posted on 2019-06-11 23:19:12
posted by Rohit Sankar
Image courtesy: Cricket Country
According to rainfall expectancy, the United Kingdom experiences approximately 133 days of rainfall in a year. In 2018, that increased to 147 days of rainfall. According to the Met Office, the climate in UK has changed between 2008 and 2017 with the weather getting warmer and wetter. In seven of the last nine months, the rainfall in the country has been over a 100 millimetres.
Let's come to the point. UK is wet. And when there is cricket, it seems to be wetter than ever.
After a third washout in the ICC World Cup 2019, there are questions surrounding the poor scheduling and lack of reserve days. But let's not forget that this is a first. England has always been wet but three of the last decades, ICC tournaments have been staged here - the 2013 Champions Trophy, the 2017 Champions Trophy and the 2019 World Cup.
However, none of these tournaments had reserve days and consequently one team or the other suffered or it made for a damp squib for the spectators who come from across the globe hoping for action.
One of the 15 matches in the 2013 Champions Trophy was washed out and two others were affected by persisted rain. In fact, the finals of the tournament literally turned into a T20 game after rain resulted in reduction of overs. Even through England were at the receiving end of that rain-affected final which India went on to win, the lesson hadn't been learnt.
In 2017, the Champions Trophy saw two matches being entirely washed out. Unluckily for Australia, they were at the receiving end of both of them. They got knocked out too early from the tournament and it would be fair to say that rain had a huge say in that. Two further matches were affected by rain.which meant that in more than 25% of the games, rain played a role.
We are into 16 matches of the 2019 World Cup and already three matches have been entirely washed out - Pakistan vs Sri Lanka, South Africa vs West Indies and Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka. Bristol hosted two of those games while Southampton saw one other washout. Thankfully, Bristol does not host any more games. But Southampton hosts England vs West Indies on Friday, in close enough proximity to assume that rain would play a role.
West Indies were already hard done by the washout against South Africa when they had the Proteas at 29/2 in less than 8 overs. If they are at the receiving end of another washout against England this week, things could turn sour for them.
There are 48 matches this World Cup and already three are abandoned due to rain with Sri Lanka being at the receiving end twice. Sure, they aren't title contenders, but it would preposterous to assume that it wouldn't have affected their chances of making it to the semis.
With the World Cup planning going on for four years and the ICC being well aware of the challenges, it is stupefying that they haven't found a better method of handling this. Having reserve days for rain-affected games is one solution, one that was tried and tested in the 1999 World Cup held in England. The reserve day was used just twice that time around but with regular washouts becoming a feature, the World Cup is quickly turning into a lottery.