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ICC World Cup 2019: Rain Playing Hell


Three of the sixteen matches of ICC World Cup have been rain ruined till June 12, 2019. The tournament has not yet reached half the way. Inclement weather threatens few more matches as well.

Rain-in-bristol-bd-vs-sl

In a global tournament held after four years such situation is unwanted. There should have been reserve days. There should also have been far better and modern mechanism for drainage of the ground and drying the surface.

Also Read - "The team management never asked for replacements" - BCCI on Pant's inclusion


Rain ruined matches often arrive as curse to major teams. These days it is very much possible looking into future weather forecast of the cities and venues of the matches on the scheduled playing days and making adjustments through relocating the matches.

We are sure it is not raining in entire length and breadth of UK. Some matches could be organized in Holland, Ireland or Scotland as well as alternate venue.

Usual poor weather, rain, cold and breezy climate in UK is always a challenge for teams from South Asia. This year five of the ten teams of ICC world cup 2019 are from South Asia. They are playing either as automatic qualifier being among the top eight of ICC ODI ranking (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka) or qualified playing in the qualifier round (Afghanistan).

Knowing the format of the world cup these teams along with others made extensive preparations for months. Three rain ruined matches have already hurt Bangladesh and Pakistan in their quest for advancing to semi finals.

ICC should have been additionally careful this year as they planned for too many matches. Each of the ten participating teams would have to play against one another. It is already proving misery for some title aspiring teams losing points through abandoned matches.

Nature always ensures justice and ultimately evens out. Teams already affected can only keep their fingers crossed and wait for natural justice.

All teams excepting India has so far played at least three matches. The situation till 12 June stands as

Teams Matches Won Lost Rain Grace Points Net Run Rate
New Zealand 3 3 0 0 6 2.163
England 3 2 1 0 4 1.307
India 2 2 0 0 4 0.539
Australia 3 2 1 0 4 0.483
Sri Lanka 4 1 1 2 4 -1.513
West Indies 3 1 1 1 3 2.054
Bangladesh 3 1 1 1 3 0.714
Pakistan 3 1 1 1 3 -2.412
South Africa 4 0 3 1 1 -0.752
Afghanistan 3 0 3 0 0 -1.493

The tournament is not yet half way through. There would be many more dramas and upsets along the way. But three of the tournament favorites Australia, England and India are already in top four.

Leader of the table New Zealand are among the contestants for the fourth. Kiwis lead the table with 3 straight wins against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. They are one of the two teams unbeaten so far.

However, they played against relatively softer opponents.They have not yet played against tournament favorites like England, Australia or India yet.

Second placed England won against South Africa, lost against Pakistan and won against Bangladesh. Host and hot favorites England have major challenges against Australia, India, New Zealand and West Indies.

Bookies favorites India starting late in the tournament played two and won two against South Africa and Australia. They have major challenges against England, West Indies and New Zealand.

Reigning Champions Australia played three won two against Afghanistan and West Indies but lost to India.
It is highly likely that three or at least two of the top four would advance to qualifying round if no more matches are rained off from now.

For the other two positions there would be dog fights among three to four teams.

Sri Lanka is the luckiest of the teams. After getting blown out by New Zealand in their first match they managed a hard earned win against Afghanistan. They managed getting one points each from their rain ruined matches against Pakistan and Bangladesh.

In business as usual they might have lost both matches. West Indies are one of the most impressive teams of the tournament so far. They crushed Pakistan in their first match and then some poor umpiring cost them the match against Australia. Finally rain forced those sharing points with South Africa. Very hostile pace attack and explosive batting may carry them through if they remain consistent.

Bangladesh surprised South Africa in their first match. They went down fighting to New Zealand, lost heavily to England. Ill luck embraced them as well through splitting points with Sri Lanka in abandoned match.

Pakistan shocked England after getting blown out by West Indies in the first match. They also had to split points with Sri Lanka in rain ruined match. Afghanistan losing all three matches are languishing at the bottom.

One cannot deny that rain interception in the past also impacted ultimate fate of previous world cup. Imran Khan’s cornered Tigers would have been knocked out from the preliminary round in 1992 if not their match against England in the initial round was rain ruined.

Bangladesh in 2015 turned around after their match against Australia was rained off in Brisbane. South Africa’s golden generation lost two opportunities of going near to top honors getting deprived by rain.

ICC should have learned lessons and doing their home works properly schedule the matches keeping an eye on the radar. Ireland, Scotland and Holland are not very far. We are sure some alternate venues could be made ready and reserve days could be allocated. Shits will hit the fan if matches of India and England are washed away.

Weather forecast indicate more rain interference till June 17, 2019. If that happens point’s table may turn around. Rain happens in every ICC member countries excepting the UAE.

Some interruptions in some matches are acceptable but 30% of the matches getting washed out must act as wake up call for ICC.

We hope teams playing and winning matches fair would advance to knock out round and win the cup. Rain must not tilt the balance and deprive one or two truly deserving teams.

Saleque Sufi

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