[India’s captain Virat Kohli, left, checks his right thumb as he listens to team coach Ravi Shastri after inspecting the pitch during a training session ahead of their Cricket World Cup match against New Zealand at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, England, Wednesday, June 12, 2019. /PTI]
Nottingham, June 12 : The unpredictable English weather has struck the 2019 edition of the World Cup. While ICC Chief Executive David Richardson has made it clear that having reserve days in the group stages would have been a logistical nightmare, the current scenario has dampened the spirits of the teams as incessant rain has washed off three games already. And even as India prepare to take on New Zealand in Nottingham on Thursday, the rain threat looms large once again.
While the Indian team had to cancel their training session on Tuesday due to heavy showers, Virat Kohli and boys are expected to train around 10a.m. local time on Wednesday and the forecast doesn’t look to bright as it has drizzled all morning. Coming to the match day, the forecast shows that the temperature in Nottingham could be as low as 13 degrees celsius and drizzles can be expected.
The met department also expects ‘heavy prolonged rain’ that could lead to ‘localised flooding’. While the overhead conditions are expected to get better by afternoon, a rain-curtailed game isn’t something that either team will be looking at as outside forces then take centrestage like the D/L system.
Persistent rainfall this week has seen little cricket played. In the game between South Africa and West Indies, the former managed to reach 29/2 in 7.3 overs before rains brought an end to the proceedings. The next game between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka was abandoned without a ball being bowled. Wednesday’s game between Australia and Pakistan would be the first time this week when a venue doesn’t have rain threat as the weather in Taunton shows overcast conditions only.
Richardson also has thrown light on how the unpredictable English weather has struck this time. “This is extremely unseasonal 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 2 mm of rain in June but the last 24 hours alone has seen around 100 mm rainfall in the south-east of England.
“When a match is affected by weather conditions, the venue team works 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,” he said on Tuesday.
While it is no rocket science that one cannot fight nature, but just reimbursing fans if games are washed off isn’t what cricket lovers travelling from across the globe to England and Wales for the biggest showpiece event want. They want to see on-field action where cricketers fight it out on the pitch and not groundstaff running Super Soppers to dry them.