World Cup’s second rain-triggered washout saw the voices asking for a reserve day getting stronger. Taking the lead was the Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes who said that if men can land on moon why can’t ICC factor in the weather when drawing up the Cup schedule. This was followed by ICC’s former CEO Dave Richardson giving a detailed statement where he explained the complexities of squeezing in a reserve days for a long-drawn 10 team tournament that has a round robin league format.
Here’s Richardson’s explanation:
“Reserve day 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 1200 people are on site to deliver a match and everything associated with it including getting it broadcast and 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 south-east of England.”