Cricket Australia ponders fan-centric approach for matches affected by Rain

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said that the Board is making a conscious effort to put the interests of the fans first in cases of rain marred matches © Getty Images

Melbourne, Feb 2, 2013

Embarrassed by the abandonment of last month’s ODI against Sri Lanka at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Cricket Australia has written to the ICC to implore possibilities of relaxing its standards for the resumption of rain-affected matches.

According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, CA chief executive James Sutherland has written to the ICC asking it to instruct its umpires to take a less conservative approach to an issue that is a perennial frustration to cricket fans and broadcasters.

“We have been campaigning for a fan-centric approach to managing the resumption of play,” said CA spokesman Peter Young, adding that matches should resume as soon as the umpires are satisfied that the ground is not dangerous.

“We are pushing for the umpires to take a very conscious view about putting the fans first. Our concern is that there’s an innate tendency among match officials towards being ultra-conservative,” he added.

Sri Lanka was denied a chance to pocket the ODI series against Australia last month after the umpires called off the fourth ODI because of a damp outfield after 90 minutes of drizzle at the SCG.

The abandonment not only frustrated the 22,000 crowd, but drew angry reactions from Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawadene who was thinking of writing formally to the ICC, seeking an explanation for the call-off when the match could have completed after the rain delay.