Twenty20 World Cup 2009 June 16, 2009

Why lose overs under lights?

This ICC World Twenty20 has been a fabulous tournament



This ICC World Twenty20 has been a fabulous tournament. A predictable view, you might say, from somebody following Pakistan cricket but when cricket creates a buzz it doesn't matter who is playing or succeeding.

I write this on behalf of England fans at The Oval for the Super Eights match on Monday. I was in the crowd to enjoy the unique spectacle of England and Pakistan playing on the same day but against different opposition. Delight at Pakistan's progress was tempered by the manner of England's defeat. In fact, you woz robbed.

Paul Collingwood should have paid attention to the weather forecast and batted second. But the rain interruptions were cruel to England since the revised target favoured Chris Gayle's cultured sloggers. England were admirable in their passion to stay in the tournament but a packed house at The Oval deserved better.

International cricket administrators must decide who the game is for? Supporters were drenched twice but still committed to watching West Indies bat 20 overs, which was possible as conditions remained fine well after the match finished.

Floodlights don't run out of energy at 9pm. Public transport keeps running and the roads remain open. Spectators don't need to rush home, brush their teeth, and slip under the bedsheets.

Why, then, is the artificially imposed cut-off point for the end of a game so early? It makes it more likely that overs are lost. These are the rules of the competition but why are they the rules?

A Twenty20 game is so brief that every attempt must be made to ensure a full match. Anything else is unfair on the players and the spectators, especially in such a short game of cricket.

The Duckworth-Lewis method already exists to decide on a result if bad weather forces an abandonment. Why do we require a second system for revising a target if rain interrupts a match rather than prematurely ends it?

With ten wickets in hand, West Indies were gifted a favourable target which they almost made a mess of. Paul Collingwood's team must have been fuming, deprived of a proper contest. Spectators were deflated and, after all, cricket is for them and not for television executives and prime-time schedulers.

Can the ICC fix this one before next year's tournament?

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

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