ICC must consider having multiple reserve days for knockout games in case of a downpour
- With rain having played spoilsport already in the Women's World Cup, ICC needs to have enough foresight to let big games be played.
On March 08, 2020 India will take on the hosts in the final of the ICC Women's World Cup at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Stadium. Irrespective of the result, one of the most talked about things will be how the two finalists got into the final. South Africa, as they often do, had to fight Rain Gods and fell short once again.
England on the other hand, went out in an even more dramatic fashion. Their semi-final clash against India was abandoned even before the toss could take place. Team India got through as they were table toppers. But is it really fair to a team to be knocked out of an International Tournament without even playing? Shouldn't the conducting body be held as much responsible as the rain?
This was not the first time a cricket game got called off due to rain and most definitely not the last. This is one of the biggest cons of our beautiful game. This is where it lags behind some other games such as Football. If we look back in the history, we will find many instances where rain had a big say in important games.
With the current technology, it is still not possible for players to carry on playing during the rains for obvious reasons. It is also not possible to have a reserve day for every single match. But, what ICC can do is make sure no knock-out game gets affected due to rain.
In 2002, India and Sri Lanka shared the Champions Trophy as the final was washed out. To their credit, ICC had a reserve day. But unfortunately, rain had different plans and the two teams had to share the trophy. The final of an international cricket tournament in which 12 nations participated was not even completed. It just goes against common sense.
ICC has a reserve day for this final as well. But what if both the days get washed out? We want cricket to expand throughout the globe like other more famous sports. But suppose someone who is new to cricket watches World Cup Trophy being shared just because there was no play because of rain. Will that person think of investing resources and time in a such a sport?
It is high time that ICC realises the need to make sure that at least matches being played in ICC events don't get affected by weather. Having one reserve day is of no use if it may rain on that day too. There must be a number of reserve days, until the match is completed.
The knockouts, especially big games like semi-finals and the final shouldn't even get reduced over counts. Yes, it is difficult due to factors like sponsorship, tickets etc. But at the end of the day, we'll have complete fair cricket after said number of overs.Published 06 Mar 2020, 22:00 IST