Twenty20 World Cup 2009 June 16, 2009

Why lose overs under lights?

This ICC World Twenty20 has been a fabulous tournament
23



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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Arvind on June 20, 2009, 12:39 GMT

    Q. Why lose overs under the lights? A. Because the ICC is stupid, that's why.

    What about the 1992 WC Semifinal? As I have said several times before, the heaven would not have collapsed if they had carried on for another 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Hussain on June 17, 2009, 20:37 GMT

    Wow. I had a chat about this with colleagues the other day. I so agree that England was robbed that evening. If overs are reduced, runs are reduced, then why shouldn't the wickets be reduced? Had West Indies known they needed 160 runs in 20 overs, would they have been comfortable with a score of 80 with 5 wickets down at the end of 9 over? I doubt that. So often in this tournament, the first few over have been great for the side batting second, yet, they lose the match. The recent match between India and South Africa is one example. Had the target been 70 runs in 8 overs with ten wickets in hand, wouldn't the likes of Gambhir,Sharma and Yuvraj finish the job? They lost most of their wickets after 10 overs. And as you mentioned, why wouldn't the spectatots want to see a full match. It makes sense to reduce a one day international because obviously people can't be kept at the stadium for another 4 hours after the match has been delayed for some time. When will common sense prevail?

  • faisal on June 17, 2009, 20:14 GMT

    some people above made some points that the rules were made well before the game starts. my bro thats what we are taking about that they are wrong they are unfair so icc needs to look at it. Rules are unfair with the team batting second, why.. spose the team bating first batted 20 overs and they made 100 runs now rain occured and match was reduced for 8 overs and 70 runs to chase now team bating second knows that they have 10 wickets in hand if they lose 4 wickts in 4 overs they can still take risk to make runs why coz they know their are just 4 overs remaing and they still have 6 wickts in hand but on the other hand if you lose 4 wickts in first 4 overs and you still have to paly remaing 16 overs i bet team would be curefull they would not take risk why if they lose 2 more wickts who is gonna play remaing 16 overs so that is why its not fair. i think 20/20 format is so short that it should be completed both team with 20 overs what so ever

  • Kamran on June 17, 2009, 20:10 GMT

    There has to be a cut off date because of the live telecast on TV. The world does not revolve around cricket. How will you feel if your favorite football match was not telecasted, instead a live game of cricket is telecasted instead which has overrun its time slot.

    I am very surprised at the complete lack of understanding on this subject on the authors part.

  • bob on June 17, 2009, 16:34 GMT

    i dont understand it either. a match of this importance should never be cut short nor should it be cut short like the 2007 world cup final between australia and sri lanka...seriously 38 over each for the world cup FINAL?? In baseballs championship game in october one of the games was delayed by rain for 2 days but they wouldnt call the game off (when technically they could have if they followed the rule books). After the 2 days of rain they picked up where the game left off. this really does frustrate me. They need to get rid of the duckworth lewis method for both 20 and 50 over matches because it is just ridiculous

  • Adam on June 17, 2009, 16:24 GMT

    The West Indies have the 'best batting lineup in the tournament'.Are you joking Ujjwal? Better than SA? They do have the lineup most likely to crack under pressure though. Also, it would not be an inability to follow schedule, but a conscious decision to give fans a full game like they deserve, rather than it being cut short and being followed by Sky Sports Classics...

  • saad on June 17, 2009, 16:20 GMT

    The Duckworth and Lewis method has a huge flaw in it, i.e. it doesn't take into account wickets. Windies had the luxury of chasing almost half of England's total with 10 wickets in hand. Windies should have been given the same target of 80 odd runs with the commensurate number of wickets (5-6), not the full quota of 10 wickets.

  • Adam on June 17, 2009, 16:13 GMT

    The West Indies have the 'best batting lineup in the tournament'.Are you joking Ujjwal? Better than SA? They do have the lineup most likely to crack under pressure though. Also, it would not be an inability to follow schedule, but a conscious decision to give fans a full game like they deserve, rather than it being cut short and being followed by Sky Sports Classics...

