England and Pakistan could share the T20 World Cup trophy as rain threatens to play spoilsport in the summit clash on Sunday as well as the reserve day at the MCG here. Currently there is a 95 per cent chance of rain in Melbourne on Sunday, with up to 25mm predicted to fall.
“Very high (near 100%) chance of showers. The chance of a thunderstorm, possibly severe, with heavy falls possible,” a report in ‘ESPNCricinfo’ quoted the Bureau of Meteorology as saying. Unfortunately, the forecast for Monday — the designated reserve day — is similar with 95 per cent chance of rain and falls between 5 and 10mm.
Tournament rules for the final state that at least 10 overs a side are needed to constitute a knockout stage match. If rain prevents play on both days then England and Pakistan will be forced to share the trophy. “The first priority will be to complete a shortened match on Sunday if required, meaning the overs will be reduced before the reserve day is activated,” the report said.
“If the game has started on Sunday but can’t be completed then it will resume on the reserve day from the position it was halted. Once the toss has taken place, the game is considered live.” The match is scheduled to start at 7pm local time and if no play is possible, the game will spill over to the reserve day on Monday, when play would start at 3pm local time.
“If the reserve day is allocated, every effort will be made to complete the match on the scheduled day with any necessary reduction in overs taking place and only if the minimum number of overs necessary to constitute a match cannot be bowled on the scheduled day will the match be completed on the reserve day,” the playing conditions read.
“If the match has started on the scheduled day and overs are subsequently reduced following an interruption but no further play is possible, the match will resume on the reserve day at the point where the last ball was played.” Previously, the 2019 ODI World Cup semifinal between India and New Zealand was played across two days due to rain.
The 2002 Champions Trophy final between India and Sri Lanka was also washed out. According to the then playing conditions, a new game was started on the reserve day but it was abandoned too. Three group stage games at the MCG were were abandoned without a ball being bowled due to wet weather, while one was curtailed.