Heavy dew, which will minimise the toss advantage, has been predicted for India's opening T20I against New Zealand as Jaipur gears up to host its first international match in eight years on Wednesday. The winter chill can be experienced the moment you arrive in the pink city.
Officials and ground staff at the Rajasthan Cricket Association told PTI that in the last two days, the dew has been setting around 7pm, the start time of the first-ever T20 International to be played at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.
The dew factor proved to be a massive one at the recently concluded T20 World Cup in the UAE where teams preferred to chase in better batting conditions.
"Here in Jaipur, there could be dew in the first innings itself going by the last two days which minimises the toss advantage to a certain extent. Since it is a T20, one has to expect lots of runs from this surface," said an official.
"We will use the anti-dew spray on match day but we have all seen its effect is very limited."
Jaipur was robbed of international cricket over the past decade mainly due to administrative crisis in Rajasthan cricket. It will also be hosting an ODI in February.
With no restrictions on the number of spectators, a packed crowd is expected at the 25,000 capacity stadium. Around 8,000 tickets were sold in the first three hours after they were put up for sale online last week, said RCA secretary Mahendra Verma.
He is inundated with requests for complimentary passes which he feels is impossible to deal with.
"The excitement is palpable with international cricket returning after a long time. What has also fuelled the demand for tickets is that people are keen to watch a big event after staying indoors for the most part of last 8 months due to COVID-19," said Sharma.
The game also marks the return of international cricket to India since the IPL had to suspend in May due to a devastating second wave that swept through the nation.
It is critical for the BCCI to organise the home series smoothly as it aims to organise the IPL at home next year.
Though the RCA has assured that all COVID-19 guidelines will be followed on match day, most of its in-house and outsourced staff were seen without masks on Monday. Some of the BCCI broadcast production members were also roaming around without masks.
One has to be at least partially vaccinated to enter the stadium on Wednesday and non-vaccinated individuals can only enter with proof of a negative RT-PCR test.