  • Altamash on June 17, 2009, 15:58 GMT

    I don't know which match Kamran Abbasi was watching but it was not the sloggers, who won the match, it was the classy duo of Chanderpaul and Sarwan who took their team to the victory, which emphasizes the fact that, no matter what the situation runs are scored by putting bat to ball and not by slogging blindly. This is the reason why Chanderpaul is West Indies' most successful batsman in T20 and not Chris Gayle(who is the most feared West Indian batsman)

    Coming to the match England were a bit unfortunate but they shouldn't complain because these things happen in cricket. I don't remember any Englishmen complaining in 1992 World Cup semi final.(Sore Losers)

    And finally the question "why lose overs under lights?" the answer is straight forward, administrations all over the world, ICC, etc, are there to make money, not to serve cricket. It all comes down to money, airtime, advertisements etc,.Time outs can be added to IPL but time for a virtual quarter final cannot be extended.

  • dr athar abbas on June 17, 2009, 15:22 GMT

    I can clearly think of tennis matches especially in grand slam events. The matches are very frequently longer than the 20-20 cricket (if you think of French open 5 setters). Sometimes to complete the schedule of matches in a given day, they go very frequently to 1AM to 2AM. Some of the matches start at nearly mid night. I have never seen a best of 5 set match converted to best of 3 or for that matter best of 1 set match due to rain. Or some statistical basis of match outcome decision. It clearly robs the fairness of the game out of the competition. Many 5 set matches are won by the player losing the first 2 sets. what will happen if we curtail them, you can clearly imagine There is simply no reason to curtail the 20/20 matches to even shorter duration.

  • Arvind on June 20, 2009, 12:39 GMT

    Q. Why lose overs under the lights? A. Because the ICC is stupid, that's why.

    What about the 1992 WC Semifinal? As I have said several times before, the heaven would not have collapsed if they had carried on for another 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Hussain on June 17, 2009, 20:37 GMT

    Wow. I had a chat about this with colleagues the other day. I so agree that England was robbed that evening. If overs are reduced, runs are reduced, then why shouldn't the wickets be reduced? Had West Indies known they needed 160 runs in 20 overs, would they have been comfortable with a score of 80 with 5 wickets down at the end of 9 over? I doubt that. So often in this tournament, the first few over have been great for the side batting second, yet, they lose the match. The recent match between India and South Africa is one example. Had the target been 70 runs in 8 overs with ten wickets in hand, wouldn't the likes of Gambhir,Sharma and Yuvraj finish the job? They lost most of their wickets after 10 overs. And as you mentioned, why wouldn't the spectatots want to see a full match. It makes sense to reduce a one day international because obviously people can't be kept at the stadium for another 4 hours after the match has been delayed for some time. When will common sense prevail?

  • faisal on June 17, 2009, 20:14 GMT

    some people above made some points that the rules were made well before the game starts. my bro thats what we are taking about that they are wrong they are unfair so icc needs to look at it. Rules are unfair with the team batting second, why.. spose the team bating first batted 20 overs and they made 100 runs now rain occured and match was reduced for 8 overs and 70 runs to chase now team bating second knows that they have 10 wickets in hand if they lose 4 wickts in 4 overs they can still take risk to make runs why coz they know their are just 4 overs remaing and they still have 6 wickts in hand but on the other hand if you lose 4 wickts in first 4 overs and you still have to paly remaing 16 overs i bet team would be curefull they would not take risk why if they lose 2 more wickts who is gonna play remaing 16 overs so that is why its not fair. i think 20/20 format is so short that it should be completed both team with 20 overs what so ever

  • Kamran on June 17, 2009, 20:10 GMT

    There has to be a cut off date because of the live telecast on TV. The world does not revolve around cricket. How will you feel if your favorite football match was not telecasted, instead a live game of cricket is telecasted instead which has overrun its time slot.

    I am very surprised at the complete lack of understanding on this subject on the authors part.

