Outgoing ICC chief executive Dave Richardson has explained the impracticality of having ‘reserve days’ available for every match of the World Cup.
On Monday, the Proteas’ clash against the West Indies was washed out, placing South Africa’s chances of progressing to the playoffs in further jeopardy.
Tuesday’s World Cup fixture between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in Bristol was also washed out without a ball bowled. It was Sri Lanka’s second washout of the 2019 tournament, after last week’s clash with Pakistan at the same venue was also abandoned.
Richardson released a statement after the record three World Cup matches were abandoned to explain why reserve days were not possible.
‘Factoring in a reserve day for every match at the ICC Cricket World Cup would significantly increase the length of the tournament, and practically would be extremely complex to deliver,’ said Richardson.
‘It would impact pitch preparation, team recovery and travel days, accommodation and venue availability, tournament staffing, volunteer and match officials availability, broadcast logistics, and very importantly, the spectators who in some instances have travelled hours to be at the game. There is also no guarantee that the reserve day would be free from rain either.
‘Up to 1 200 people are on site to deliver a match and everything associated with it, including getting it broadcast. A proportion of them are moving around the country, so reserve days in the group stage would require a significant uplift in the number of staff. We have reserve days factored in for the knock-out stages, knowing that over the course of 45 group games we should play the large majority.
‘This is extremely unseasonable weather. In the last couple of days we have experienced more than twice the average monthly rainfall for June, which is usually the third-driest month in the UK. In 2018 there was just 2mm of rain in June, but the last 24 hours alone has seen around 100mm fall in the southeast of England.
‘When a match is affected by weather conditions, the venue team work closely with match officials and ground staff to ensure that we have the best possible opportunity to play cricket, even if it is a reduced-overs game.
‘We also work to keep fans in the stadium, or those travelling to the game as up-to-date as possible with any information we have, either through public announcements or on our social media channels.’
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