Here’s why the ICC should think about offering a reserve venue for knockout games

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ICC
Source: BCCI

The ICC has announced that a reserve day (June 23) has now been added to the schedule to finish the WTC Final 2021; the main issue is whether this will be enough to deliver a result.

The persistent downpour at Rose Bowl in Southampton on Day 1 of the WTC Final has created a major discussion in the cricket world. Because of the weather, all of the excitement surrounding the final match between India and New Zealand has turned into despair and pain for the spectators.

While the ICC has allocated one extra day (June 23) to ensure the match’s conclusion, the reality is that rain is expected throughout the week, making it doubtful that either team would receive enough playing time to force a result even in six days.

Why did the ICC make a mistake by staging the WTC in England?

The English Summer, particularly in June and July, has a history of sabotaging key cricket matches. In terms of India in particular, the Men in Blue have been afflicted by the same on several occasions in the past. The finals of the 2013 Champions Trophy between India and England in Birmingham were postponed due to rain, and the 50-over match was shortened to a 20-over game.

Although MS Dhoni’s team won that day on June 23, 2013, the fact that rain ruined what might have been an epic final clash cannot be overlooked.

On July 9, 2019, in Manchester, a nearly identical incident occurred during India’s 2019 World Cup semi-final match vs New Zealand, when Virat Kohli’s team was leading the Kiwis. The rain, however, turned the entire game upside down when the match continued the next day (reserve day) under cloudy circumstances, giving New Zealand bowlers an opportunity to pull their team back into the fight and producing an impressive performance to win against all odds.

While one cannot take anything away from Kane Williamson’s genius that day, it is equally necessary to investigate the problem and consider all available choices in such a circumstance.

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Also see: R Sridhar, India’s fielding coach, has hinted at probable alterations to the declared XI

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