  • bob on June 17, 2009, 16:34 GMT

    i dont understand it either. a match of this importance should never be cut short nor should it be cut short like the 2007 world cup final between australia and sri lanka...seriously 38 over each for the world cup FINAL?? In baseballs championship game in october one of the games was delayed by rain for 2 days but they wouldnt call the game off (when technically they could have if they followed the rule books). After the 2 days of rain they picked up where the game left off. this really does frustrate me. They need to get rid of the duckworth lewis method for both 20 and 50 over matches because it is just ridiculous

  • Adam on June 17, 2009, 16:24 GMT

    The West Indies have the 'best batting lineup in the tournament'.Are you joking Ujjwal? Better than SA? They do have the lineup most likely to crack under pressure though. Also, it would not be an inability to follow schedule, but a conscious decision to give fans a full game like they deserve, rather than it being cut short and being followed by Sky Sports Classics...

  • saad on June 17, 2009, 16:20 GMT

    The Duckworth and Lewis method has a huge flaw in it, i.e. it doesn't take into account wickets. Windies had the luxury of chasing almost half of England's total with 10 wickets in hand. Windies should have been given the same target of 80 odd runs with the commensurate number of wickets (5-6), not the full quota of 10 wickets.

  • Adam on June 17, 2009, 16:13 GMT

    The West Indies have the 'best batting lineup in the tournament'.Are you joking Ujjwal? Better than SA? They do have the lineup most likely to crack under pressure though. Also, it would not be an inability to follow schedule, but a conscious decision to give fans a full game like they deserve, rather than it being cut short and being followed by Sky Sports Classics...

  • Altamash on June 17, 2009, 15:58 GMT

    I don't know which match Kamran Abbasi was watching but it was not the sloggers, who won the match, it was the classy duo of Chanderpaul and Sarwan who took their team to the victory, which emphasizes the fact that, no matter what the situation runs are scored by putting bat to ball and not by slogging blindly. This is the reason why Chanderpaul is West Indies' most successful batsman in T20 and not Chris Gayle(who is the most feared West Indian batsman)

    Coming to the match England were a bit unfortunate but they shouldn't complain because these things happen in cricket. I don't remember any Englishmen complaining in 1992 World Cup semi final.(Sore Losers)

    And finally the question "why lose overs under lights?" the answer is straight forward, administrations all over the world, ICC, etc, are there to make money, not to serve cricket. It all comes down to money, airtime, advertisements etc,.Time outs can be added to IPL but time for a virtual quarter final cannot be extended.

  • dr athar abbas on June 17, 2009, 15:22 GMT

    I can clearly think of tennis matches especially in grand slam events. The matches are very frequently longer than the 20-20 cricket (if you think of French open 5 setters). Sometimes to complete the schedule of matches in a given day, they go very frequently to 1AM to 2AM. Some of the matches start at nearly mid night. I have never seen a best of 5 set match converted to best of 3 or for that matter best of 1 set match due to rain. Or some statistical basis of match outcome decision. It clearly robs the fairness of the game out of the competition. Many 5 set matches are won by the player losing the first 2 sets. what will happen if we curtail them, you can clearly imagine There is simply no reason to curtail the 20/20 matches to even shorter duration.

  • Benn on June 17, 2009, 13:56 GMT

    Baseball is played in massive stadiums in the US where you find the light is contained in the playing arena.

    There are not many cricket ground that are like this, the MCG is one that comes to mind.

    The issue? Many cricket ground are surrounded by residential buildings, and not all enjoy the Twenty20 fixtures, or the light pollution that is emitted from these grounds. Thus, many councils (in Australia, and I expect the UK) have operating hours put in place for the light towers, and once it gets to a certain time, the lights are off otherwise fines are put in place.

    Unfortunately, it's not always about what goes on inside the ground.

  • Dr Supernova on June 17, 2009, 13:25 GMT

    Baseball games in the US still finishes all 9 innings despite rain delays, they don't shorten the game. There's no need for Twenty20 matches should be shortened.

