Australia faces elimination from its own World Cup without a ball being bowled if its semi-final with South Africa is goes the same way as India v England, the first of back-to-back matches at the SCG already abandoned because of the weather. FOLLOW LIVE UPDATES!
ICC refuse reserve day match
The grey and rainy skies still lingering over Sydney look ominous and they are threatening to derail Australia’s quest for back-to-back T20 Women’s World Cup titles.
The Aussies are scheduled to take on South Africa in their semi-final clash at the Sydney Cricket Ground from 7pm. But the chances look increasingly slim of seeing any cricket.
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India, who won Australia’s qualifying group, are already through without a ball being bowled, as their clash with England, scheduled for this afternoon at the same venue, was abandoned before it started due to the weather.
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If Australia’s match goes the same way South Africa – who have never beaten Australia in their four outings in the T20 format – would qualify for the World Cup final to be played on Sunday at the MCG.
SCG curator, Adam Lewis, is confident there will be play should the rain relent for a period, and said the ground would be ready, adding that his team learnt a lot about how to manage wet weather during the BBL finals series.
“The guys have got a lot of experience now with wet weather, so if we do happen to have a little bit of rain, we’re well prepared and we’ll be able to get the players on (when it stops),” he said.
“We’ve had a really clear week this week, we knew the rain was coming so we’ve prepped this one a little bit early,” he said.
“The outfield’s come up really well, we’ve had approximately 25mm-30mm this week in the last couple of days and it had no effect at all on the outfield.”
The cancellation of the India-England match has only increased the fire the ICC has come under this week for not scheduling a reserve day for play in case of rain.
In response, an ICC spokesperson said: “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. 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.”
It’s important to note, too, that the ICC doesn’t schedule reserve days for semi-finals in the men’s T20 World Cup either.
There is a 10-over minimum requirement for each batting side for a match to be legitimate, which is different from other international games that require only five overs per side.
That increase is to ensure there is less of an element of lottery in the knockout stages by having more of a game.
Australia captain Meg Lanning hopes that in future tournaments the ICC will consider scheduling reserve days for the round of semis. Lanning said on Wednesday that while there wasn’t anything the team could do for the 2020 tournament, she hoped this experience would leave open the door for changes to the current ICC playing conditions.
“Perhaps it’s something we can look at for future tournaments if that needs to happen,” she said.
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