India's much-awaited match against New Zealand went down the drain as persistent rain led to another wash out in the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Unpredictable English weather and incessant rains have spoiled the fun of the World Cup, so far, for a lot of fans.
Before the India-New Zealand clash, Bangladesh-Sri Lanka and Pakistan-Sri Lanka have been completely washed out while the South Africa-West Indies clash was abandoned after a few initial overs.
The inclement weather has also cast some doubts on the upcoming mega clash between India and Pakistan.
The loss of action during a tournament for which fans wait for four long years have naturally led to a lot of criticism of the global cricketing body ICC for the lack of reserve days for league matches. While the international body has come under a lot pressure for its lack of planning, CEO Dave Richardson told the media, earlier, that with reserve days for round-robin matches the World Cup "practically would be extremely complex to deliver".
But there's still a lot that the organisers, groundsmen and ICC could do to salvage some action for the fans.
Former India opener Gautam Gambhir feels ICC must be better with its planning including covering the entire ground beforehand to reduce delay in starting a match after rain stops.
"The ICC can do a lot better. The rains have stopped since the past 2-3 hours despite which the match hasn't started," Gambhir stated on Star Sports Cricket Live as we all waited for the fate of India's match. "Furthermore, the rains were anticipated since the past 3 days so what could be done is the ground should have been covered since the beginning so as to avoid the match delay due to the wet outfield. 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, for an event of such stature, it is highly disappointing for the spectators and viewers to keep waiting for hours."
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly had an ingenious idea to get the game going as soon as the rain stops and that includes change of covers.
"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. The covers that are in Eden Gardens and in Lord's are translucent covers, so light goes past it. This way the grass won't dry up nor will the colour change from green to brown, if you use them to cover the outfield. 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, however, also acknowledged that there's little anyone can do if it rains as incessantly as it did at Trent Bridge, the venue of India-New Zealand contest, in last few days.
"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."