Just on the rain

As Sri Lanka collapsed against New Zealand, rain looked more and more like their only saviour, à la Pakistan’s escape against England in 1992. The only problem was that it never looked like raining and the Black Caps ended up winning by ten wickets and with 199 balls to spare. Since then, however, the amount of rain which has influenced Sri Lanka’s matches has been reminiscent of the Videocon Cup in 2004, with Dimuth Karunaratne’s men beating Afghanistan in a rain-shortened match and not getting on the park since, Pakistan and Bangladesh being the two teams who have had to forego likely victories.

Before this tournament, there had not been two abandoned matches due to rain – that is, completely rained out, without even a toss – in a World Cup match in England, or indeed across the entire history of Men’s World Cups. It had only happened once, Australia finding yet another way to avoid playing cricket against Bangladesh in Australia four years ago. It’s happened twice in four days now, and that’s not counting matches like South Africa’s game with West Indies, which saw a little play, but not enough for a result to be found.

This has led to suggestions that English cricket should invest in a roof. If it does, it is more likely to be for a shorter format, such as T20. I’ve covered some of the reasons here before. There is little incentive to do it for ODI cricket, considering the pinnacle of the format rarely comes to England now, and no incentive to do it for Test cricket because that is the one version of the game which can afford to lose a day to rain.

One way or another, it’ll stop popping up as a news story as soon as the rain goes away. Writers look for their own saviors on wet days and there are only so many news stories, particularly when there are fewer teams to write about. It would also explain why people cared about warm-up matches for the first time, or why they were not only televised but also subjected to the DRS – by contrast, the World Cup Qualifier did not have the latter.

Which does seem rather strange but hang on. Oh, clouds are clearing. Best get ready for the next match.