World Cup reserve days for rain 'extremely complex' to deliver - ICC chief

Cricket World Cup
Outgoing ICC chief executive David Richardson said reserve days "would be extremely complex to deliver"

The ICC has defended its decision not to schedule reserve days for World Cup group matches, citing "extremely unseasonable weather".

On Tuesday, a third match at the 2019 event was abandoned because of rain - already a record for the tournament.

The south-east of England saw just 2mm of rain in June 2018, but 100mm fell in 24 hours this week, said the ICC.

Outgoing ICC chief executive David Richardson said reserve days "would be extremely complex to deliver".

Bangladesh's game against Sri Lanka was called off without a ball being bowled on Tuesday, following persistent rainfall in Bristol.

Monday's game between South Africa and West Indies was rained off after less than eight overs and Sri Lanka's game against Pakistan at Bristol three days earlier was also washed out.

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

"I know that it would have been difficult, but we have got quite a lot of time in between games, and if we have got to travel a day later, then so be it."

In a statement, Richardson said: "Factoring in a reserve day for every match would significantly increase the length of the tournament and, practically, would be extremely complex to deliver.

"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.

"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.

"There is also no guarantee that the reserve day would be free from rain either."

Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne said reserve days were "not easy", but added they "would be good for everyone".

The previous highest number of abandoned games in a World Cup was two, in 1992 (Australia) and 2003 (South Africa).

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