It’s all about the clogged calendar: Why India are starting so late in World Cup 2019

It’s all about the clogged calendar: Why India are starting so late in World Cup 2019

The change was necessitated in the wake of the Lodha Committee reforms that said that India needed to have a 15-day gap between consecutive tournaments.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

The ICC World Cup 2019 is six-days old and nine teams have played at least one game. A few have even played their third. But two-time champions India are yet to kick off their campaign. It will be only on Wednesday that Virat Kohli’s men will take the field for their opening game which is against South Africa. The match, which will be played at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton, will, however, be the Proteas’ third and they will also be looking for their first win, like India.

India played their final warm-up game on May 28 and have not played for the last week. They were busy ironing out their flaws in the last-minute preparations. India will have to be extra careful of South Africa will be coming at them hard to arrest the slump and given India’s not-so-great opening record at the World Cup, the fans will be keeping their fingers crossed.

But why is India starting their campaign so late? They are one of the tops draws in a competition like the World Cup and making the fans wait to see the superstars take the field this long hasn’t gone well down with many.

Originally, India was supposed to play South Africa on June 2

According to reports, India was supposed to play their first World Cup match on June 2 against South Africa but the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) asked the International Cricket Council (ICC) to make the necessary changes in the schedule. The change was necessitated in the wake of the Lodha Committee reforms that said that India needed to have a 15-day gap between consecutive tournaments.

In this case, the consecutive tournaments are the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the World Cup. However, since the IPL 2019 finished on May 12, even a 15-day gap meant that India could go ahead with their original schedule of playing the Proteas on June 2. It needs to be noted that the initial IPL schedule had May 19 as the date of the final in which case, a 15-day hiatus would mean India could not begin its next assignment before June 3. But the IPL started early because of the recently-concluded general elections in India and hence June 5 continued to be the date for India’s opening fixture.