Cricket T20 World Cup: Rule change could see play for final in Melbourne extended

T20 World Cup bosses set to take DRASTIC action to save final from being washed out – as they prepare to change sport’s rules to allow game to go ahead

  • Organisers could implement drastic rule change to save T20 World Cup final
  • Melbourne has rain forecast for both Sunday and reserve day Monday
  • Pakistan are set to take on England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday

Cricket’s long-standing wet weather rules could be rewritten to save the blockbuster Twenty20 World Cup final in Melbourne from being washed out. 

The International Cricket Council’s local organisers are understood to be considering the drastic change to satisfy sponsors and a worldwide audience of millions who are keen to see a definitive winner hoist the Cup.

The showpiece event is scheduled for Sunday evening, but wet weather is forecast at the MCG. Tournament rules set out that in that situation, a back-up date is slated so as to save the fixture and avoid forcing England and Pakistan to share the trophy.

However, it is also due to rain on the back-up date of Monday 14 November, meaning that the ICC has taken drastic action to push back the start time when it is less likely to rain in Melbourne.  

The T20 World Cup final could be a wash out this weekend sparking a drastic rule change to ensure there is a winner (pictured: ground staff at the MCG earlier this month)

To constitute a match, a minimum of 10 overs is required per team, unlike the group stage when only five overs per-side was needed to complete a game.

This could be difficult with Melbourne forecast to cop up to 25mm of rain on Sunday when resurgent Pakistan will face England in front of more than 90,000 people at the MCG.

If the final is washed out the ICC has left Monday as a reserve day with play beginning at 3pm and picking up where it was paused on Sunday.

But Melbourne’s weather is looking just as ominous on Monday, with a 95 per cent chance of showers and up to 10mm of rain forecast.

Under existing ICC rules a match can only be paused for a set period of time before it must be abandoned.

But with with both days looking to be washed out, organisers could break tradition and push back Monday’s 3pm start well into the evening.

The required rule change hasn’t been officially ratified but has the support of player’s, team staff, and officials, according to Newscorp.

Pakistan will either face England in the final (pictured: Fans watch the ICC Men's T20 World Cup match between India and Pakistan on October 23)

Pakistan will either face England in the final (pictured: Fans watch the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup match between India and Pakistan on October 23)

MCG curators will also use extra covers on Sunday to ensure showers and a predicted thunderstorm which are expected to arrive in the afternoon and evening don’t derail the scheduled 7pm AEDT start.

Melbourne has an indoor venue, Marvel Stadium, only 5kms away from the MCG but there is no chance the ICC will consider moving the game to the Docklands ground.

Marvel is yet to have its drop-in pitch laid, not to mention logistically reallocating tickets would be next to impossible on short notice. 

England captain Jos Buttler put India to the sword to book England's place in Sunday's final

England captain Jos Buttler put India to the sword to book England’s place in Sunday’s final 

The rain forecast for the weekend follows three games at the MCG during the group stage being abandoned due to wet weather and another match was shortened because of rain.

Australia’s showdown with England at the famous venue was washed out without a ball being bowled as the teams shared the points.

The hosts missed out on qualifying for the semi-finals and defending the title they won in the UAE last year on net run-rate.

The opening match of the tournament at the MCG was an all-time classic as India defeated Pakistan on the final ball in front of a pulsating crowd of 90,293.

A rematch between the famous rivals in the final could mean the MCG’s record attendance at a cricket match – 93,013 at the 2015 ODI World Cup final – is broken.