After Bangladesh expressed their displeasure over the lack of reserve days in the International Cricket Council World Cup following a tournament-record third abandonment in the space of five days, ICC Chief Executive David Richardson has explained why it is practically difficult to reserve days for every single match of the mega event.
Sri Lanka was forced to split points for the second consecutive time after their fourth 2019 ICC World Cup clash against Bangladesh was called off without a ball being bowled at Bristol County Ground on Tuesday. The Dimuth Karunaratne-led side has also shared points during their previous match against Pakistan.
Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes lamented the lack of reserve days at the World Cup. "We put men on the moon, so why can't we have a reserve day, when actually this tournament is a long tournament. "I know logistically it would have been a big headache for the tournament organisers. 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," ESPNcricinfo quoted Rhodes as saying.
Reacting to the same, Richardson said that factoring in a reserve day for every single match of the mega event would significantly increase the length of the tournament and practically would be extremely complex to deliver.
"It would impact pitch preparation, team recovery and travel days, accommodation and venue availability, tournament staffing, volunteer and match officials availability, broadcast logistics and very importantly the spectators who in some instances have travelled hours to be at the game. There is also no guarantee that the reserve day would be free from rain either," Richardson was quoted as saying in the ICC press release.
"Up to 1200 people are on site to deliver a match and everything associated with it including getting it broadcast and a proportion of them are moving around the country so reserve days in the group stage would require a significant uplift in the number of staff. We have reserve days factored in for the knock-out stages, knowing that over the course of 45 group games we should play the large majority," he added.
"This is extremely unseasonable weather. In the last couple of days we have experienced more than twice the average monthly rainfall for June which is usually the third driest month in the UK. In 2018 there was just 2mm of rain in June but the last 24 hours alone has seen around 100mm fall in the south-east of England."
"When a match is affected by weather conditions, the venue team work closely with Match Officials and Ground Staff to ensure that we have the best possible opportunity to play cricket, even if it is a reduced overs game. We also work to keep fans in the stadium, or those travelling to the game, as up-to-date as possible with any information we have, either through public announcements or on our social media channels," the statement from Richardson added.
It is to be noted that the reserve days exist for the knock-out stages and final of the ICC World Cup, while the teams are awarded a point each in case of a washout during round-robin stage.