The 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup is in danger of becoming the dampest of squibs after yet another match was abandoned because of heavy rain.
That makes it three in five days – with two of the games abandoned without a ball being bowled – meaning that this is officially the wettest World Cup in the competition’s 44-year history.
Prior to CWC 2019 there had only been two total abandonments in 11 tournaments and the trio of spoiled games surpasses the two matches that suffered a similar fate in the 1992 and 2003 tournaments.
Hardest hit by this sodden summer have been Sri Lanka, who had last Friday’s game against Pakistan ruined by the rain without a ball being bowled and yesterday didn’t manage to take the field to face Bangladesh.
The other game affected was Monday’s fixture between South Africa and the West Indies, where only 7.3 overs were bowled before the rain arrived.
The worry, according to the Daily Mail, is that the competition is “losing momentum” with no meaningful cricket seen since Sunday.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) will have its eyes on the forecast in Taunton today where Australia are scheduled to play Pakistan. Rain is expected for at least some of the day, as it is in Nottingham tomorrow when India and New Zealand clash.
In fact the outlook on BBC weather says that until next week “low pressure will remain close to or over the UK, so further showery weather is expected, with some areas seeing rain becoming persistent and heavy at times”.
Cricket World Cup boss Dave Richardson bemoaned the “extremely unseasonable weather”, a comment that drew a wry response from Australian broadcaster ABC, which said “some may chuckle at the suggestion rain in England is ever unseasonable”.
Only the semi-finals and final have scheduled reserve days so if the rain doesn’t let up and more games fall victim to the woeful weather the tournament organisers will have a crisis on their hands.
“We put men on the moon so why can’t we have a reserve day?” said an exasperated Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes.
“I know that it would have been difficult, 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.”
In response the ICC’s head of events, Chris Tetley, told BBC Radio 5 Live that including reserve days for the pool stage of the World Cup “inevitably extend the length of the event, which isn’t necessarily something that people want”.
We are sailing
But it’s something the ICC might live to regret not implementing if the weather doesn’t take a turn for the better.
“There is a lot of frustration for all teams – coming to the ground and not playing is disappointing,” said Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza.
Former England captain turned media pundit Michael Vaughan tried to make light of the atrocious conditions, tweeting: “Just about to sail down to Taunton for tomorrow’s game!!! #CWC19.”
But he more succinctly captured the cricket world’s sentiment when he tweeted: “Ok Weather… Piss Off…!!”
This week’s Cricket World Cup fixtures
All matches are live on Sky Sports:
- Wednesday 12 June: Australia vs. Pakistan (10.30am)
- Thursday 13 June: India vs. New Zealand (10.30am)
- Friday 14 June: England vs. West Indies (10.30am)
- Saturday 15 June: Sri Lanka vs. Australia (10.30am); South Africa vs. Afghanistan (1.30pm)
- Sunday 16 June: India vs. Pakistan (10.30am)
- Monday 17 June: West Indies vs. Bangladesh (10.30am)
- Tuesday 18 June: England vs. Afghanistan (10.30am)
- Wednesday 19 June: New Zealand vs. South Africa (10.30am)
- Thursday 20 June: Australia vs. Bangladesh (10.30am)
- See the full fixture list at cricketworldcup.com