When one talks about England, the weather cannot be far away. The United Kingdom is notorious for having many rainy days at any point in time, be it summer or winter. The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, which is being held in England already had the spectre of the weather. It was expected that the weather will play a major part in the outcome of the games. Two weeks into the tournament, the rain has already resulted in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is in the news for all the wrong reasons. The Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka clash at the County Ground in Bristol was the third match which was abandoned in this tournament due to rain.
Before the Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka clash, the Pakistan vs Sri Lanka clash at the same venue as well as the South Africa vs West Indies encounter in Southampton was abandoned. While the toss took place between South Africa and West Indies and the match was declared a no-result, the other two games saw no toss and not a single ball was bowled. Following this washout, the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 now holds this dubious record as this becomes the World Cup with the most abandoned games.
In previous editions, there have never been two abandoned games while there have been two editions that have resulted in no-result. The distinction between abandoned and no result is this. A no-result is when the toss takes place and some overs are bowled but the rain does not allow a full match to be completed. An abandoned is when the toss cannot happen and when a single ball is not bowled.
There have been instances of two no-results in two previous editions of the World Cup in 1992 and 2003 respectively. In 1992, Sri Lanka and India’s clash in MacKay was abandoned after just one ball while the England vs Pakistan game in Adelaide was declared a no-result due to rain. In 2003, the Bangladesh vs West Indies clash in Benoni was affected by rain while the Zimbabwe vs Pakistan clash in Bulawayo was also a no-result.
Reserve day for league games?
There is a reserve day for the semi-finals and the final but there is no reserve day for the league games. Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes expressed his frustration saying that "We put men on the moon, so why can't we have a reserve day when actually this tournament is a long tournament. I know logistically it would have been a big headache for the tournament organisers. I know that it would have been difficult, but we have got quite a lot of time in between games, and if we have got to travel a day later, then so be it. The games are spread out. I would say that it's disappointing for the crowd, as well. They have got tickets to see a game of cricket, and you know it would be up to them if they can get there the day after,” Rhodes said.
However, ICC CEO Dave Richardson had said the logistics involved in organising the league stages is different. “Factoring in a reserve day for every match at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup would significantly increase the length of the tournament and practically would be extremely complex to deliver. It would impact pitch preparation, team recovery and travel days, accommodation and venue availability, tournament staffing, volunteer and match officials availability, broadcast logistics and very importantly the spectators who in some instances have travelled hours to be at the game. There is also no guarantee that the reserve day would be free from rain either. Up to 1200 people are on site to deliver a match and everything associated with it including getting it broadcast and a proportion of them are moving around the country so reserve days in the group stage would require a significant uplift in the number of staff,” Richardson said.
The weather news for the upcoming league fixtures is also not good. The clash between India and New Zealand in Trent Bridge is also under a weather cloud while all-important India vs Pakistan clash is also in danger of being impacted by rain.