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ICC World Cup 2019 | Gavaskar Slams English Board for Poor Ground Facilities

Cricketnext Staff |July 11, 2019, 3:14 PM IST
ICC World Cup 2019 | Gavaskar Slams English Board for Poor Ground Facilities

Former India captain and legendary opener Sunil Gavaskar, who celebrated his 70th birthday on Wednesday (July 10), came down hard on the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the organisers of the ICC World Cup for failing to take adequate measures to cover the ground on Tuesday (July 9) to ensure that the India-New Zealand semifinal could resume after a rain break.

“Nature has its own ways and that is not controllable by humans, so the rains washing out the game after New Zealand had almost completed its innings is understandable. What, however, is not understandable and acceptable is to see, once again, the ground partially covered against the rain,” Gavaskar wrote in his column published in the Times of India.

“If the game couldn’t start after the rain had stopped in any other country, the British media would have had a field day having a go at the country, its ineptitude and questioned how a big event like the World Cup was given to that country,” an irate Gavaskar wrote.

The first semifinal had to be postponed to the reserve day on Wednesday and New Zealand eventually defeated India by 18 runs in a two-day long last four clash at Old Trafford in Manchester.

“In Manchester, the part covers were taken off around five in the evening local time, but the water on the covers spilled onto the ground and a big puddle was formed. The supersopper came out but while the puddle was cleared, the wetness on that area meant the umpires were never going to restart the game in a hurry,” the former India opener wrote.

The ongoing ICC World Cup has seen the most number of washed-out games in the history of the tournament, including India’s league stage clash against New Zealand at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.

“The drizzle came on again later, but if the entire ground had been covered, the game could have restarted and New Zealand’s remaining overs of the innings could have been completed in the interim. Instead, both the teams had to come out next day and try to recapture the rhythm of the game,” Gavaskar said about the state of play on Tuesday.

“It was unfair on both teams, for the Kiwis could have added 40 runs with Ross Taylor looking good in the remaining overs, or India could have restricted them to another 20 runs and the game could have been different. But who is going to question why the whole ground wasn’t covered?” he added.

Gavaskar pointed out that a lot of results in the World Cup could have been different if there weren’t so many washouts in the tournament.

“Many teams in the World Cup would have finished differently if their matches had not been washed out and couldn’t be played because the whole ground was not covered. Everybody knows how fickle the weather can be in England, and so if there is any country that should have full ground covers it should be England.

“But does it actually care about the fans? No wonder, cricket is fast losing out to other sports in England,” Gavaskar wrote.

The former India captain was hopeful of a better outcome at Edgbaston in case there is rain, where hosts England will face defending champions Australia in the second semifinal.

“Of course, things may change if England beat Australia in the semis at their fortress, the Edgbaston ground in Birmingham. This ground is the only venue in England which has full ground covers. The administration at Warwickshire is a forward-looking one with the terrific changes they have made to the ground. So despite the weather forecast suggesting rain, the game has better chances to start than at other grounds,” he wrote.

“England begin as favorites not only because of where they are playing but the way they have recovered after looking as if they could be out in the league stage itself. They have tremendous depth in their batting, but the biggest plus is their opening pair of Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow,” Gavaskar added.

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Cricket World Cup Points Table

9 7 1 1 15 +0.80
9 7 2 0 14 +0.86
9 6 3 0 12 +1.15
9 5 3 1 11 +0.17
9 5 3 1 11 -0.43
9 3 4 2 8 -0.91
9 3 5 1 7 -0.03
9 3 5 1 7 -0.41
9 2 6 1 5 -0.22
9 0 9 0 0 -1.32

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 6807 122
3 Australia 5543 111
4 South Africa 5193 110
5 New Zealand 4737 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
see more