‘WC could include reserve days for group matches’

Bristol, United Kingdom: Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes said that if men could land on the moon, the World Cup could include reserve days for group matches after the Tigers’ fixture against Sri Lanka in Bristol was washed out completely on Tuesday.
The umpires’ decision left tournament chiefs with the unwanted record for the most number of abandoned games at a World Cup, surpassing the two each at the 1992 and 2003 editions.
It was also the second successive World Cup match at Bristol abandoned without a ball bowled after Sri Lanka’s game against Pakistan at southwest county Gloucestershire’s headquarters on Friday went the same way.
Both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka took a point each a day after rain saw only 7.3 overs play in the match between South Africa and the West Indies in Southampton on Monday.
Although the International Cricket Council have scheduled reserve days for both semifinals and the July 14 final at Lord’s, there are now concerns rain could have a major bearing on which sides qualify for the last four.
‘Headache’
Former England wicket-keeper Rhodes, asked if he would have included reserve days in the 10-team round-robin phase, replied: “Yeah, I would.
“If you know the English weather, sadly, we’re going to get a lot of rain.
“I know logistically, it would have been a big headache for the tournament organisers, and I know it would have been difficult,” he added of a World Cup that features 48 matches in 46 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,” said Rhodes, whose Bangladesh team next play the West Indies in Taunton on June 17.
“We put men on the moon, so why can’t we have a reserve day, when actually this tournament is a long tournament?”
But ICC chief executive Dave Richardson defended the decision not to have reserve days, blaming the unseasonably wet British weather for scuppering the schedule.
“Factoring in a reserve day for every match at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup would significantly increase the length of the tournament and practically would be extremely complex to deliver,” he said in a statement. “It would impact pitch preparation, team recovery and travel days… 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. “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.”
Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne endorsed Rhodes’s comments by saying: “It is not easy, but I feel if they can have a reserve day, it will be good for everyone.”
Heavy overnight and early morning rain delayed Tuesday’s scheduled 10:30 am local time (0930 GMT) start, with further rain seeing the game eventually called off at 1:57 pm (1257 GMT).
Rain has also been forecast for Wednesday’s match between Australia and Pakistan in Taunton.
Australia failed to qualify for the semifinals of the 2017 Champions Trophy in England following their rained-off matches against New Zealand and Bangladesh, before they lost to England on the Duckworth/Lewis method for weather-interrupted fixtures.
“It’s important that you get early wins on the board because you don’t want to be on the wrong end of a couple of washouts that might leave you just outside that top four,” said Australia captain Aaron Finch in Taunton on Tuesday.
Only one of three World Cup matches scheduled to take place in Bristol produced any play, champions Australia launching their title defence with a seven-wicket victory over outsiders Afghanistan. — AFP