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ICC dismiss idea of World Cup reserve days for bad weather despite second washout

Bristol already has an unwanted record as a Cricket World Cup venue after rain forced a second game to be abandoned without a ball bowled.

Cricket fans and critics have questioned why the games aren't being shifted to other days rather than teams being forced to share points.

"We put men on the moon so why can't we have a reserve day?" Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes said half-jokingly.

But the International Cricket Council has dismissed the idea of having reserve days for the 45 games in the group stage, saying it would significantly extend the length of an already lengthy tournament and would be logistically difficult for broadcasters and venue managers.

ICC chief executive David Richardson issued a statement in the wake of the Sri Lanka-Bangladesh washout this morning saying there was little organisers could do amid the "extremely unseasonable weather."

Umpires Richard Illingworth, right, and Richard Kettleborough inspect the field of play as it continues to rain at the ICC Cricket World Cup group stage match at the County Ground in Bristol. England, Tuesday June 11, 2019.  Bangladesh is scheduled to play Sri Lanka Tuesday but there has not been any play yet, as much of England is suffering from unseasonal downpours. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)
Umpires Richard Illingworth, right, and Richard Kettleborough inspect the field of play as it continues to rain at the ICC Cricket World Cup group stage match at the County Ground in Bristol. Source: Associated Press

"It would impact pitch preparation, team recovery and travel days, accommodation and venue availability, tournament staffing, volunteer and match officials availability, broadcast logistics and very importantly the spectators who in some instances have travelled hours to be at the game," Richardson said. "There is also no guarantee that the reserve day would be free from rain either."

Sri Lanka has had two games washed out — against Pakistan and Bangladesh in Bristol — and its win over Afghanistan in Cardiff was interrupted by rain.

South Africa and West Indies had to split the points after only 7.3 overs were possible because of rain in Southampton yesterday.

Richardson said some areas of England had experienced more than double the average monthly rainfall for June in the last couple of days, a vast change from last year when only a fraction of an inch was recorded in June.

"When a match is affected by weather conditions, the venue team works closely with match officials and ground staff to ensure that we have the best possible opportunity to play cricket," he said, "even if it is a reduced overs game."

Five-time champion Australia is set to play Pakistan in Taunton tonight.

Fans under umbrellas as rain stops play during the Cricket World Cup group stage match between South Africa and the West Indies at the Hampshire Bowl, Southampton, England, Monday June 10, 2019. (Adam Davy/PA via AP)
Fans under umbrellas as rain stops play during the Cricket World Cup group stage match between South Africa and the West Indies at the Hampshire Bowl. Source: Associated Press