Pulling layers of thick,green tarpaulin sheets to and fro from just beyond the boundary ropes to the main square is a job for 40 men.
On Monday night,the ground force at the R Premadasa Stadium,those eighty hands dragged those sheets thrice to the pitch and twice back. The third run back to the toblerone fencing wasn’t required as the match was called off without a ball being bowled in the second innings.
West Indies,therefore,having lost the first match and without having batted in the second,advanced to the Super Eights simply by having a better run-rate than their Irish counterparts. It was a practice hit missed for the likes of Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels,but a lot more importantly in the context of this World T20,it was yet another cricket match jacketed by rain something both the paying public and the organisers are growing wary of.
The ICC event organizers,during an unveiling of the trophy in Dubai some months back,were asked the logic behind of staging the World T20 in Sri Lanka during the monsoon period. They replied that these were factors beyond their human control and they hoped that it wouldn’t really be a bother once the tournament gets underway. Now,with much of the group stages affected by rain and the Super Eights just round the corner,the ICC are busy hoping again.
On Monday,it was Ireland minnows in every sense of the word who scored 129 for six in 19 overs before rain stopped play permanently who faced the axe. On another day,however,it could be an India or a Sri Lanka in a high-scoring game. Just the thought of it must be giving the officials the jitters for no matches in this event have reserve days for rain. Not even the final.
Brief scores: Ireland 129 for 6 in 19 overs (N O’ Brien 25,G Wilson 21; C Gayle 2/21,R Rampaul 1/20) vs West Indies