Reserve days on the cards for men's T20 World Cup
Playing conditions set to be reviewed after England were eliminated by rain in the women's T20 World Cup this month
20 March 2020, 03:40 PM AEST
Cricket Australia will have an opportunity to lobby for the inclusion of semi-final reserve days in the men's T20 World Cup scheduled later this year, but currently there exists no formal provision to avoid a repeat of the wet weather problem that dogged the recent women's event.
The women's World Cup, won by Australia at the MCG earlier this month, was thrown into chaos when heavy rain in Sydney forced the abandonment of the first scheduled semi-final between India and England, and foreshortened the subsequent Australia-South Africa match.
As the ICC's current playing conditions stand, the men's T20 World Cup – still scheduled for Australia during October-November this year despite current global uncertainty – also features semi-finals in Sydney (November 11) and Adelaide (November 12) with no reserve days available before the final at the MCG on November 15.
An ICC spokesperson confirmed the playing conditions for the men's T20 World Cup – which starts with a pre-qualifying tournament on October 18 – are not expected to differ from those under which the women's event was played.
However, the spokesperson added the organisation's Cricket Committee is scheduled to meet in the middle of this year where playing conditions will be discussed before they are formally signed-off by the ICC's Chief Executives Committee (CEC) later in the year.
Should any of ICC's member boards wish to suggest changes to playing conditions, they will have opportunity to do so at the CEC gathering, although it's rare for standard playing conditions to be revised at that stage.
CA Chief Executive Kevin Roberts, who will be part of that CEC meeting, noted a case existed for the inclusion of reserve days in the upcoming men's event but also conceded there was a valid argument to maintain the playing conditions that governed the preceding women's tournament.
"There's always cause for reflection at the end of any tournament or any season, in terms of how you approach future tournaments," Roberts told cricket.com.au.
"In saying that, there will be people who suggest there should be semi-final reserve days for the men's.
"But I'm not sure how the English women's team would feel about that, not having had a reserve day in their leg of the tournament.
"I would imagine the playing conditions are in place for the women's and men's events within this tournament (in 2020) and can be discussed and considered after that's completed.
"Typically, the playing conditions are determined before a tournament starts and we've got two events here – women's and men's – within the one tournament, albeit staged at different times of the year."
Over the previous decades, the men's and women's iterations of the T20 World Cup have been held concurrently which meant both tournaments abided by the same playing conditions.
The ICC's decision not to schedule reserve days for their showpiece T20 tournaments also reflects the shorter window they fill on the international calendar, with the 20-over competitions taking three weeks (excluding the pre-qualifying matches).
By contrast, last year's men's 50-over World Cup took almost six weeks to complete and included the provision of reserve days for knock-out finals, in keeping with existing playing conditions for the ICC's men's and women's ODI tournaments.
That protocol remains in place despite Cricket Australia's decision to split the T20 competitions into standalone events played across two summer seasons, with the playing conditions framed for the 2020 Women's World Cup explicitly stating "there shall be no reserve day for all matches except for the Final."
No change to the playing conditions for the men's T20 World Cup would also ensure a minimum of 10 overs per side much be achieved in rain-affected fixtures to constitute a match, as opposed to five overs in bilateral 20-over internationals.
While confirmation of Australia's two-Test series in Bangladesh next June came prior to global travel restrictions now enacted due to the coronavirus, the next piece of the men's team scheduling puzzle will be the 2020-21 home international program due to be finalised next month.
That fixturing was discussed at today's CA Board teleconference, with the Test fixtures for next season expected to include four matches against India and a maiden encounter between Australia and Afghanistan in line with the ICC's Future Tours Program (FTP).
No venues or timings had been announced at this stage, but Roberts indicated Adelaide Oval remained the front-runner to host an historic first day-night Test between Australia and India now that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had warmed to the idea of pink-ball matches.
"We'd love to see a day-night Test in Adelaide," Roberts said.
"It's arguably the best day-night cricket venue in the world, and many would say the best place in the world to watch cricket.
"So a day-night Test in Adelaide would always be fantastic, regardless of the season or the opposition."
He declined to be drawn on BCCI president Sourav Ganguly's recently floated proposal for an annual four-nation ODI 'super series' featuring India, Australia, England and another drawcard, other than to note "it's nice to see the BCCI thinking about different ways to grow the game".