The match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in Bristol on Tuesday (June 11) was abandoned without a ball being bowled. It was the first time when two matches were abandoned in a Cricket World Cup, without any of the teams taking the field. The match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at the same ground on Friday was also abandoned without a ball being bowled.
The Sri Lanka-Bangladesh ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 match was the fourth abandoned match in World Cup. The match between Sri Lanka and West Indies was washed out without a ball being bowled at The Oval on June 13 in the 1979 World Cup. Due to heavy rain, that match was unable to start in the next two reserve days. There are no reserve days in this long tournament where 10 teams are playing a round-robin league format.
Ex-ICC CEO Dave Richardson explains why there are no reserve days, "Factoring in a reserve day for every match at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup would significantly increase the length of the tournament and practically would be extremely complex to deliver."
He also went on to explain that it would have an impact on pitch preparation, team recovery, 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.
"There is also no guarantee that the reserve day would be free from rain either," added Richardson.
He further quipped, "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. We have reserve days factored in for the knock-out stages, knowing that over the course of 45 group games we should play the large majority."
"This is extremely unseasonable weather. In the last couple of days we have experienced more than twice the average monthly rainfall for June which is usually the third driest month in the UK. In 2018 there was just 2mm of rain in June but the last 24 hours alone has seen around 100mm fall in the south-east of England," explained Richardson.
He also stated that when a match is affected by weather conditions, the venue team work closely with Match Officials and Ground Staff to ensure that they have the best possible opportunity to play cricket, even if it is a reduced overs game. "We also work to keep fans in the stadium, or those travelling to the game, as up-to-date as possible with any information we have, either through public announcements or on our social media channels," said Richardson.