Match Centre


Scorer: @Thilak_Rama | Commentator: @saurabh_42

4.40 pm: So that's an early wrap for us for this game. Not the start that a whole lot of people wanted, especially given the historic occasion of ODIs coming back to Pakistan. But this was just the first ODI, there's a whole tour to go. Join us on Sunday for the second match. Till then, this is Saurabh, signing off on behalf of Varun, Thilak and Danyal.

And, as Talha Hameed points out: "This is the first time ever an ODI has been called off due to rain in National Stadium, Karachi".

4.30 pm: The match has been called off. Well that's a bit of a damp ending to what was going to a much looked forward to return of ODI cricket in Pakistan.

Maisam Zaidi: "It's a second consecutive called-off game between these two sides and that too in two different continents!" - Right you are Maisam. Their last ODI was in the World Cup, and that too was abandoned.

4.02 pm: There is a steady drizzle about on the ground. The pitch and square still remain under covers, but those covers are heavily water-logged. The drizzle will have to stop first, I'd assume, to have any hope of play starting. The cut-off is 8pm so we still have time, but commentators on air reckon there's no chance of play for at least two more hours. Possibly more.

How far has Pakistan's limited-overs game come in the past three years? They have won an ICC title, and have long been the No. 1 T20I side in the world. For the first time since his ouster, the man who was in charge, Mickey Arthur, spoke at length about his time with (and living in) Pakistan, on the latest Stump Mic podcast. (you can subscribe on Apple Podcasts here)

Mariam: "Hey. Just saw some pictures of the ground. Curious about why the entire ground is not covered only the pitch is??" - not sure why Mariam (and all the others asking). Though it's not always healthy for every kind of grass to be covered for so long, so that could be a factor.

3.42 pm: "No rain still, but it's dark overhead. There is one very, very wet patch around fine leg from where the press boxes are, and a dozen people are mopping around it," says Danyal.

Noman has sent Danyal and I on a Statsuguru hunt with this question: "When was the last time when the match was delayed / cancelled due to rain in Karachi?" - there is no way to accurately capture all the delays, but here is a shocker: no match in this stadium till now has ever had a no-result due to rain!

There have been three matches without results - but all were due to crowd trouble.

Ali: "The clouds are still thundering over NSK and Karachi right now. Seems like Karachiites will have to wait another day or two for the return of ODIs. It is a happy/sad moment for all "

Ziawains: "Can we call choppers to dry the ground just like in psl final back in Lahore?"

Lakshminarayana: "3 matches no result because of crowd problem. Could you tell which was the teams that are playing with Pakistan at that time" - the answers [to Life, the Universe and Everything (and to your question)] are in the link provided above.

Daniel : "In 2011 after the earthquakes in Christchurch international cricket was not played for 3 years. I remember being envious watching other cities and countries host cricket during the summer. Pakistan has been without cricket for 9 years - I can only imagine what that must have felt like to its fans. Hope they really enjoy the occasion!"

3.18 pm: Danyal's latest update: "It's stopped raining, but no signs of any activity. Still dark out, outfield waterlogged, and covers unmoving."

What time is the match starting? I don't know. But I do know what you can do while waiting. Head over to our Buzz page. Have Sri Lanka found a new Malinga?

Khawar Mushtaq: "Not sure what should i do? Watch a long awaited come back match in Pakistan or complete the office task or go on walk with my dad." - go for a walk with your dad Khawar. Keep the ESPNcricinfo app open on your phone. You'll get a notification if the toss happens, and you can follow the match in peace.

Raza: "Greetings from Karachi! I'm just 4.7km far away from National Stadium Karachi, in office, waiting to watch on TV. Rain has been stopped, but clouds are thundering.. We might see an T20 instead of ODI due to rain delay and wet outfield."

Fahad: "I would have loved to be in that stadium today :( , last game I watched there was between Pakistan and India. Last game I watched in the stadium was at Lords b/w Pakistan and England and Pakistan winning that test. I am far away from home but feel really excited about cricket is coming back to Pakistan. Hope all goes well and more teams start visiting Pakistan."

Thanks Varun. (He didn't tell me when the match was starting before leaving, so don't ask me).

Right, here is Saurabh Somani to take over commentary for a while. He's a weather genius and loves questions such as "hey, tell me when the match is starting".

2:51pm Rain has stopped, says Danyal, "but there are large puddles all around the ground. At this point, it'd be a challenge for the umpires to even walk in to conduct a pitch inspection."

Lahim33: "Need to bring ground staff from Sri Lanka "

Asjad: "Guys, we really need to get a chopper again like what happened in Lahore last year."

2:31pm We're past the scheduled toss time now.

Ikram Ul Haq: "Its been very rare that it rains in Karachi in this time of year!!!, &here it comes on a big day for Pakistan Cricket & also for the people of Karachi !! "

moin: "i live near to stadium almost 5km away and here no any rain only clouds sound are spreading" --- Okay get your gully and tape-ball ready, we're sending the teams there.

Jack: "Please don't be like Ireland's maiden test recently. A highly anticipated start only to be washed away by rain......"

SachinVehale: " there a place on this planet where it's not raining on a cricket match day ?... serious climate issue on cards.."

2:17pm Another new start for Pakistan, of course, is the change in management. Here's Danyal's piece on Misbah: What do Pakistan expect from him?

Sahil: "Micky work hard on the fitness of the players but he didn't worked on their technique that's why Pakistan is laging behind in ODIs. T20 needs fitness with less technique but on the other hand ODI needs both. " --- To be fair to him, technique is not something that's fixed at international level.

Ali: "Looks like the sky is also having tears of joy....... Incredible!!!"

Amina: "God I'll be mad if the rain doesn't stop in karachi!! I've been staring at karachis weather forecast hoping it doesn't rain and we get a full match."

1:50pm How far has Pakistan's limited-overs game come in the past three years? They have won an ICC title, and have long been the No. 1 T20I side in the world. For the first time since his ouster, the man who was in charge, Mickey Arthur, spoke at length about his time with (and living in) Pakistan, on the latest Stump Mic podcast. (you can subscribe on Apple Podcasts here)

1:41pm Danyal Rasool, our correspondent at the ground was a teenager when he last watched an ODI in Karachi. He's a grumpy, frustrated man today as he reports heavy rain and "proper dark clouds".

abhishek srivas: "Its 10 years Karachi, Geez I was 24 years old at that time a student trying to get in B School after my LLB now I am a Law Professor. A decade "

Farooq: "Yeaahhh..Excited for the Match,but Rain is going to cause some troubles today"

afs: "Heya. It's a bummer that SL aren't as strong as they could have been, but I'm glad we Karachiites are lucky to get the chance to see PAK's first home ODI in ten years!"

Sahil: "Refreshing anxiously to read your first line.Welcome by the whole country . Full of happiness over come back of ODI Cricket. "

1:30pm Welcome! Or should I say welcome back? ODI cricket returns to Karachi after more than a decade - close to ten-and-a-half years today. Our writer Andrew Fidel Fernando did a bit of scene-setting in his preview:

"It has been ten years since Karachi saw its last ODI. In that time, three World Cups have been staged, a generation has grown up, and the one-day game has been through a revolution."

But not much has changed about Pakistan's cricket itself. They continue to thrill, frustrate and be generally endearing in much the same way as their home crowd will remember from ten years ago. This should be fun...if the skies are willing. Forecast not good today.