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World Cup 2019: ICC defends lack of reserve days for league matches

More than action on the field, rain seemed to have taken centrestage in the mega event.

David Richardson
David Richardson(Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)

The 2019 World Cup in England and Wales has thus far been marred by rain. The tournament has been a witness to 16 matches out of which three games were abandoned due to rain. Afghanistan’s match against Sri Lanka at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff was also decided by the DLS Method. Out of the three washed off games, two matches were scheduled to take place at the County Ground in Bristol.

The contest between South Africa and Windies also saw only 7.3 overs of play after which the heavens opened up. Yesterday, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka became a victim of the relentless downpour as their game in Bristol was called off without even the toss, taking place. Three is the most number of abandoned games in a single edition of the World Cup ever since its inception back in 1975.

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Quite expectantly, Steve Rhodes, the Bangladesh coach, sounded disappointed. He has called for reserve days, though he understands the logistical difficulties that come with organizing the games. He said that if men can be put on the moon then there should be reserve days since it’s a long tournament. To make things worse, the forecast for the next few days isn’t something to cheer by any means.

In the meantime, David Richardson, the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) CEO put forth the reasons behind not keeping reserve days. The chief pointed out a number of challenges and also said the ‘reserve days’ could also be marred by rain as well.

We have reserve days factored in for the knock-out stages, ICC CEO

“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,” Richardson was quoted as saying in Cricbuzz.

“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 traveled hours to be at the game. There is also no guarantee that the reserve day would be free from rain either,” he mentioned.

“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. We have reserve days factored in for the knock-out stages, knowing that over the course of 45 group games we should play the large majority.”

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