The cricket World Cup has become a waterlogged mess

After getting off to a good start for the first ten matches, the rains have come with a vengeance in the UK and four of the last eight games, including the one today between New Zealand and India, have been called off. Since these two were the last remaining unbeaten teams, there had been considerable interest in this game, making its cancellation particularly disappointing for fans everywhere. Tomorrow West Indies are scheduled to play England and the forecast calls for a ‘few showers’, not a good sign, but mostly in the morning so we may get (or at least hope for) a delayed but complete game.

Three of those four games were abandoned and the fourth was a ‘no result’. A game is considered to begin with the coin toss. It is said to be abandoned if it is called off before the coin toss and is said to be a no result if there is a coin toss but the minimum of 20 overs (120 deliveries) per side is not reached. Of the ten teams playing, Australia, England, Bangladesh are the only one to have not had games called off while Sri Lanka has been the worst hit, having two of its four matches called off.

The scale of the disruption has caused even normally stoic cricket fans who take rain in their stride to grumble and there have been calls that future tournaments should take steps to deal with it, such as inserting make-up days into the schedule or (much more expensively) putting domes over the grounds.

As I have mentioned before, there are three formats of international cricket: the five day Test matches, the One Day Internationals (which is the current World Cup), and the roughly three-hour, 20-over matches called T20. The latter two are more conducive to a single compressed world championship format played over a few weeks, like the soccer World Cups.

When it comes to Test matches, it would be impossible to play a compressed tournament and up to now what we have had is a points system that takes into account Test matches as they are played between any two nations and maintains a running ranking of the countries. The top ranked team can change from day to day depending on the results of each Test match.

But it appears that there will be a World Test championship. It will take the form of a league where 27 bi-lateral series of Test matches of the nine top Test playing teams will be played over two-year periods, the first one from July 16, 2019 to March 31, 2021. “Each team will play three series each at home and away. Each series will comprise a minimum of two and maximum of five Test matches” and the top two finishers will play for the championship trophy. The winning team will have bragging rights as world Test cricket champions until the next final two years later.

The appeal of Test cricket has been declining as fans drift to the newer and shorter forms of the game. This new contest, with its promise of crowning a champion, may be an effort to spark interest in the classical format.


  1. Reginald Selkirk says

    The women’s soccer (footy) Worl Cup is also on-going. It makes those searches a bit more complicated.
    France played Norway, and scored 3 goals, winning 2-1.

  2. Rob Grigjanis says

    Speaking of “not cricket”:

    In the women’s FIFA world cup, the US beat Thailand 13-0 the other day. I was not alone in thinking that the wild celebrations by the Americans after they already had a substantial lead (e.g. when Rapinoe scored the ninth goal) were distasteful to the point of nausea. Just about every non-American pundit/ex-player agreed, but most Americans I heard seemed to think it was perfectly acceptable.

    I think there’s something about the sports culture in the US that encourages an attitude of contempt, even loathing, for the opposition*. Bad winners, bad losers.

    *Actually, there seem to be many examples of this sort of thing in cricket as well, but not in soccer or rugby, generally.

  3. Mano Singham says


    I did not see the game but heard about these celebrations and thought they were appalling.

    Interestingly, in US college football, it is considered bad form to run up the score once your team has an insurmountable lead. Some teams still occasionally do that but it is frowned upon.

  4. Rob Grigjanis says

    Mano @4: Personally, I don’t feel strongly either way about running up the score. In a tournament, it makes sense to ease up, if only to conserve energy. But if I were on the losing side, I wouldn’t begrudge the other side scoring as much as they can. I would be annoyed by the sort of display we saw.

    It would be interesting to see the Americans’ reactions if they were being hammered and the other side whooped it up after the fifth or sixth goal. Not likely to happen in this world cup, unfortunately. They are a very good side.

  5. jrkrideau says

    Ever thought that that Cricket should be done in Saudi Arabia? When I was in the Eastern Province it rained once in February, admittedly most of February, but the rest of the year the forecast was sunny. Seeing people with cricket bats all over the place seemed to suggest it was not a bad location. Still seeing people with cricket bats all over Toronto seems to suggest Cricketers are a bit optimistic.

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