HPCA officials pray to Snake God to keep rain away during India-South Africa ODI

HPCA officials pray to Snake God to keep rain away during India-South Africa ODI

The last international game at the venue, incidentally a T20I between India and South Africa, was also washed out without a ball being bowled.

Dharamshala
Dharamshala. (Photo Source: Twitter)

In a desperate attempt to stop rain from playing spoilsport in the upcoming first ODI between India and South Africa in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) officials have offered their prayers at the Indru Nag Temple. The temple gets its name from the Snake (Nag) king and is located on a plateau that’s now been converted into a paragliding site.

Indru Nag is a local deity with a cult-like following in this neck of the woods. It is widely believed that if a person has the blessings of this deity, his wishes will get fulfilled. Dharamsala hardly gets to host an international game and the unpredictable weather of the place makes things worse for the venue. The last international game at the venue, incidentally a T20I between India and South Africa, was also washed out without a ball being bowled.

And so the HPCA officials are taking no risk with the weather this time around. The officials are seeking divine intervention to ensure that rain remains away when both the teams lock horns at the picturesque venue on Thursday (March 12).

“Yes, some of our officials have offered players at the Indru Nag Temple last week. Since the last match in Dharamsala was abandoned because of heavy rain, we didn’t want to take a chance now,” HPCA secretary Sumit Sharma told The Indian Express.

According to the news outlet, there’s another interesting anecdote attached to the tradition of offering prayers at the Indru Nag temple. Just days before the first international match was to be played at this venue — India vs England ODI in 2013 — the state association officials rushed to their local deity. They were rewarded with a full match without interruptions. But it’s believed that barring the periphery of the stadium premises, there was a heavy downpour that washed out Dharamsala and parts of Dharamkot and Mcleodganj.

Contrasting form for India and South Africa

India and South Africa enter the series in contrasting forms. South Africa will be high on confidence after whitewashing Australia in the three-match ODI series at home. It was their first series win in any format in a year.

On the other hand, India enter the series on the back of a disastrous tour of New Zealand. After sweeping the five-match T20I series, India suffered crushing losses in the subsequent ODI and the Test series. New Zealand whitewashed the Virat Kohli-led side in both the series.