By: Ishita Goel
May 30 2023
An image of a hair dryer being used to dry the pitch at a Guwahati stadium in 2020 is being falsely linked to the 2023 IPL final.
On May 30, Chennai Super Kings lifted the Indian Premier League (IPL) trophy against Gujarat Titans after a lengthy delay. Initially scheduled for Sunday, the match was delayed to May 29 due to rains in Ahmedabad. After Gujarat Titans finished their innings and Chennai began the second innings, the match was again stopped due to rains. Then a new target was set for Chennai, and the match was cut short to 15 overs. Several visuals from the stadium have surfaced on social media showing the ground staff using various techniques to dry the pitch to resume the match. A picture showing the ground staff using a sponge to dry the pitch has also gone viral, leading to people trolling organizers and BCCI.
Against this backdrop, several social media users claimed that at Ahmedabad's Narendra Modi Stadium, a hair dryer was used to dry the pitch during the final. One social media user compared India to other countries and said, "BCCI which is way more richer than ECB is using hair dryer to dry pitch." (sic) Another user thanking consumer electronics company Panasonic sarcastically wrote, "Your Hair dryer helped us to dry the pitch." Several social media users questioned Minister of Home Affairs of India Amit Shah and Secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Jay Shah about the infrastructure and drainage system at the stadiums. News outlet Republic also published a news report claiming that a hair dryer was used to dry the pitch in Ahmedabad.
However, this image is unrelated to the IPL final at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
Through a reverse image search, we found that this image dates back to 2020. On January 6, 2020, The Quint published a report headlined, "Hair Dryer, Steam Iron Used to Dry Guwahati Pitch," which carried the viral image. The report said that the first T20 international between India and Sri Lanka was called off due to rains. The report added that at this match, the ground staff of the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati, Assam, tried to dry the pitch using a roller, a big dryer, and even a hair dryer and steam iron but rainwater seeped through the covers.
Hindustan Times reported on the incident in a report headlined: "Indian jugaad': Steam irons, hair dryers used to dry pitch in Guwahati, social media has field day." The image shared in the report is different but shows the groundstaff using a hair dryer on the pitch while Indian cricketer Virat Kohli inspects the pitch.
Further, The Indian Express also reported on the incident, writing that groundstaff first used a light roller and a vacuum cleaner to dry the pitch. However, after carrying out an inspection of the ground, the umpires were not happy with the conditions. Hair dryers and steam irons were then used by the ground staff to attempt to dry the pitch.
A hair dryer was used in 2020 at a cricket stadium in Guwahati to dry the pitch during a T20 match between India and Sri Lanka. A photo of this incident is falsely being shared to claim it was used during the rain-washed 2023 IPL finals at Ahmedabad's Narendra Modi stadium.