In ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, four matches have already been washed out due to heavy rain at the cricket grounds. That is about 8% of total matches to be played during the world cup. Based on the weather prediction, many more are threatened to be washed out, including the high-octane contest between India and Pakistan. Not just at the world cup but even in the other high-stakes series, the rain has played a spoilsport.
Cricket is one game where the weather gods’ permission is as much important as of any other institution. For a cricket match to take its full course, it is important that rain stays away from the cricket ground. Weather forecast is a key factor to schedule a cricket match. If ignored – like ICC did for CWC19 – it will not just impact that particular cricket match, but even the image of the game of cricket.
Impact on “Cricket – the Game”
Rain is the ultimate villain of the cricket matches and its impact on the game is huge.
Rain during the cricket matches – especially at the world cup – is not just threatening to change the fortunes of the cricket teams, but tarnish the cricket’s image as well. The game of Cricket is above players, fans, and institutions. Its image is the ultimate pride, and any factor that ruins the pride has to be the ultimate villain. ICC – Cricket’s governing body – must ensure that rain is being factored in when venues are being decided. Otherwise, the game will struggle to get its ground across the world. ICC must understand that any match being washed out is a dent into the game’s pride.
Impact on Matches
No one can forget the 1992 semi-final between South Africa and England. South Africa were clear favorites to win with just 22 to get from 13 deliveries. Down came the rain, and spoiled the equation to 22 runs from just 1 ball. To me, that particular rain changed the winner of the 1992 world cup.
The Duckworth-Lewis Method – Game’s Dark Spot
The Duckworth-Lewis is the most complex formula I’ve come across. In my opinion, even ICC presidents don’t understand it. An unclear formula impacting the rain-affected games is making things even more complex for the cricket-the game. How many instances when a team lost the game since the player failed to understand the formula? Not the only one of Mark Boucher blocking the last ball and then realizing that his calculation of formulas was wrong. ICC must bring in the robust system to at least gain some lost pride due to rain-affected matches.
All the while of writing this blog, I’m humming these two lines of my nursery day rhyme:
Rain…rain go away, Come again another day
Don’t play a spoilsport to the game I love.