The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday defended not scheduling reserve days for group matches at the rain-marred World Cup and blamed the disruptions on “extremely unseasonable weather”. Following a third washout in five days, questions have been asked about the planning for wet weather at the World Cup. The tournament does not feature reserve days for the group stage - although the semi-finals and final are covered - but ticketholders can at least be assured of refunds if the rain continues to rule.
The organisers have been criticised for not allotting reserve days in the group stage and outgoing ICC chief executive David Richardson said it was not a feasible idea. “Factoring in a reserve day for every match ... would significantly increase the length of the tournament and practically would be extremely complex to deliver,” he said in a statement.
The knockout stage of the six-week tournament includes reserve days but it would post a massive logistical challenge at the group phase and inconvenience everyone, Richardson said. "It would impact pitch preparation, team recovery and travel days, accommodation and venue availability, tournament staffing, volunteer and match official’s availability, broadcast logistics and very importantly the spectators who in some instances have travelled hours to be at the game. There is also no guarantee that the reserve day would be free from rain either.
"Up to 1200 people are on site to deliver a match and everything associated with it including getting it broadcast and a proportion of them are moving around the country so reserve days in the group stage would require a significant uplift in the number of staff. We have reserve days factored in for the knockout stages, knowing that over the course of 45 group games we should play the large majority."