Somebody rightly said, that rain should be declared Man Of The Series in the ongoing Champions Trophy. If not for it, New Zealand may have won against Australia. Australia would have (safe bet) won against Bangladesh. And perhaps, South Africa would have beaten Pakistan. The series still has a lot of matches to go, and we wonder the tragedy that what will happen if the semi-finals or finals get washed out. It has happened once in this tournament – the 2002 Champions Trophy saw India and Sri Lanka sharing the trophy because the final was washed out.
Clearly, having a closed roof will solve these problems. Recently, the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Juventus was played under a closed roof even though football is a game that goes on even when it starts raining. In cricket too, there have been matches played in Melbourne (Docklands Stadium) where the roof has been closed. If only, other stadiums took note and followed suit.
It’s not like the ICC is averse to making changes to the game. Day-Night Tests are a thing now, and T20 is a millennial format that has now become such a cash cow.
There’s the question of ball hitting the roof, with batsman like AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle in the mix of things. But, that’s a small sacrifice (a good shot turning into a dead ball) that can be made to ensure that the game goes on. Nobody’s ticket money (and the mammoth effort they’ve taken to reach the venue) will go to waste.
Another sore point that has been troubling fans for a long time now is the Duckworth-Lewis method. Often, it seems unfair and bizarre. Take for example the recent game between South Africa and Pakistan. The Proteas had a good shot at victory considering Morne Morkel’s form and Pakistan’s feeble batting line-up that can collapse like nine pins at any given moment. Pakistan needed 101 runs in 23 overs, with just 7 wickets in hand. An easy task for a batting line-up like India or England, but still a huge mountain to climb for Pakistani batsmen.
Recently, MS Dhoni quipped, “I don’t think even ICC understands the D/L method.” So the question remains – if it’s so obvious that rain can ruin the game, why aren’t the authorities doing something that is an obvious solution?
Image courtesy: ICC