The Asian Cricket Council has added a reserve day for Sunday’s blockbuster Super 4 contest between Pakistan and India in Colombo, an unprecedented decision that could impact which teams qualify for the Asia Cup final.
Colombo is expected to cop heavy rainfall this weekend, potentially interrupting the highly-anticipated match between fierce rivals Pakistan and India. Last week’s group stage contest between the two Asian nations in Pallekele was abandoned due to weather, much to the frustration of stakeholders and broadcasters, while India’s subsequent match against Nepal was reduced to a 23-over second innings.
In response to the looming threat of rain, the ACC has scheduled a reserve day on Monday, allowing for the Super 4 fixture between Pakistan and India to continue the following afternoon if adverse weather intervenes.
Apart from the final, no other Asia Cup games have been allocated a reserve day.
The ACC’s decision could have repercussions on the Super 4 standings, with the added point from a reserve-day victory potentially determining who qualifies for the final.
Sri Lanka Cricket and the Bangladesh Cricket Board later confimed they had agreed to the eleventh-hour change of the playing conditions
Watch every ball of the 2023 Asia Cup LIVE on Kayo Sports – 30th Aug-17th Sep. Join now and start streaming instantly >
“I haven’t seen this kind of thing in another tournament, this changing rules in the middle of the tournament,” Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha told reporters at a press conference on Friday.
“I am sure there is a technical committee that has representations from every participating countries. They must have decided for some other reason.
“It is not ideal. We would love to have an extra day also. Other than that, I don’t have much to comment because they have made a decision.
“Once you have made a decision, we don’t have much say. If we were consulted before, we would have a comment. Since it is already made, I don’t have any concern. We just get on with what we are asked to do.”
Sri Lanka coach Chris Silverwood confessed he was “a little surprised” by the ACC’s decision.
“We don’t organise the competition, so there’s nothing much we can do about that,” Silverwood said.
“I only see it becoming a problem if the reserve day provides points for someone else and affects us or someone else. There’s nothing we can do about it. We get on with preparing, and do the best that we can.”
‘A BIT OF A RELIEF’: New contender emerges for pending Test vacancy
RSA VS AUS: Super sub Marnus rescues Aussies in World Cup statement
Former Indian bowler Venkatesh Prasad tweeted: “This is absolute shamelessness. The organisers have made a mockery and it is unethical to have a tournament with rules being different for the other two teams.
“In the name of justice, will only be fair if it is abandoned the first day, may it rain harder on the second day and these malicious plans not succeed.”
The Super 4 match between Pakistan and India gets underway at R. Premadasa Cricket Stadium on Sunday evening at 7.30pm AEST.