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Home   /   Who decided to play a Cricket World Cup in Melbourne’s rainy season?

Australia playing England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in a World Cup on a Friday should be an all-time classic, so why am I sat here aggressively typing watching highlights of a previous match waiting to see if they can get five overs in per side?

We had less weather issues during the 2019, 50 over World Cup in England.

Cricket is one of those sports that needs a bit of luck with the weather; any sign of rain and play is likely to be suspended. There is a reason it is played in the summer. If games were played in the bleak winter months of January and February in England, we would all be stuck watching some old irrelevant highlights of a previous match that no one really cares about anymore.

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So, who decided to organise a T20 World Cup outside of the peak season in Australia? This is typically the wettest month in Melbourne, where a majority of games are being played.  

The tournament had all the ingredients of a classic, with fans allowed back at the grounds, five teams who could easily win the trophy and the matches littered with stars from across the world. Instead, we have had toss delayed, match delayed, and match abandoned. It seems the winner of the tournament will be decided by the team with the best umbrella to avoid the rain.  

The game was abandoned without a ball being bowled and both sides shook hands and took one point each from the match. This would have been one of the biggest games of some of the players careers, but unfortunately the game could not go ahead. The match would have been a huge advert for the tournament and one of the highlight fixtures. 

It is a real shame, because the cricket we have seen has been nothing short of a spectacle. India’s last gasp victory over Pakistan was one of the greatest games of all time and had the whole cricketing world grasped. New Zealand provided an electric performance to blow away hosts Australia, winning by 89 runs and Zimbabwe embarrassed Pakistan with a shock one run victory. 

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You would like to think that someone in the International Cricket Committee who is probably being paid a lot of money to plan this tournament would have done a bit more research before deciding the venue and dates for it to be played. There have only ever been six international men’s cricket games played in Australia before the Start of November before and maybe there is some logic behind that.  

England were outplayed by Ireland, there is no denying that. However, it is a shame for both sides that the game was decided by a downpour of rain, which although is something both countries are familiar with, it ruined what was an incredible game of cricket. Ireland batted and bowled brilliantly and looked like they were going to pick up a historic victory anyway, but the early finish would have put a dampener on the result. Ireland won by five runs due to the outdated and incredibly complicated Duckworth-Lewis system.  

The Irish team were then unable to build on the momentum they had built up from the win over England, as their game against Afghanistan was abandoned without a ball being bowled. It is even more frustrating and tedious that there is a stadium across the road called the Docklands stadium which has a retractable roof and could have easily allowed the game to be put on. Players work their whole lives to be able to play in a World Cup and some Irish players may not get the opportunity again, just to be sat in the changing room watching rain building on the covers.  

The final is due to be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday the 13th of November and although there is a reserve day, what is to say that won’t be abandoned as well?  It would have been feasible to play the tournament during the hottest months of the year for Melbourne, in January and February.  

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Let’s hope we manage to get some Cricket played during this tournament because ultimately that is what everyone wants. However, looking at the fixture list and the forecast, they do not seem to be working together hand in and hand.

At what point do we stop pretending and just admit this has been a planning disaster of the highest order made by the ICC committee who are no strangers to disastrous decisions?

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July 2024