Cricket

2019 Cricket World Cup – Will the rain ruin the Group Stage??

A week full of rain and bad weather threatens to decimate the 2019 Cricket World Cup schedule of matches, with several teams potentially missing out on crucial points as they look to make the final four at the end of the round robin group phase.

After Sunday’s thrilling match between India and Australia, where nearly 700 runs were scored across the 100 overs, with India eventually getting the better of the battling Aussies and taking the crucial points for the win – with themselves (India) and New Zealand now the only team with a 100% record.

But, as always, the English weather is having a say – and not in a good way. It would be eternally optimistic to expect 6 weeks of sunshine here in the U.K to get every ball bowled for the tournament – but even at this early stage, with no contingencies in place or reserve days for games, the forecasted weather, as it stands at the moment, is for heavy and persistent rain for most of the week and potentially into next week also – which could create havoc for the schedule and teams being really badly affected by the lost matches.

Two games have already been affected by the weather to date – both involving Sri Lanka. Their game against Afghanistan was reduced to 34 overs per side – with Sri Lanka winning via the Duckworth Lewis calculation – but their next game against Pakistan was washed out without a ball being bowled.

Where no play, or not enough play, is possible for a result, then both teams are awarded 1 point each. There is not much the cricket authorities can do – but for some teams who have not got off to the best of starts, these lost games could seriously hamper their chances of gaining wins and vital points.

Scheduled to play this week are :

  • MONDAY – South Africa vs West Indies South Africa lost all games so far and qualification chances hanging by a thread
  • TUESDAY – Bangladesh v Sri Lanka – Both teams will see this as must win – one point no good for either
  • WEDNESDAY – Australia v Pakistan – Aussies will want to bounce back; Pakistan frustrated by no game against Sri Lanka after fine win over England
  • THURSDAY – India v New Zealand – The clash of the unbeaten teams…the Kiwis maybe wouldn’t mind this game lost to the weather!
  • FRIDAY – England v West Indies – A huge mouthwatering clash that no one will want to lose to the weather
  • SATURDAY – Australia v Sri Lanka – A game the Aussies will be desperate to play and surely gain what could be a much needed win
  • SATURDAY – South Africa v Afghanistan – One the Proteas will have marked as a (must) win. Rain here could end their World Cup
  • SUNDAY – India v Pakistan – A huge game in every sense of the word. Would be a crying shame for this one to be missed

Some teams will feel very fortunate they are only scheduled to have one game across the next seven days where the forecast is bleak….but some, especially those who feel they are in a real battle for what could just be one qualifying place if, as expected, India, England and New Zealand continue their fine form, will be desperate for their games to go ahead, as every point will be needed and crucial – especially the likes of Australia, West Indies and Pakistan.

Here’s hoping that, for once, the weather is not as bad as feared – or usual. It could have a huge and unhappy bearing on the fates on many teams in their chase to be crowned ODI cricket World Champions for 2019.