Game-Changer: How SubAir system at Chinnaswamy Stadium prepares ground for crucial RCB vs. CSK match


Team Udayavani, May 18, 2024, 2:05 PM IST

The upcoming IPL 2024 match between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) is set for Saturday, May 18, at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. This game is crucial as it’s a virtual knockout. But with Bengaluru seeing heavy rain recently, fans are worried the match might be disrupted.

Good news though! The stadium has a top-notch drainage system called SubAir, managed by the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA). This system ensures the field is ready quickly even after heavy rain.

What Is the SubAir System?

The SubAir system is a high-tech drainage system. It uses a 200-horsepower machine that can drain 10,000 liters of water per minute. This means the field can be ready for play within minutes after a downpour. This technology is a game-changer for cricket grounds, especially in cities like Bengaluru where rain is common.

How Does It Work?

The system operates digitally and uses sand instead of regular soil as the base. Sand doesn’t retain water like soil does. According to P.R. Viswanathan, the BCCI’s South Zone curator, sand helps water drain faster and keeps the field less slippery, reducing injury risks. Sand is expensive and requires good maintenance, especially in Bengaluru’s cool climate, which can cause fungal infections.

The SubAir system not only drains water but also helps with aeration. This means it keeps the grass healthy by ensuring good air circulation in the soil. The system can be switched between drainage and aeration modes as needed. When it rains, the drainage mode kicks in, quickly removing water from the surface. During dry periods, the aeration mode helps keep the grass roots healthy and strong.

History of the SubAir System at Chinnaswamy Stadium

The SubAir system was installed after a disastrous India-South Africa Test match in 2015, where only one day of play was possible due to rain. The KSCA decided to revamp the field between June 2016 and January 2017, adding water-detecting smart sensors.

Since then, the system has been a game-changer. For example, during an IPL match on May 21, 2023, between Gujarat Titans and RCB, heavy rain fell just before the game. Thanks to the SubAir system, there was only a 30-minute delay, and a full 20-over match was played. This quick turnaround impressed fans and players alike, showcasing the system’s efficiency.

The Installation Process

Installing the SubAir system was no small feat. The entire field had to be dug up to replace the conventional red soil with sand. This process took several months and required precise planning and execution. The smart sensors installed around the ground help monitor moisture levels and activate the system automatically when needed. This level of automation ensures that the field is always in optimal condition for play.

Impact on Other Stadiums

The success of the SubAir system at Chinnaswamy Stadium has inspired other stadiums in India and around the world to consider similar upgrades. It has set a new standard for how cricket grounds can be maintained, especially in regions prone to heavy rain. The investment in such technology is seen as essential for ensuring that matches can go on with minimal delays, providing fans with the entertainment they expect.

What to Expect for the RCB vs. CSK Match

The RCB vs. CSK game is one of the most important league stage matches this year. The winner will likely secure a spot in the playoffs. With the SubAir system in place, fans can expect minimal interruptions due to rain. So, RCB fans, hang tight and get ready for an exciting match!

The presence of the SubAir system also gives teams confidence that their strategies won’t be disrupted by unexpected weather changes. Coaches and players can prepare knowing that even if it rains, the match will most likely resume quickly.

The Future of Cricket Stadiums

Looking ahead, the integration of advanced technology like the SubAir system is likely to become more common. It represents a significant step forward in sports infrastructure, combining technology with traditional groundskeeping to create the best possible playing conditions. As climate patterns become more unpredictable, having such systems in place will be crucial for the uninterrupted flow of major tournaments.

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