.

An Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) official said preparations have been made to face the situation.

"With consultation from BCCI Technical committee we have made a sand-based ground for better drainage. The OCA has purchased a rain cover for the entire FOP (field of play) area from England. This apart, it has also purchased another super sopper from Australia. Preparations for the ground will be ready even if it rains throughout the day, he said.

The international cricket event, which comes to Odisha after a gap of two and half years, has generated much enthusiasm among the cricket fans here.

The craze was visible on Saturday when the players of both teams practiced at the Barabati stadium here.

Match day feels on a non-match day. A packed stadium here in Cuttack to watch #TeamIndia train, BCCI tweeted and shared pictures of players practising in the backdrop of a sea of spectators.

The previous international cricket match at Barabati Stadium in Cuttack was played between India and West Indies on December 22, 2019.

Meanwhile, the Odisha government in a statement urged sports lovers coming to watch the match to take ample precautionary measures to protect themselves from the heatwave-like conditions and wear masks throughout the match.

Commissioner of Police S K Priyadarshi said wearing a mask is mandatory. None will be allowed inside Barabati Stadium on Sunday without a mask.

Any object that can be used as projectiles such as water bottles, lighters, matchboxes and helmets are banned inside the stadium.

Cuttack deputy commissioner of police Pinak Mishra said 'No Mask No Entry' has been written clearly on tickets for the match and asked spectators not to bring coins, knives and other items.

Only mobile phones and sunglasses will be allowed inside the stadium, he said adding that food too will not be allowed into the stadium.

Food will be available only at stalls set up by OCA, which has also made elaborate arrangements for drinking water in pavilions.

Mishra said around 62 platoons (1 platoon comprise 30 personnel) of police will be deployed during the match, the toss for which will take place 6.30 pm. The gates of Barabati Stadium will be opened for the entry of spectators from 3 pm on Sunday.