  • Cricket Fan on June 17, 2009, 13:06 GMT

    I completely agree with you Kamran. The 20/20 is already such a short game that, especially for the spectators who have paid to watch it, to shorten becomes cruel. If the game can be continued, then why not. The Duckworth-Lewis method was created for matches that had to be abandoned due to rain, not to shorten an already small game.

  • Adeel on June 17, 2009, 8:51 GMT

    i totally agree with Kamran. Cricket is not a TV Serial or its not played to get tv commercials. We should have a complete T20 game. Cant compromise on cricket just for tv advertisments.

  • Abdur Razzak on June 17, 2009, 8:41 GMT

    This is certainly a point for th ICC to look at, atleast for this format.

  • Gulab on June 17, 2009, 8:19 GMT

    I agree with you and just on that day I discussed this with my friends. This is a short form of the game and there should not be such rules either they should complete it or delay to other day. If the ground has lighting facility than it should be completed on the same day. I could not understands these rule in such shortest type of game. In my veiw the match should be completed in any way may be other day but should not be reduced further or drawn with one point each. Thanks

  • Ujjwal Pandey on June 17, 2009, 7:58 GMT

    While I absolutely hate the Duckworth Lewis system, I completely disagree with your opinion that England had a chance against West Indies had they batted 20 overs. If that were the case then West Indians wouldn't have panicked at all, because it was 8 runs per over instead of 9 per over. England just didn't have enough runs on the board against the best batting lineup in the tournament. Had they batted second, the going would have been much tougher because West Indies would have demolished their pacy lineup and Duckworth Lewis always increases the required run rate for the chasers which would mean game over for England as they have absolutely no power-hitters beside KP. I also disagree with your opinion that the match shouldn't have ended at 9. That's a rule made well before the tournament started and the inability to follow schedule would do more harm to the sport than good. Perhaps rescheduling the remaining of the match to be played later would be ok but continuing till late isn't.

  • cric_fanatic on June 17, 2009, 5:08 GMT

    I disagree. All teams are aware of the rules in case bad weather affects a match. if any team disapproves these rules, they can protest before the tournament starts.

  • Murtaza Moiz on June 17, 2009, 5:05 GMT

    Yea, like they have reduced the PP overs in T20 and there's no option of batting PP so similarly they should apply the same tactic as what I field every batter should get a fair chance regarding the batting concern, being a mathematics student it clearly shows that D/L method takes away the advantage from the side chasing.

  • mahmood karim on June 17, 2009, 4:37 GMT

    D/L system is not a crickting method I wonder were are the cricket brains why do not they account for wickets when a game is curtailed supose 20 overs 10 Wickets to fall,then why not for 6 overs number of wickets 3 to Fall, for 8 overs 4 Wickets, same formula should in 50 overs match 1 wicket for every 5 overs.I say this D/L Dacoit Lewis not Duck worth Lewis. It robbed very oftenly team batted first.I feel only vetran Batsmen are making the laws for cricket every thing is in favour of batsmen i.e. Helmat,ribbs & thiegh gaurds, Bouncers restriction no ball free hit,Powerplay fielding restrictions.

  • waterbuffalo on June 17, 2009, 4:26 GMT

    I think this has more to do with the tv time slot and the minutes of advertising allowed during a broadcast. If there is a rain delay, tv stations aren't going to change the schedule around to accomodate viewers at home or spectators at the ground. Time is money, money spent on advertising dollars in a market conscious world. You pay for three hours, you get three hours, no extra bonus two hours for you.

  • Usman T on June 17, 2009, 3:45 GMT

    Agreed, also in cases there have been complete washouts or if replaying at later time is not possible the decision should be through superover ( or 5 of em) rather then 1 point each to both teams.

