AT THE WORLD CUP
London, June 11
Oh, to be England in June means… Wet, wet, wet!
The Midlands are under water. Trains have been cancelled after the tracks were flooded. The streets in several cities are under water. Conditions are ‘dangerous’ in some places — shops have closed down in some cities because leakages in the roofs have made some shopping stores “dangerous” for staff and customers. In Nottingham, where the Indian team arrived yesterday and is scheduled to play on Thursday, you can’t get your favourite stuff from grocery store Tesco in the city centre because it’s shut due to water leakage. The bus, tram and train services have been affected in the city.
Cricket is facing a shutdown, too. Three matches have been abandoned due to rain — two in Bristol in southwest England, one in Southampton in south England. Now there’s a cloud over India’s next two matches northwards.
Cloud over India games
The real fury of the rain is in the Midlands — after playing New Zealand in Nottingham on Thursday, India will travel further up north to Manchester, where they will play Pakistan on July 16. Both these games are facing the threat of a washout.
India couldn’t practise today, and it’s unlikely that they would be able to tomorrow, too, for rain is forecast in Nottingham until “at least tomorrow”. Which means that even if the weather clears up on match-day on Thursday, the teams will play there without practice.
Plan for rain?
Rain is a killjoy. You can’t plan for rain — or perhaps you can? In England, the organisers, surely, must plan for rain? That’s what Steve Rhodes, the head coach of Bangladesh, said in Bristol today after his team’s match against Sri Lanka was washed out today. “Yeah, I would,” Rhodes said when asked if the organisers should have accommodated reserve days in the tournament schedule. He added: “And I know logistically, it would have been a big headache for the tournament organisers, and I know that it would have been difficult (to include reserve days). But we have got quite a lot of time in between games, and if we have got to travel a day later, then so be it.”
“We put men on the moon,” he said with a laugh. “So why can’t we have a reserve day, when actually this tournament is a long tournament. They are spread out, the games.”
It’s for a good reason that English folks love to discuss the weather — it’s miserably soggy here for a very large part of the year. They love the sight of the sun, and that makes them talk weather with joy. Even rain makes them talk weather, but with gloom. Rain is forecast in Taunton too, where Pakistan play Australia tomorrow. Pakistan already have had one match washed out. Sri Lanka have had two matches washed out. It could be India’s turn next.
Bangladesh, Sri Lanka split points after washout
BRISTOL: Sri Lanka’s World Cup game against Bangladesh was called off on Tuesday without a ball being bowled as a record third match in the tournament was abandoned due to rain. Heavy overnight and early morning rain dashed hopes of a scheduled start of play as covers remained on the pitch and square in Bristol. As many as three pitch inspections had to be called off at different stages, before the game was eventually abandoned. Less than eight overs were bowled before West Indies and South Africa shared a point each in a washed out game at Southampton on Monday.
ICC defends no reserve day decision
The ICC defended not scheduling reserve days for group matches at the rain-marred World Cup and blamed the disruptions on “extremely unseasonable weather”. ICC chief executive David Richardson said it was not a feasible idea. “Factoring in a reserve day for every match ... would significantly increase the length of the tournament and practically would be extremely complex to deliver,” he said. The knockout stage of the six-week tournament includes reserve days but it would post a massive logistical challenge at the group phase and inconvenience everyone, Richardson said. “There is also no guarantee that the reserve day would be free from rain either,” he added.
Bereaved Malinga leaves for home
Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga left for home after their match against Bangladesh, following the death of his mother-in-law, but will return on time for the game vs Aus on Friday. — PTI
ICC refuses to change LED bails mid-tournament
LONDON: The International Cricket Council refused to change the controversial ‘zing’ bails, which sometimes fail to come off even when the ball hits the stumps, citing “statistical anomaly”. India captain Virat Kohli and his Australian counterpart Aaron Finch had on Sunday complained about the flashing LED bails that glow at being hit, making the TV umpires’ job a shade easy, but do not come off a lot of times. “We wouldn’t change anything mid-event as it would compromise the integrity of the event — the equipment is the same for all the 10 teams across all 48 games,” the ICC was quoted as saying. There have been close to 10 occasions during the ongoing World Cup when the ball has hit the stumps but bails haven’t come off. The reason being cited is their weight as there are a lot of wires inside to ensure they glow on being hit. “The stumps have not changed in the last four years. They have been used in all the ICC events since the 2015 World Cup and in a range of domestic events,” ICC said. “This means they’ve been used in more than 1000 games — this is a statistical anomaly. This issue has always been part of the game with the accepted concept being that it requires some force to disturb a batsman’s ‘castle’.” PTI
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