"Archaic rules" - Australian legends call for better management of rain delays in Tests 

Rain covers dominated the Tea session of the 4th Test between India and Australia
Rain covers dominated the Tea session of the 4th Test between India and Australia

Australian cricketing greats, Allan Border, Shane Warne, Justin Langer among others have called for better management of rain delays in Test matches.

Rain-related delays have been a major issue in cricket matches since forever.

A venerable former captain, Border termed the rules about pausing the game for outfield issues and lighting problems as 'archaic'.

The voices from the Australian cricket fraternity grew louder after the final session on the 2nd day of the Brisbane Test had to be abandoned due to a wet outfield.

Talking to Fox Sports, Border suggested the game to continue even if the outfield is damp considering few balls pass the inner circle in Test cricket.

“We’ve got some archaic rules in cricket that are still in play, particularly for Test cricket. We’ve got the light rule, and also the rain, when you can and can’t resume play because of puddles in the outfield. Around the inner square and inner circle of the ground was quite dry and playable. What percentage of balls go into the outfield, and into the outfield where there are wet spots? There would be very few balls that would be hit out there," said Border

After multiple inspections, the umpires called off the game at 5 pm Australian time despite clear skies and a dry-looking center wicket.

Shane Warne concurred with Border and advised to continue to play under the floodlights.

“We could have played until 6.30pm last night and they called it off at 5 o’clock, so there was an hour and a half still to play. Even if there was 40 minutes, was the light an issue? Remember there’s no daylight savings up in Queensland so it does get dark fairly early. But with the lights on they could have played for 30 or 40 minutes," said Warne.

Australian head coach Justin Langer echoed apprehensions about rain breaks

Australian team's head coach Justin Langer also joined the chorus. He pointed out the difficulties in restarting the sport after multiple delays and suggested some of his own measures to improve the situation.

“As a cricket tragic that I am, and also now watching the business of sport, it’s so disappointing for us not to be playing cricket. We’ve talked about getting cricket back on the airwaves and TV screens to make Australians happy, after what’s been a tough 2020, so not to be able to play because of a bit of soggy grass, it’s one of the areas we need to look at in cricket," Langer told Fox Cricket ahead of third day's play in Brisbane.
“The umpires did what they had to do, but as a sport, we need to look at that, no doubt about it. I think it’s where cricket shoots itself in the foot. It’s great they are starting half an hour early today, but could they start even earlier, half an hour earlier, and say ‘we’re going to have a shorter lunch break’ just to get that time in, knowing there might be some rain in the next couple of days," he added.

Australia ended Day 2 in a dominating position. There is again some rain forecasted for the third and fourth days but it is unlikely to have a major effect on the Test match.

Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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