Men on the moon so why no World Cup group-stage reserve days?: Bangladesh coach

Rain covers on the wicket at Bristol ahead of play in the World Cup match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. (Action Images via Reuters)
Updated 11 June 2019
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Men on the moon so why no World Cup group-stage reserve days?: Bangladesh coach

  • The umpires’ decision left tournament chiefs with the unwanted record for the most number of abandoned games at a World Cup
  • Both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka took a point each

BRISTOL, England: Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes said that if men could land on the moon, the World Cup could include reserve days for group matches after the Tigers’ fixture against Sri Lanka in Bristol was washed out completely on Tuesday.
The umpires’ decision left tournament chiefs with the unwanted record for the most number of abandoned games at a World Cup, surpassing the two each at the 1992 and 2003 editions.
It was also the second successive World Cup match at Bristol abandoned without a ball bowled after Sri Lanka’s game against Pakistan at southwest county Gloucestershire’s headquarters on Friday went the same way.
Both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka took a point each a day after rain saw only 7.3 overs play in the match between South Africa and the West Indies in Southampton on Monday.
Although the International Cricket Council have scheduled reserve days for both semifinals and the July 14 final at Lord’s, there are now concerns rain could have a major bearing on which sides qualify for the last four.
Former England wicket-keeper Rhodes, asked if he would have included reserve days in the 10-team round-robin phase, replied: “Yeah, I would.
“If you know the English weather, sadly, we’re going to get a lot of rain.
“I know logistically, it would have been a big headache for the tournament organizers, and I know it would have been difficult,” he added of a World Cup that features 48 matches in 46 days.
“But we have got quite a lot of time in between games, and if we have got to travel a day later, then so be it,” said Rhodes, whose Bangladesh team next play the West Indies in Taunton on June 17.
“We put men on the moon, so why can’t we have a reserve day, when actually this tournament is a long tournament?
“It’s disappointing for the crowd, as well. They have got tickets to see a game of cricket and it would be up to them if they can get there the day after.”
Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne endorsed Rhodes’s comments by saying: “It is not easy, but I feel if they can have a reserve day, it will be good for everyone.”
Heavy overnight and early morning rain delayed Tuesday’s scheduled 10:30 am local time (0930 GMT) start, with further rain seeing the game eventually called off at 1:57 p.m. local time.
Rain has also been forecast for Wednesday’s match between Australia and Pakistan in Taunton.
Australia failed to qualify for the semifinals of the 2017 Champions Trophy in England following their rained-off matches against New Zealand and Bangladesh, before they lost to England on the Duckworth/Lewis method for weather-interrupted fixtures.
“I think it (the weather) might play a huge part in the next few days,” Australia captain Aaron Finch said at Taunton on Tuesday.
“So it’s important that you get early wins on the board because you don’t want to be on the wrong end of a couple of washouts that might leave you just outside that top four.”
Only one of three World Cup matches scheduled to take place in Bristol produced any play, champions Australia launching their title defense with a seven-wicket victory over outsiders Afghanistan.
“It’s massively gutting. These are things that are four-and-a-half years in the making, Gloucestershire chief executive Will Brown told AFP.
“It’s massively sad for the fans.”
Brown, asked how much the two abandonments would cost Gloucestershire financially, added: “Our catering around the ground will definitely have taken a hit.
“Do I think it’s £50,000 ($63,588)?
“No. Do I think it’s £10,000-£20,000? Quite possibly, yes.
“It’s enough for a club like us to make a significant difference,” added Brown, who said all three World Cup matches in Bristol had been 11,500 sell-outs.


Saudi Arabia’s biggest celebration of motor racing returns with Formula E back at Ad Diriyah

Updated 25 June 2019
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Saudi Arabia’s biggest celebration of motor racing returns with Formula E back at Ad Diriyah

  • The event will take place on Nov. 22 and 23
  • Two major races will take place in this year’s E-Prix, which made its Middle East debut in the Kingdom last year

RIYADH: This year’s Formula E season will kick off with a doubleheader in Ad Diriyah in November, backed by a huge festival of off-track action, music, culture and heritage.

The 2019 “Saudia” Ad Diriyah E-Prix promises to eclipse the inaugural 2018 edition, with two races, instead of one, being staged at the stunning UNESCO world heritage site of Ad Diriyah, and with crowds of up to 100,000 expected to attend.

Last year’s sell-out E-Prix featured music icons such as David Guetta, Enrique Iglesias, One Republic and the Black-Eyed Peas, performing as part of the racing championship’s debut in the Middle East.

2019 will see Porsche and Mercedes competing for the first time, boosting the number of cars on the track. Plus, Ad Diriyah will be ready to welcome even more international tourists, after the surrounding At-Turaif district finalizes its ambitious development program.

Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, chairman of the General Sports Authority (GSA), said: “Formula E’s arrival in the Kingdom was a watershed moment for us, one that thousands witnessed together.

“The 2018 ‘Saudia’ Ad Diriyah E-Prix excited our nation through its exhilarating action, heroes and entertainment. Thanks to the ambitions of Vision 2030, it was the biggest festival of sport, music and culture the Kingdom has ever seen.

“This year we look forward to igniting an even bigger season of motor racing for Formula E, to welcome even more international visitors, and to create another unforgettable moment for our people.”

In a recent interview with the UAE’s The National newspaper, DJ David Guetta hailed the 2018 event, which included the country’s first unsegregated concerts.

“I’m really proud that I’ve done this. There is obviously a very big effort in Saudi to open to music and to artists. And as an artist, I play for the people and the people were obviously so happy,” he said.

“It was incredible to see men and women dancing and letting go of everything. It was a great honor for me to be part of this.”

Last year saw travelers from 80 different countries flock to the event, taking advantage of the first-ever 30-day tourism visas issued under the new online Sharek immigration system. For 2019 the process has been enhanced to make visiting the Kingdom even easier.

Second staging

The 2019 E-Prix will be the second of a 10-year partnership between Formula E, the GSA and the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation (SAMF). The event will be staged again by promoter CBX, which successfully created the racetrack and venue in the heart of the heritage site.

Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Faisal, president of SAMF, said: “In 2018 the track proved itself a world-class venue for motorsport, hailed by racers as one of the most exiting they have faced.

“This year sees even more teams enter the championship, with Porsche and Mercedes entering the fray. Last year Ad Diriyah was the launchpad for the new ‘Gen 2’ race cars and the exciting ‘Attack Zone’ innovation. This year will be the first time drivers will have an additional 10 kilowatts (kW) of power available when using the ‘Attack Mode,’ rising from 225kW to 235kW.

“Add to that, a double header — two races instead of one — with a total of 24 cars competing. This will fire up Saudi Arabia’s passion for motorsports, and we are ready to welcome Formula E back.”