  • faisal on June 16, 2009, 23:17 GMT

    yes i totally agree with u kamran. i think this 20/20 format is so short that it dosn't need dock worth system. Matches should be completed if weather alows other wise it should be abandend with 1 point to each team bocoz it is so unfair with the team who bats with revised less overs coz the less the overs the more you are gonna take the risk to make runs so i think the icc should look in this matter and resolve it

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • faisal on June 16, 2009, 23:17 GMT

    yes i totally agree with u kamran. i think this 20/20 format is so short that it dosn't need dock worth system. Matches should be completed if weather alows other wise it should be abandend with 1 point to each team bocoz it is so unfair with the team who bats with revised less overs coz the less the overs the more you are gonna take the risk to make runs so i think the icc should look in this matter and resolve it

  • Usman T on June 17, 2009, 3:45 GMT

    Agreed, also in cases there have been complete washouts or if replaying at later time is not possible the decision should be through superover ( or 5 of em) rather then 1 point each to both teams.

  • waterbuffalo on June 17, 2009, 4:26 GMT

    I think this has more to do with the tv time slot and the minutes of advertising allowed during a broadcast. If there is a rain delay, tv stations aren't going to change the schedule around to accomodate viewers at home or spectators at the ground. Time is money, money spent on advertising dollars in a market conscious world. You pay for three hours, you get three hours, no extra bonus two hours for you.

  • mahmood karim on June 17, 2009, 4:37 GMT

    D/L system is not a crickting method I wonder were are the cricket brains why do not they account for wickets when a game is curtailed supose 20 overs 10 Wickets to fall,then why not for 6 overs number of wickets 3 to Fall, for 8 overs 4 Wickets, same formula should in 50 overs match 1 wicket for every 5 overs.I say this D/L Dacoit Lewis not Duck worth Lewis. It robbed very oftenly team batted first.I feel only vetran Batsmen are making the laws for cricket every thing is in favour of batsmen i.e. Helmat,ribbs & thiegh gaurds, Bouncers restriction no ball free hit,Powerplay fielding restrictions.

  • Murtaza Moiz on June 17, 2009, 5:05 GMT

    Yea, like they have reduced the PP overs in T20 and there's no option of batting PP so similarly they should apply the same tactic as what I field every batter should get a fair chance regarding the batting concern, being a mathematics student it clearly shows that D/L method takes away the advantage from the side chasing.

  • cric_fanatic on June 17, 2009, 5:08 GMT

    I disagree. All teams are aware of the rules in case bad weather affects a match. if any team disapproves these rules, they can protest before the tournament starts.

  • Ujjwal Pandey on June 17, 2009, 7:58 GMT

    While I absolutely hate the Duckworth Lewis system, I completely disagree with your opinion that England had a chance against West Indies had they batted 20 overs. If that were the case then West Indians wouldn't have panicked at all, because it was 8 runs per over instead of 9 per over. England just didn't have enough runs on the board against the best batting lineup in the tournament. Had they batted second, the going would have been much tougher because West Indies would have demolished their pacy lineup and Duckworth Lewis always increases the required run rate for the chasers which would mean game over for England as they have absolutely no power-hitters beside KP. I also disagree with your opinion that the match shouldn't have ended at 9. That's a rule made well before the tournament started and the inability to follow schedule would do more harm to the sport than good. Perhaps rescheduling the remaining of the match to be played later would be ok but continuing till late isn't.

  • Gulab on June 17, 2009, 8:19 GMT

    I agree with you and just on that day I discussed this with my friends. This is a short form of the game and there should not be such rules either they should complete it or delay to other day. If the ground has lighting facility than it should be completed on the same day. I could not understands these rule in such shortest type of game. In my veiw the match should be completed in any way may be other day but should not be reduced further or drawn with one point each. Thanks

  • Abdur Razzak on June 17, 2009, 8:41 GMT

    This is certainly a point for th ICC to look at, atleast for this format.

  • Adeel on June 17, 2009, 8:51 GMT

    i totally agree with Kamran. Cricket is not a TV Serial or its not played to get tv commercials. We should have a complete T20 game. Cant compromise on cricket just for tv advertisments.