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ICC World Cup 2019 forecast: Hard rain’s gonna fall

India and New Zealand continue to remain the tournament’s two unbeaten teams after three and four matches respectively, Kane Williamson’s side topping the table with 7 points.

cricket Updated: Jun 14, 2019 08:00 IST
Aditya Iyer (Chief Cricket Writer)
Aditya Iyer (Chief Cricket Writer)
Hindustan Times, Nottingham
ICC World Cup 2019,ICC World Cup 2019 forecast,ICC World Cup 2019 Rain
Umpires interact with a groundsman as they inspect the field.(AP)

It was called off only at 3pm local time after the umpires, Marais Erasmus and Paul Reiffel, walked out for their fourth and final inspection—this time, suggestively, under umbrellas. But the fans, predominantly Indian, at the Trent Bridge had known a lot earlier, and the majority spent this overcast day in the pubs and inns surrounding this beautiful ground.

The sprinkle of faithfuls (and hopefuls too) who remained inside the stadium would’ve noticed the umpires step out in intervals of 60 minutes after the scheduled 10:30am start and use the pointy end of those umbrellas (shut and fastened) to poke and prod about the field.

While the central wicket slept under a bed of plastic all day, the umpires often inspected the adjacent practice pitches—whose soil had come loose—and different spots of the wet outfield.

Each time, the umpires left unhappy of course. While it didn’t rain all that much on Thursday, the battering the field had taken from the constant downpour over the past three days ensured that the field was unfit for play, its slipperiness likened to a ‘skating rink’ by India’s fielding coach R Sridhar.

And, hence, yet another match in this World Cup was called off without a ball being bowled. So, India and New Zealand continue to remain the tournament’s two unbeaten teams after three and four matches respectively, Kane Williamson’s side topping the table with 7 points.

Before this edition, only two World Cup matches had been abandoned before even the toss. That’s two out of 402 matches across 11 editions, four of those editions played here in rainy England. But in this World Cup alone, this is the third wash-out without a ball being bowled.

Bad weather is all that anyone is talking about; not just around the cricket but all of England, given that the Flood Forecasting Centre had alerted parts of the country to be prepared for deluges and river floods this week.

While the Met warnings were specific to the south-east of England, reports emerging from north-western Manchester suggest that there could well be some rain for the big one on Sunday, when India takes on Pakistan.

A rained-out fixture is very frustrating for the paying public (they will be refunded fully) but few realise that it is equally irritating for the players.

Former India player Murali Kartik, who has been a part of several washed-out matches during his County cricket days here in England, said that at such times the mood in the dressing room is sombre. “Some eat, some sleep, some read and some sit around quietly, almost meditating,” Kartik said. “What else is there to do but wait?”

At the press conference, fielding coach Sridhar painted the picture of the Trent Bridge dressing room today. “Yeah, it is frustrating to wait in the dressing room on a rainy day. It’s a challenge for the players and the support staff to switch down but not really switch off, because the match could start at any time,” said Sridhar.

“So (we) keep ourselves prepared in the back of the mind. At the same time, not think too much about it and keep yourself a little busy—reading, some music, or chatting with friends. We deal with it all the time.”

But this wash-out also would’ve kept a nervous Indian camp, one that had lost their seasoned opener to an injury in their previous match, nervous for a few days longer. Their rearranged batting order will now be tested for the first time against Pakistan, weather permitting.

First Published: Jun 13, 2019 23:29 IST