It’s the onset of hurricane season in Jamaica. The meteorological department of Jamaica has warned a high-intensity hurricane building up in the Caribbean seas, about to blow across the country in the next 24 hours. It hasn’t induced any panic as yet. But there are already concerned whispers of whether it would be as damaging as hurricane Ivan that wreaked havoc in the country, killing 17 people and incurring material damage worth $ 360 million, in 2004.
But there were hardly any signs of a looming hurricane in the morning. The skies were pristinely blue, with white clouds leisurely wandering and the winds whistling playfully. Forget hurricane, it hardly seemed it would rain. The wizened Jamaican, though, will tell you those signs are deceptive. Hurricanes unleash their fury with little warning, without any elemental disturbances that would forewarn an imminent natural calamity. Eet’d blow jus like’at. Like it did in 2004 and several times later.
Out in the middle, the players seemed hardly affected by the warnings. There was no sense of urgency. They routinely went about their chores, Indian batsmen Ajinkya Rahane and Wriddhiman Saha steadily increasing the lead, like two busy craftsmen, taking it beyond 200 and West Indies bowlers just going through the motions, praying the Indian batsmen would gift them a wicket. The way they misfielded and dropped catches conceded an impression that they’d rather the hurricane blow the match away than give India a tough fight. The only time they seemed intense was when Shannon Gabriel bowled. Like on the second day, he was woefully unfortunate to not add another wicket to his tally. He beat both batsmen on several instances with the length-ball that seamed away from them, and when eventually he procured an edge, it either eluded the fielder or fell short of him.
The umpires had a long chat with the groundsman, spoke with India coach, Anil Kumble, before deciding that the conditions weren’t good enough for resumption. Finally, the play was called off for the day due to rain.