The International Cricket Council (ICC) has turned down Cricket Australia’s request to have a reserve day for the semi-finals of the ongoing Women’s T20 World Cup in Sydney on Thursday.
India take on England while hosts Australia will play South Africa in the two semifinals here on Thursday but the forecast of rain throughout the afternoon threatens to jeopardise both fixtures.
Cricket Australia chief Kevin Roberts on Wednesday revealed that the apex body declined the request under tournament rules. “We’ve asked the question (on a reserve day),” Cricket Australia chief Kevin Roberts was quoted as saying on the radio station ‘SEN’.
“It’s not part of the playing conditions and we respect that. We’re optimistic based on the drainage at the SCG combined with a weather forecast that is not perfect but not terrible either.”
According to the rules laid out by the ICC for the tournament, there must be at least a 20 overs match with both sides playing 10 overs each.
“We’re really hopeful and planning for different scenarios tomorrow night but the important thing is getting our team ready to play a 10 over match, a 12 over match, an 18 over match or whatever it happens to be if it’s not a full 20-over contest,” Roberts said.
“It gives you cause to reflect and think about how you might improve things in the future but going into a tournament with a given set of playing conditions and rules, I don’t think it’s time to tinker with (the rules) as much as with an Australian hat I might love that,” he added.
However, an ICC spokesperson defended the decision, according to media reports, stating that adding a reserve day would extend the duration of T20 World Cup which is supposed to be “short and sharp”.
“The ICC T20 World Cups are short sharp events where reserve days are factored in for the final. Allowing for any other reserve days would have extended the length of the event, which isn’t feasible,” he said.
“There is a clear and fair alternative should there be no play in any of the semi-finals with the winner of the group progressing.”
In case either or both the semifinal matches are washed out, India and South Africa will qualify for Sunday’s final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground having finished on top of their respective groups.
On Tuesday, the final group B games were washed out with the match between South Africa and West Indies being abandoned without even a ball being bowled.