Rain plays spoilsport in World Cup, fans disappointed

Chennai: It’s just two weeks into the World Cup and we have already lost four matches. 2019 World Cup in England is the wettest in history. India’s washout with New Zealand at Trent Bridge marked the third time rain had completely washed away play for the day.

Prior to this year’s World Cup, just two matches in the tournament’s history had been abandoned before play began. And what is worrying sports-lovers and teams is the weather prediction for the next week. Of the eight games till next Thursday, only three are scheduled for days where rain is not predicted.

The question in everyone’s mind is why there are no reserve days? ICC chairman Dave Richardson said, “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, 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.”

Sri Lanka have been the most affected team, with two of their matches washed out against Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, a PTI report says, “The ICC refunds tickets if a single ball is not bowled but the hundreds of fans who have bought overpriced tickets from a third party are certain to lose money. ‘I have paid 800 GBP (more than 70k INR) for a ticket. I am losing a lot of money. The black market rate for a Pakistan game is 2000 GBP. I can’t afford that,’ said a software engineer who has come all the way from Singapore.”

The broadcasters, however, can heave a sigh of relief as all the matches are insured and they can make up for losses.

Fans are left disappointed across Chennai. “We were eagerly waiting for India – New Zealand contest. We can’t fight nature. But organisers can contemplate constructing indoor stadiums like the one we have in Australia. We hope it stops raining and there would be some action on field,” says Mahesh from Madipakkam.

They can use heavy covers on ground that can prevent any damage to outfield. Once rain stops, the match can be resumed, opines Kannan, a coach in Porur. We pray that things settled down and we have a bright English summer so that we can see our favourite players in action, say many.

M BHARAT KUMAR