Former India players Gautam Gambhir and Sourav Ganguly came down hard on the organizers of the World Cup after persistent rains forced the match between India and New Zealand at Trent Bridge on Thursday to be abandoned.
Gambhir, speaking on Star Sports, expressed anger about the fact that no play was possible on Thursday even though the rains had stopped for more than two hours.
“The ICC can do a lot better. The rains have stopped in the past 2-3 hours, despite which the match hasn’t started. Furthermore, the rains were anticipated in the past 3 days, so the ground should have been covered to avoid the delay due to the wet outfield,” Gambhir said.
Gambhir seemed to be angry that the wet Trent Bridge outfield was the issue not allowing any play between India and New Zealand.
“If this match would’ve been affected due to other reasons such as bad floodlights, it would’ve been understandable but that’s not the case. The ICC needs to look into this because this is a global tournament, and for an event of such stature, it is highly disappointing for the spectators and viewers to keep waiting for hours,” he said.
Fans pointed out during the match that the protection from rain seen at Trent Bridge was far inferior to what is seen at some other grounds like Eden Gardens, where the whole outfield is covered when it rains, and not just the pitch.
Sourav Ganguly, speaking on the same show, said, “The covers that are used in India, at the Eden Gardens, are from England and using them here (in England) would have meant spending half the cost and it is also tax-free, so they should have used those here anyway.”
“In India we use these covers for all matches, so that when the rain stops the match can resume within 10 minutes. They are very light covers, it’s not difficult to lift it, you don’t need too much manpower. The blue covers that were used earlier in India, used to take more than 10 times the time and people in comparison to now,” he added.
“For such important matches, and in a tournament like the World Cup – especially in a country like England where the rains are so frequent, having these covers are very important, especially on the outfield as well,” Ganguly said.
“Today’s case is different, the match was called off not only because of the rain today – but it has been raining continuously for the past three days. The two reasons for the delay were firstly, the wet pitch and secondly, something that the viewers on screen can’t see is how dark the ground is, the match can’t begin in such a dark setting,” he added.