World Cup 2019, India vs New Zealand: Rain, wet outfield delay toss
The Trent Bridge surface remained covered. (AFP Image)

NOTTINGHAM: Match 18 of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 featuring India and New Zealand at the Trent Bridge cricket ground could not start on its scheduled time due to the wet outfield caused by overnight rain in the city. Roughly five minutes before the time of ground inspection, the drizzle returned to delay the toss further.

It has been raining in Nottingham since the last three days straight and even though it subsided Thursday morning, the damage caused to the outfield was enough to force a delay. ALSO READ: India vs New Zealand, Match 18, As it happened

It was a start-stop kind of day in Nottingham, beginning with a light drizzle early morning before it stopped. The city remained rain-free for nearly two hours, offering a ray of hope to the teams, audience and groundsmen.

The hover cover came off and it was decided that the umpires will have a ground inspection around 10.30 AM local time, the usual time of start of play. But just five minutes before the scheduled inspection, rain returned to delay proceedings further. What puts the match in further jeopardy is the amount of time the ground is expected to take to dry up with no sun and breeze. With the return of the drizzle, more puddles of water accumulated on the covers.

“The pitch is fine but just because we’ve had lot of rain in recent days, so we want to give it some time. Yes, player safety is important and it’s early in the tournament, so we got to consider all these things,” one of the umpires said. “It’s a damp kind of day with no wind or sun. We have to sit and wait for things to dry. It’s (pitch) got to be reasonable to play an international game of cricket.

“There will be areas that shall be damper than others. As we speak, we can feel some drops, so I reckon there’s more rain around. We’ve got those 75 minutes (that can be added) and maybe a shortened game. There’s a lot of time and we shall have to wait. Seems like a slow-drying day.”