Should rain and hail be allowed to decide World T20 semi-finals?

Last night, it was hail. Today, it might be rain.

The weather forecast in Dhaka for Friday predicts a 70 percent chance of rain during the second semi-final between India and South Africa. In case, the match does get rained out -- India will be declared winners even if no ball is bowled during the match.

As per the playing conditions, even if a five-over per-side match is not possible, the team that is ranked higher in their respective group will be declared winner of the contest.

Truth to be told, it seems rather unfair. Once a team has done all the hard work to reach the knockout rounds, then the results of the earlier rounds must not count. Isn't that the whole point or reaching the knockout rounds in the first place?

Groundsmen run to cover the pitch as it rains during the ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup semifinal match between Sri Lanka and West Indies. AP

Groundsmen run to cover the pitch as it rains during the ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup semifinal match between Sri Lanka and West Indies. AP

Then again -- rain, hail, D/L and T20s just don't go together. The Twenty20 format is so short that to watch a seven-over-a-side match is almost a travesty. Surely the semi-final stage deserves better; surely it deserves a full 20 overs.

And what if the same thing happens in the final?

We have seen the 2007 World Cup final between Sri Lanka and Australia being reduced to a farce -- it was virtually played in darkness. The moon was out by the time the match ended.

The ICC needs to figure out an effective buffer for the KO rounds and the Duckworth-Lewis method isn't that buffer. For example, in the first semi-final -- Sri Lanka, batting first, scored 160-6 in their 20 overs. West Indies were 80-4 after 13.5 overs it started raining. Sri Lanka won by 27 runs (D/L method).

West Indies skipper Darren Sammy later came out and said that perhaps God wants Mahela (Jayawardene) and (Kumara) Sangakkara to win a World Cup but surely he couldn't have been satisfied by the result.

In this tournament, Sammy was the most dangerous West Indies batsman -- an average of 110 and a strike-rate of 200+ but he didn't even get off the mark. Then again, this West Indian team has been making a killing in the slog overs -- their run-rate in the last five overs during this tournament has been in excess of 12. They have been dangerous and they would have thought they still had a chance.

But here, there were robbed by the rain and perhaps the ICC. A Test match lasts five days, a one-day match lasts approximately 8 hours and even if there is rain, there is a chance to play some meaningful cricket. But a T20 match lasts just 3 hours -- a reserve day would help. At least, give us a complete match; at least give the impression of trying.

The semi-final of a World tournament should mean something and some allowances have to be made for the weather. It is unfair on the teams and the fans too.

Almost as unfair as deciding the match with a coin toss.

Updated Date: Apr 04, 2014 13:25 PM

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